Review The Artist (45)
Talk about the ultimate "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" back-to-school composition: For 12-year-old Sammie, "school's out" celebrations in June 1998 meant it was time for him and his mom to pack up and leave their Miami home for a six week stay in Atlanta. There in Atlanta Sammie completed recording his debut album with super hit making producer Dallas Austin and his team. "We've found a lot of singing kids," Austin says, "but the difference between a singing kid and a star is charisma, the nerve to do certain things that other people won't. It's a gift from God."
In fact, six weeks turned into ten weeks. Sammie's appeal lies as much in his disarming sense of humor - "He is hilarious," Austin says - as it does in his insatiable curiosity and drive, "His workmanship inside the studio is incredible," Austin adds.
Sammie's easy going personality is a quality that won Dallas Austin over. Anyone familiar with Austin's track record with young performers like Monica and Another Bad Creation, appreciates how songs like "Can't Let Go," "Crazy Things I Do," and the first single, "I Like It" all contribute to presenting Sammie as a 12-year-old with a 12-year-old's desires and confusions, joy and yearnings, and budding feelings of romance and heartbreak.
But amidst these titles - "Fell For Her," "Do It For You," "Catching Feelings," "Friend Like You" - there is a song dedicated to the city where Sammie grew up, "The Bottom." As Austin explains, "That's Miami of course, from the bottom to the top. Sammie was real adamant that Miami was supported on the record. So I wrote that song inspired by his connection in Miami."
"Sammie has a street appeal to him,'" Austin continues, "but at the same time his mom raised him well so he also has a very intelligent appeal linked to a supportive spiritual background. So, 'From the Bottom to the Top' was a very important theme for his album."
Although 'Sammie From Miami' was a headline that made its way into the Miami Herald and other newspapers during 1999, Sammie Bush was actually born in Boynton Beach, located in Palm Bach County, on March 1, 1987. His mom, former singer Angila Baxter, believes that "when I was singing in church, everything that went through my womb also went through him. He doesn't have any limits on the music he listens to - rap, R&B, gospel, jazz, he just loves music."
Sammie was raised in Boynton and Delray where his grandmother lives, and it was at the Church of Christ in Delray where, at age four, he experienced his first standing ovation for his delivery of "Troubles Don't Last Always" as a soloist.
He attended Pine Grove Elementary School in Delray for a year or so before Angila took him and his sister Krystal Tiara (four years younger) to live in the Brownsville section of Miami in 1993 (Sammie also has a three-year-old younger brother, Anthony Jordan.)
His talent caught the attention of a music teacher at Charles Drew Elementary in Liberty City, a magnet school with a performing arts program that Sammie transferred into at the start of third grade. His music training accelerated as he eagerly performed at almost every school program.
Along with Phillip? And Terrel? - two older boys from a Dade County junior high school - Sammie formed the Wonder3. The music teacher taped a rough-cut home video of them and submitted it to producers of the amateur and children's segment at "It's Showtime At the Apollo." The producer was struck by the group's performance and flew the boys in to New York for an audition in December 1997. Within weeks the producer decided to have Sammie return to New York for a solo performance on the kids of segment that aired in February 1998.
"I got a standing ovation and everything." Sammie says of his broadcast premiere. Not yet 11 years old, he won the semi-final competition singing "My Cherie Amour" by his favorite artist, Stevie Wonder.
Returning to the Finals in April, Sammi reprised "My Cherie Amour." This time, the winning notice came by way of a 2:00am phone call to Angila from Atlanta-based Joyce Irby. After two meetings with Angila and Sammie, Irby filmed new video footage. She showed it to her friend Dallas Austin. "I saw his appeal just from the tape," Austin said. Sammie received additional exposure when he performed (with a high school choir as the background) at the nationally televised "Teacher of the Year" awards held at Universal Studios in Orlando.
While Austin was working on a project in Nashville, he brought Sammie there to try out some tracks. "By the time he left," Austin said, "I had done three songs, because we worked so fast." By April-May 1999, Angila had been asked by Dallas Austin recording Projects (DARP) to plan a six-week leave of absence from her job as a Marketing Coordinator to start recording in Atlanta. The sessions continued for ten weeks. By the end of the summer with the album still not complete, Sammie and his mom returned to Florida for the new school year. Eager to finish the album, session time was booked at a local Miami studio in early fall of 1999, to finish the final vocal tracks for the album.
Meanwhile, "I'm learning a lot about the business and how it works and how people work. I consider myself blessed and very excited that I have this opportunity to share my music with the world."
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Amazing | Reviewer: zandra | 8/18/12
Hi you might not rember me. But this might give you a hint Greco middle school. Country crossing apartments / candy lady house. Keep up the good work I'm enjoying all of your music. Great job Sammie.
sammie | Reviewer: v | 4/14/11
heyyy sammie..you used to be friends with my big bro dave and the rest of yall.in william dandy middle school.i remeber when yall used be in summer school,i think and i used to come and stuff.it was fun
adored by talent | Reviewer: Evangela | 3/31/10
i am very inspired by your music and it is good we have talented singers like yourself i hope to be where you are today but it seems that i can't get in contact with anyone to get noticed, i can sing and also i write my own songs as well i am 16 i live in meridian ms i attend meridian high school rite now as a sophmore my number is 601 513-7720 my name is eva
I taught you ROTC at William Dandy Middle School | Reviewer: Ms. Hudson | 8/29/09
They did not mention William Dandy in this article. And I remember you singing happy birthday to me in the cafeteria. I still have the poster that all of you guys signed for me. Keep on moving forward.
i love u soooo much and you have an amazing voice | Reviewer: whitney | 8/10/09
i love you and you have an amazing voice. i can tell by the way you sing that you have a burning passion for music. i am 1 of your biggest fans. believe it or not my dream is to meet you and to hear you sing live. i even think we have a lot in common because i love 2 sing too. i love you and i cant wait to here your next song.
your true love
Since a young Grl | Reviewer: Shateria | 4/4/09
Hay Sammie!! My name is Shateria && my mom told me a story from when i was little && we were in a music store and i walked up to your cd and took it b/c of my adorable face she couldnt say no...That was when i was 2..Im 13 now going to 14 and i still have that cd...I will always cherish you,your music,&& your voice!!!
JUST CONGRADULATING U ON YOUR SUCCESS | Reviewer: Danielle Wise | 2/19/09
I just wanted you to know that I love all of,well not all of your songs but the popular ones. Every since I was young I have to say that your music has inspired me. Your music has inspired me because I was not that much of a singer. Now music is my second passion because fashion sketching is first. When you sing it touches me until I want to cry. I just love that sweet tone in your voice when you sing. So Sammie I wish you the best of luck in your success.
to a wonderful young man | Reviewer: jasmine Scott | 2/16/09
Hello me.sammie! Wow I hope and gods willing you read this. But Sam I been a huge Dan of yours from the start your so talented and your music always touch my heart in some way. I jus wish I could have that chance to get to meet you in real life man. You really have grown to be a very handsome young man. To me I don't think there's any other artist like you. Hopefully you get a chance to read this so this tour good fan jasmine from Arkansas. Love always mz* jazz your number1 fan foreal********~
WAY BACK WHEN !!!! | Reviewer: Nukhole | 1/23/09
I'm goin 2 keep this short & sweet, well Im goin 2 try... I've been wanting 2 say this to you for the longest, hopefuly u read these things if not im just shit out of luck. NE who, you are incrediable, talented and fine as I dont know what. I remember the first time I seen you on t.v. (i like it), yea way back than. I had to be in the 6th grade &nd been listening to you since. You are amazing &nd I pray you will remain that way. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished keep up the amazing work !!!!
LUV ALWAYS & FOREVER UR FEATURE WIFE...BELEIVE IT
i wanna meet you!!!! | Reviewer: muffin | 1/14/09
Since I first listened to your songs i fell in love with you.I think that your an amazing person,even though I havent had the chance to meet you.I really hope that someday I will.Your music inspires me and I write songs with my cousin now.My name is Dominique and Im 15,but age is nothing but a number and I hope you see pass it.Soon Ill be living my dreams like you live yours.MUCH LOVE,Muffin
Sammie your cool | Reviewer: Tyra(not Banks) | 2/23/08
Hi Sammie I am 10 and I just wanted to say I am a big fan.I have CD of when you were younger and I loved all the songs.My favorite is Bottom To The Top.It used to be I Like because I skipped to it the first time and I never heard number 1 but when we moved a found it wa year later I heard 1 first and loved.And I also love you should be my girl.Bye Sammie.
Chardona' | Reviewer: Chardona' | 1/23/08
HEY SAMMIE... I KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT YOU. YOU ARE ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGERS. IM TRYING OR SHOULD I SAY I AM GETTING INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BECAUSE THATS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO DO SINCE I WAS A YOUNG CHILD. IM FROM DETROIT, MI AND IM JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA WITH MY AUNT TO REACH MY DREAM ABOUT 7 OR 8 MONTHS AGO. JUST A QUESTION... HAVE YOU EVER WANTED SOMETHING SO BAD AND IT IS SO CLOSE YOU CAN ALMOST TASTE IT. THATS HOW IT IS FOR ME. IM MAKEING MY DREAMS A REALITY. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I WISH ALL THE BLESSINGS AND SUCCESS OF THE UNIVERSE. PLEASE E-MAIL ME BACK
iI luv uuuuuuuuuuuuuu sammie | Reviewer: keia | 10/17/07
WATS UP SAMMIE DIS YO MAIN GIRL KEIA I LUV U SO MUCH. THESE OTHA GIRLS IS NOT WERE ITS AT U IS MI ONE AND ONLY SO GET BACK AT YO GIRL U KNOW WHO I BE
hey sexy | Reviewer: merci | 8/28/07
sammie i missed you so much. everytyme i see u i go weak. oh my gosh, im so in love with u.i wish u could sing to me 4 my b-day.well,hope 2 see ya,
4rm yo wife merci
Hey Baby | Reviewer: Taylar Reed | 8/23/07
Hey Sammie I Love you so much man when u came to milwaukee for jam 4 peace i fell in love with you i love you so much i got you saved on my phone as my screen saver and a whole lot more baby i love you and i will make a myspace to come to your page and talk 2 u im yo biggest fan and i love u more than anyone else and i mean it. i love you more than anyone of your other fans love you baby
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