Toronto based hip-hop artist Sammi Shyne is no stranger to success. With an impressive repertoire and his versatile and creative mind, Sammi creates soulful music with meaningful lyrics. “96’ Summers” is Sammi Shyne and Kavi’s latest album release that we’re currently bumping. Laced heavily with storytelling elements and intricate lyricism, Sammi Shyne takes us and all his listeners on a retrospective journey through his elaborate thoughts. He takes his listeners through a diverse range of emotional ups and downs without skipping a beat. As an artist with many different talents, he plans to push forward a movement, and message that is given to you through sonically soulful, tasteful music.
The start of the album, “A Thousand Skies” brings a flowing mellow beat. The diverse instrumentals give this track a more emotional feel. “A Thousand Skies” holds heavy subject matter to draw in listeners and prepare them for an album packed with raw lyricism and finely-calibrated thoughts. Sammi Shyne doesn’t shy away from putting his heart and soul into his music. Because of this he is able to build a solid foundation to lay out his poetry for his listeners. Next up on “96’ Summers” is “Dualizm”, personally my favorite track featured on the album because of the absolute confidence that bleeds through the speakers as Sammi Shyne tells us all about how he’s the one to watch. He knows that he’s undeniably gifted and unapologetically recites that to his fans.
Undertones of old school hip-hop fused with modern and refreshing bars make “Dualizm” one of the most vibrant singles off of the “96’ Summers”. As the beat mellows that album transitions into “Lost Summers” A heavier lo-fi sound, “Lost Summers” sets the stage with a more serious tone. Sammi Shyne pours his heart and soul into the skilled lyricism on this track. He tells the story of someone going through life's trials and tribulations. Whether he’s referring to his own life or a close friend, his storytelling is delivered with so much conviction we are hooked no matter what. We love the experimental instrumentals on “Lost Summers” and the overall production style. “Wonderland” comes out the gate with an alluring intro that demands attention. Sammi Shyne explodes into his expert bars and we were blown way. “Wonderland” is a hard hitting, contemporary hip-hop track that’s sure to be a summer banger. Genre-bending and ambitious, Sammi Shyne adds elements of electronically altered samples to the background. “Wonderland” is definitely being added to our Summer 2019 paylist. “You, Me, N The Stars” features melancholic piano and a fuzzy vinyl buzzing in the background. Sammi Shyne puts his pure vulnerable energy into “You, Me, N The Stars”. He touches on subjects of loneliness, love, soulmates, and everything in between. “You, Me, N The Stars” includes hauntingly hypnotizing female vocals to allow you to escape your mind further. As the album transitions into “As The Sun Falls” we return to our hype and upbeat attitude. Sammi Shyne has a contagious energy and we can’t help but take on his motivational vibes. Poetic yet consistently energetic, “As The Sun Falls” is the perfect conclusion to a spectacular project. “96’ Summers” boasts a plethora of storytelling elements, from the song titles to the deep, surgical lyricism, the album is flawless. We love what Sammi Shyne delivers and we’ll be on the lookout for what he delivers next!
Check out “96’ Summers” here and read more below in our exclusive interview.
Hey Sammi! Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers? When did you get started making music?
Hey, thank you again for having me, I deeply appreciate the love and support. I’m a hip hop artist from Toronto, Canada that goes by the name of Sammi Shyne, Sammi with an “I”, Shyne with a “Y” aka Double S aka ya favourite suckafree civilian. I’ve been making music for sometime now, started writing at a young age, probably around 13-14. Referred to myself as a poet for a long time before I actually started writing songs on records. I always loved writing but I would never show anyone at all, I was somewhat fearful of sharing my thoughts and my expression. At the same time I started to realize what I was making was really dope, and it actually became extremely therapeutic to me overtime. The more I wrote and dove into my creativity, it inspired me to create more, encouraged me to be myself and that’s when I knew whatever I wrote would touch others on some kind of level because if you’re being yourself, you’re relatable to others through your experience, emotions, and stories of life. Finally by the age of 20 I released my first song called “Burnout” which was actually produced by my best friend Kavi, who did all of the 96’ Summers production on our album. We both shared a crazy passion for hip hop growing up, appreciating real music and genuine artistry. In a way 96’ Summers was building from the moments of me and him at school talking about Nas, Wu-Tang, and a handful of other 90’s artist we really rocked with.
We loved your album “96’ Summers”! What theme do you hope your listeners take away from it?
Thank you for taking the time to listen. It’s always appreciated when people from other places can connect with the music. The theme was simple, I wanted to capture a timeless moment with this project, something that was nostalgic but everlasting in sound and words. There’s a lot of principles of life and experiences of mine that I put into this project and I wanted to really solidify a foundation of what I stand for as a individual, beyond an artist. It’s always important to me that my records are filled with the right intention and truth. This album really speaks volume to that no question. It’s been a formula for me personally that never goes wrong, because the real will always appreciate authenticity, whether if it’s a message, an art form, or just being who you are unapologetically. Staying true to yourself, and building a foundation pivotal to that will bring you the most amazing things in life from passion, to wealth, to love, to the people you meet in this life. 96’ Summers represents that journey of following your path, being who you are, standing for what you believe in. My grandpa always taught me experience can never be bought but only achieved, so when it’s all said and done and you’ve lived a life that fulfilled your soul, you’ll have an amazing story to tell. This is my way of sharing it as I go through life and my journey.
The album had a strong lyrical presence! What song do you think is the heaviest lyrically?
That’s hard cause every song on the project has a strong lyrical dynamic. I’ve always prided myself in being a versatile wordsmith when it comes to creating a record. I think Dualizm has the most lyrical complexities on the album but the heaviest song lyrically that I think touched a lot of people was Lost Summers. That record in particular was centred around the vices we fall victim to over the years in our life. We all at some point stumble upon a vice to get us through hard times or even break through to having a good time because we’ve either lost or haven’t found that joy in life that we yearn for. It’s a simple but powerful message I wanted to express because it’s not often a topic I feel is talked about in my city. We got gun violence, drugs, and abusive tendencies circulating the grounds of our own people but we brush it off cause it’s “not that serious” or it doesn’t effect you directly. Ultimately I made the song cause I can relate, I was deep in losing myself and who I truly was because of substance abuse and these things can have the strongest of individuals fall and spiral. It can happen at any moment in life, we go through a break up, friends or family members passed away too soon, we adopt habits from the household we grew up in or even just been around the wrong environment for too long. It’s really about self awareness and being strong enough to find what’s right for you in every moment. The messages in which I put into my songs was an ongoing strength in the project, which I felt was delivered well in its entirety. Especially being a lyricist, it’s great putting together dope word play, and hidden gems for people to catch but being able to translate it well musically is an important balance I’ve been learning constantly over some time now.
What song do you think listeners should be adding to their upbeat summer bangers playlist?
Wonderland should be on repeat no doubt, it’s the most upbeat song on the album and I knew right away it would hit hard the way it did when Kavi showed me the beat. Even at the shows it’s one of my favourite to perform cause I can feel the energy from the people while I’m up there grooving, such a great feeling seeing people enjoy the music. My intentions were to bring a joyful, carefree vibe for that record, something that people can ride to but also nod heavy with in the whip. That’s one thing that people are gonna see a lot more from me this year, is records like Wonderland, singles like No Leash and Strictly 4 my Suckafree. I love bringing that energy to the listener and to the stage, so I’m striving for the most carefree vibes going forward in my music and writing.
How does “96’ Summers” compare to some of your earlier work? How does differ? How have you evolved and changed as an artist?
96’ Summers is incomparable, but it definitely holds an essence of some of my earlier work with Kavi, which is amazing to me because it really captures a moment of our growth and sound that we’ve refined from songs like Burnout, No Doubt, and even Bouti. It’s different in the sense that it’s not just lyrics and boom bap beats that matter anymore. 96’ Summers exemplifies our ear for memorable sonics, texture of sound, the dynamic of stories and depth that we put into our music. Ever since I met Kavi I was a die hard fan of lyricism, I didn’t care about anything else as long as lyrics were on point. So early on when I was writing that’s what my focus was always on, I need to come with the bars so people recognize me. Over time I realized anyone can go on a boom nap or old school beat, spit bars and call themselves the dopest artist and producer out here, but that doesn’t make the music undeniable. That’s something my engineer Product told me when I‘d be in the studio, is you’ll hear good songs all the time but good gets old, undeniable music lasts forever and ever since then it stuck with me, I always kept that in mind when working. It’s completely beyond just being a great lyricist and delivering bars when you wanna create something timeless and ultimately memorable in music. So I think balance and versatility has been a huge growth for me in my sound, also along with Kavi’s. Consistency was a huge importance to me throughout the project, and I felt that balance was delivered well in its entirety because as a lyricist like I said, it’s great putting together a surgical verse with word play, punch lines for people to catch, etc. but being able to translate it well musically is super essential at this level. 96’ Summers is a testament to not just my style but also Kavi’s and how far we’ve come in our curation of music together. I’m really proud of how we’ve evolved because we’re not even close to our plateau yet. Might just drop a disco album, word to Freddie.
What’s next for you?
Music is super important to me, and so realizing how big of a role it plays in my life I decided to create a business surrounding the music and art. We’ve officially launched a website called the ALFA shop, which stands for Attaining Life From Art. This was created by Kavi, my other producer Jon Wick, and myself way back when we first started doing this music thing. It was an idea that we wanted to run for a while, but when the 96’ Summers album was in the works it finally made sense with the content, the message, and the timing to align the vision with the online store. We’re going to be featuring several pieces of merch from 96’ Summers T-shirt’s, to stickers and CD’s, to home decor, and much more. The pre-orders already sold out so it was a blessing to see how much people really support what we doing in our city. It’s another journey I’m learning as we go along, but I’m determined and dedicated to making it work. I’ve always admired independent artists and the entrepreneurship they took on because the challenges, the loses, and the results are all on them. It’s artists like Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle that inspired me to run this music career independently and surround myself with the right people to make it work. Rest In Peace to them though, what they did here will be remembered forever and I plan to represent not just for myself but for individuals everywhere that believe in hard work and dedication as they did. With that being said as an independent artist and business owner now, I’m hoping everyone can stay tune for more great music we got coming out and the ALFA movement we’ll be pushing for the years to come. Its a marathon, not a race. Alfashop.ca out now.
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