THE MUSIC ISSUE
Editorial: Sonia Godwin | Stanley Innocent | Tee Justine
Cover Graphics: Justeefyd Digitals | Photography: Mandy
In 2022 alone, Nigerian music and musicians took the lead in the international scene. Whether it was a Burna Boy concert or international collaborations by the likes of Rema, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and the international chart topping songs down to artists of Nigerian decent making the 2022 hit list of popular celebs including Barrack Obama and Jay Z, Nigerian music and musicians have truly evolved and commanded global attention and consumption.
That aside, in the just concluded FIFA 2022 world cup, at different celebration parties by participating countries, afro-beats were the song choice. Do we talk about Davido, a Nigerian who sang a verse in the 2022 World Cup theme song and performed the same at the finals?
Now move away from secular music to gospel, the story is still the same for the likes of Sinach, Dunsin Oyekan, Nathaniel Bassey and the largest gathering of worshippers at The Experience. It has been an endless story of mass acceptance, consumption and impact.
With music being proven to be a lucrative business and a platform for the expression of one’s essence, a lot of young adults are taking that path to the glory of their dreams. What is their motivation? What is their inspiration? What is their intent?
Stir360’s Sonia sat with Samson Solomon Yamta Popularly known as Sam-P which fully stands for (Sampirlo) a nickname from his school days, he is a budding gospel music artist based in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria and he provided insight to his quest and foray into music- a path now being walked by young adults more than ever. It is a good read! Enjoy!
Stir360: Congratulations on your recently released album “illuminate” and good to have you here.
Thank you, it’s good to be here.
Stir360: let’s begin by sailing familiar waters, tell us about your childhood and growing up.
I was born here in Maiduguri, 3rd in the family of 5 boys (4 Siblings- Samuel, Sunday, Stanley and Stephen). I grew up in a family that loves music, my mum especially. I schooled in Maiduguri as well, from Nursery down to my tertiary level. I started schooling at Foundation Bilingual School and then completed my Primary and Secondary Education at Evangel Model School.
Stir360: Wow, 5 boys! I can’t help but notice the letter “S” everywhere…hehehe
Yeah! Lol, My Dad’s name is Solomon. I studied Architecture at Ramat Polytechnic here in Maiduguri. I’ve got a HND in Architectural Technology.
Stir360 (Sonia): Oh wow! I also served (NYSC) here in Maiduguri, it seems like you don’t want to leave Maiduguri?
I’ve got a lot going on here for me at the moment.
Stir360: How did music start for you?
I started picking interest in writing songs in Primary 5, so I guess time and consistency makes you better. I started learning the guitar in JSS 2, joined the church band after secondary school and got signed to K3 music in 2016. I released my first album same year… the journey is a long conversation that won’t end today like I said earlier, my family loves music. I grew up listening and watching music, all the old school Legends, we’ve got their concert VHS. At a young age, I grew very fond of sound and picked interest in the Guitar (I watch Paul Simon play). So, it came naturally and of course my mum was in the choir so I heard her sing all the time.
Sit360: So it’s clear your mum inspired you?
Uhmm, to be honest No but she has been my number one fan from day one till date. What inspired me was watching Paul Simon and UB40 concerts; the crowd at their concerts, the Joy, the sounds. I’ve pictured myself on stage ever since. I’ve always pictured being on stage with the guitar growing up and I’m glad I’m living that dream now. I’ve joined so many music projects that I’ve lost count. If I should narrate that story, I’ll bore you and it won’t finish today.
Stir360: Why gospel music?
Because that’s the mandate – “Go ye and preach the gospel”. I love Jesus and music is the best way I know to tell people about him. My music is to bring glory to His name and impact my generation.
Stir360: What’s it like being a gospel artiste in the northeast from the city of Maiduguri the capital of Borno State where rumor has it that insurgency still persist?
To be honest, Maiduguri is blessed with gifted musicians, It’s unfortunate that the City is recognized as an insurgency red zone till date. Being a gospel artiste here for me is a Blessing because I’m part of the body making a difference and shining God’s light in the city, It can be challenging sometimes but someone’s got to break the stereotypes, mediocrity and clichés. As long as I’m making impact, it doesn’t matter where I am.
Stir360: That’s very touching. We believe insurgency will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria as a whole.
Amen. I believe too.
Stir360: What’s your creative process when writing music?
The process takes long sometimes and very short other times, I can wrap up a complete song in 30 minutes. I sing about real life experiences, I get inspired with circumstances surrounding me or a personal experience. Most times, when the words come as inspired by the Holy Spirit, I’d pick my guitar and sing what’s in my heart.
Stir360: Guitar seems to be your favorite instrument, tell us more about it?
Ah, my guitar is my weapon! I’ve loved the strings from childhood. It completes me. When I was much younger, I would hang out with guys’ way older than me at night because they play the acoustic guitar. I watched, observed and listened. With the help of my classmate Prince Danja, he started showing me the first chord I knew on the guitar, very other thing was self-taught. I’m so connected to the guitar, that’s “my babe”
Stir360: hehehe… hope the woman in your life doesn’t get jealous reading this interview?
Lol, she’s cool.
Stir360: Who are you looking forward to working with? Any gospel artist you admire so much you want to work with?
Uhm… Honestly, at the moment it’d be Chandler Moore if it’s an international collaboration. Here at home, I look forward to working with Ada Ehi too. I admire that woman.
Stir360: Johnny Drille is an amazing body of art you know?
True. I think if I’m privileged to make a song with him, it’ll be good! People compare my vocal texture with his a lot (it makes me uncomfortable though), I know Johnny Drille is not a gospel artist but I’d love to get him sing about Jesus with me.
Stir360: We keep our fingers crossed to these collaborations you mentioned, You’ve been in the music industry for how long now?
Unprofessionally over 10 years, professionally from 2016 to date.
Stir360: Any best moment that stood out for you?
Honestly, I’ll just mention a few- the events I’ve hosted, the love, the crowd. Just so overwhelming especially with my style of music, I’ve got a few cherished moments-
1. The hashtag trend in 2016 that went viral globally, #Salama
2. Meeting my mentor Rev. Will Abdallah,
3. My mum showing up at my tour in Jos,
4. Having my complete family present for the first time at my 2nd album release.
5. My first major award,
6. My music video aired on Trace gospel.
Stir360: Wow, You should feel proud you know.
Yeah I know.
Stir360: Aside music and playing the guitar, what interests you, let’s say no music, what would Sam-P be doing?
I’m an architect by study, I’ll be designing, I love drawing and maybe Football, I’ve tried playing for Under 13 in Maiduguri when I was younger.
Stir360: That’s so much to be really really proud of, you are art in another dimension hehehe
Stir360: What ended your football pursuit?
Injuries and clearly I love music much more.
Stir360: Let’s switch gears and talk about “Illuminate”- your latest album, tell us what inspired that?
Matthew 5:16. Where you are does not limit you. Light no dey hide at all. In the midst of all the darkness everywhere, you’re light and you’re the answer to the prayers of many generations. Your star will shine in the darkest of days. ILLUMINATE.
Stir360: Wow this expression sounds divine hehehe
All these are lines from songs on the album and it’s centered on illuminating hope, dreams, and aspirations coming true. You’re the Light of the World, let it shine. ILLUMINATE. It took me 4 years to wrap up this album.
Stir360: Illuminate the 16 track album featured the likes of KaeStrings, Neken Chuwan, SON, & Awinnah. Tell us how you picked your collaborations on the album “illuminate”?
Neken Chuwang has been my friend and brother for years, both songs I featured him were co-written by him, we have so many similarities when it comes to our creative process, it’s just about time we work together. S.O.N is a gifted producer, an amazing artist and songwriter, he’s so good with Afro music and he helped arranged and completed the song “Oblivion”, It was just right to have him on the song. The first time I heard Awinnah, I knew she’d be perfect for “Oh Sleeper” so I reached out and I’m glad we created a masterpiece and it has made us fam now, Kaestrings and I have been talking on collaborating for long too, the song we recorded was just so divine. It’s a match made in heaven.
Stir360: What do you hope to achieve in the next five-ten years?
Continue impacting, no limits, and actualising dreams, just setting bigger goals… That’s what I hope to achieve. I’m a very realistic person.
Stir360: Should we expect an Illuminate tour soon?
Yes and so much more, Yola! you guys should organize something for me.
Stir360: What would you like to say to your fans that would stumble on this interview?
I love you guys, thank you for supporting me, you guys are amazing, there wouldn’t be a Samp-P if you don’t stream and share the songs or attend the concerts. Nagode, thank you.
Stir360: Thank you so much for your time and we wish you success in your musical career.
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0 thoughts on “Sam-P: I Can Wrap Up A Complete Song In 30 Minutes.”
The sky is your starting point more grace I love your resilience and creativity
More grace SamP. Illuminate!!! The best is yet to come.