Sitting Down with Sammy
Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012 20:08
Wandering around the halls of Tudor Fieldhouse gives new meaning to the term “disorientation.” Still, Thresher Design Editor Elena Lacey and I aimlessly tapped on doors who ostensibly belong to the Department of Kinesiology in search of Sammy Adams’ promised greenroom. As we entered an eerily vacant second floor, we spotted a man who filled out the entirety of one of the doorframes. Closing in on our interview appointment, we approached the man and asked for Sammy Adams. Confused, he told us that he was standing guard for Travis Porter. Hopelessly lost, we decided the next best option was to ask if these co-headliners were available for an interview. He disappeared into one of the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest rooms and opened the door. Stepping into the room, we spotted what appeared to be four-dozen Crave cupcakes atop a small table and 10 people seated casually around the classroom. Covertly hidden amidst this group, I identified the most easily recognizable member of the trio: Quez. He was wearing one of his many easily identifiable hats, and I walked directly over to him. After settling into a seat myself, I realized that these extremely relaxed performers would be going on stage in less than five minutes. With no chance for a formal interview, we just used the time to talk. They made it very easy to see why their YouTube channel whoistravisporter has some of the most hilarious and entertaining videos on the Web. We slowly found our way back to the stage, only to realize that Travis Porter had already begun leaping off the stage and getting the audience involved.
After listening to a few songs, our RPC Welcome Back Concert host found us and directed us to Sammy Adams’ site manager. Sammy Adams had been running late, but he was finally ready to meet with us. After journeying once more unto the breach, our guide eventually directed us to an auxiliary gym where Adams was hard at work on his setlist. With considerably more time for the interview, we sat down and waited for Sammy Adams to enter. When he did, I remembered that this increasingly prominent pop-rap artist is only 25 years old. Adams (born Samuel Adams Wisner) was kind and surprisingly reflective on his own journey to success. He was quick to highlight how fortunate he was in his rise to Billboard fame. We wished him good luck and left to catch his live disc jockey partner JayCeeOh begin the act. Although the crowd had dwindled since we left for the interview, Sammy Adams entered the stage with enough energy to easily satisfy his supportive (if slightly inebriated) audience. While both headlining acts suffered from an embarrassingly low turnout, they provided solid entertainment for their respective audiences. Even though the average Rice student might not identify very deeply with the music, both acts are strong examples of ambition that Rice students should admire.
Rice Thresher: So, you just released an album four days ago. Can you tell us about OK Cool? Sammy Adams: I was interested in reaching the original fans that had Boston’s Boy. It has a lot of the hip-hop vibe that Boston’s Boy had, but also a lot of stuff that’s fun to do live. We’ll be playing some of that stuff for the first time tonight. The whole tape was really influenced by JayCeeOh, who is my disc jockey, and both of us reaching people in Boston, but also continuing on this path to “stardom.”
Rice Thresher: Do you work a lot with your DJ? Sammy Adams: Yeah, a lot with Jay. To make the live show what it is, it takes a lot of prep, and you really need to think about it. A lot of people sort of just come out on stage and play their full songs with full lyrics behind it, but we aren’t that type of crew. We want to go out and prove ourselves. We want to show that we have what it takes to make any lineup anywhere across the country. So yeah, it was definitely a personal project, but it always had the fans in mind.
Rice Thresher: You were touring a lot before you had too many big singles out. Does the touring process influence your music? Sammy Adams: We toured a lot, even when we didn’t have a lot of music. Back when all we had was “I Hate College,” and it wasn’t even on iTunes, we would go out and play at these college frat houses, or really anything our friends would set up. It was cool to see all this young hype that all these college kids can create. I’m definitely blessed to be one of the people that was first on [the Internet scene]. Now there’s just so many kids. It’s hard to get a head start now. Yeah, you’re right. We used what we had to tour, and that was just a smart move on our part to release Boston’s Boy when we did. It was wild to see 1,000 kids in Nebraska come out. It’s still sort of crazy. I mean I still remember just being a college kid and playing soccer.
Rice Thresher: You mention soccer, so now I’ve got to ask about that Alex Morgan shoutout during the Olympics. Sammy Adams: Yeah. Pretty dope. I was really excited. I forget where I saw. I was watching the Olympics, then all of a sudden hearing your song come on! I was looking at my computer and then my phone, before it hit me that it was the TV.