TWID: Where are you from?
Samu: I was born and raised in Euless, Texas. I got into music through my parents and uncles were in a family band. I was raised by music. Growing up my mom got me into the church choir. I performed at religious functions and we ended up having a family band. I never took music seriously because I was known as the church choir boy, or the church boy singer. It wasn’t until after high school, where I decided to try different types of music besides gospel music.
TWID: Did you ever perform in high school?
Samu: I love listening to music, but at the same time I’m the shy. In high school, my dad would push me to sing at the school talent show, but I couldn’t because I was shy at the time. I never performed at school talent shows. When we would have our family gatherings, I would always be the nervous one hoping they wouldn’t pick me to sing. My family were only ones that knew I could sing, but even after that I was always against it because whether it would be 5-10 people I would still be nervous. It got to a point where my family would pay me to sing to them and at the end of the day I would get a $100.
TWID: How long have you been doing your music professionally?
Samu: Professionally, I started when I was 18 years old. My first love song was done in 2011 was called Cruizin. Cruizin was a song I decided to do for fun, but I was moved with the great feedback I got from family and friends who were able to listen to my song and showed so much love towards my music. From January 2011, I knew that this was my time to produce more music. I just want to recognize Wes Puloka who sound my song and for putting my song up and I got so much love towards them for making my first song known.
TWID: Who writes all your music?
Samu: I write all my music. As far as love songs, my songs would be based on what I feel or what I would see. I depict on what goes on in reality, lifestories and struggles would be based off
my own experiences.
TWID: Was Lil’ Woman Your First Single?
Samu: Lil Woman is one of the singles I put out, even though it was unofficially massive, but it was like Cruizin except I knew I was going with it. I felt like I had something good going on, and I had a lot of great feedback from my family back home in Texas. My first single Lil Woman came out a little after I did Cruizin in July 30, 2011. As much music as I do now many people
know me for Cruizin and Lil Woman and it’s a blessing.
TWID: Can you tell us how the song “WHAT IT DO” came about?
Samu: I wrote “What It Do” besides Bash’s part. It was produced by a good friend Jeremy Moega of Tuitasi Productions. We had the song out for about a year now, but we didn’t know what we were going to do with it. Another opportunity was presented to us by Pistallion. He was our plug to link up with Bash. Pistallion informed Bash what I have been trying to do with the movement so wanted to hear what I had so far. Bash decided to join in on “What It Do” because he likes what we have going and he sees what we are trying to do with the movement. There is so much love and I am blessed with the outcome of “ What It Do”.
TWID: Why did you call it What It Do?
Samu: It’s all about being positive. We were trying to decide a title and everyone was coming up with What It Is-What It Do- What’s Up. The title was too long, so it was either What It Is, What It Do or What’s Up. But I loved the name “What It Do” because I’m also familiar with your company “thewhatitdo”.
TWID: What are you working on now?
Samu: For the past few months I have been featuring in songs. As far as dropping an album, I’m pushing the album back sometimes later next year. Everyone is dropping fire and I love it. I just want to drop a single to stay consistent, show control and to show my fans that I’m still working. I also want to make sure that every single I drop is hot, kill the buzz and by the time we’re ready we will have a handful of songs. Hopefully by then the music will be good enough for fans to tune in on that drop date.
TWID: What do you do when you’re not working on music?
Samu: When I’m not working on music, I’m either listening, listening to other people’s work just to appreciate their work and learning. Aside from that, I’m always with my family. I strongly believe in family. I’m sure that everyone in our Polynesian culture understands the importance of family. I really don’t like going out, but along being the shy and nervous guy I love being home with my family. If I’m on my own I’m just thanking God for everything. But aside from work I’m just enjoying the little things in my life. I believe in the Polynesian movement and I see something there, some people wouldn’t be able to see what I see, but when there’s a lot of Polynesians joining in the movement there is definitely a difference that we are making as a community. As far as influences, I look up to people in the music game for a couple decades now is One Foundation and another one that people look over is The Mission Iriez. As far as Polynesians Mission Iriez probably have the biggest impact on me because I was raised listening to their music especially since Veni and my pops are close related. I love Mission Iriez especially Veni and Goof, they’re my heroes and I love Mission Iriez reggae classic.
Samu epitomizes young urban island artists in the States who blend island sounds with hip hop and R&B influences. As an independent artist, his humility and kind character has taken him to new heights beyond the borders of his home state of Texas. His talent for production fused with his cultural background allows him to create innovative hooks and original music. It’s one thing to be talented but when you combine it with an optimistic mind, nothing can stop an artist and that’s what Samu has.
Interview By: Elizabeth Lavulo