New Years Eve belonged to Samo Sound Boy. “Philadelphia,” he declared over the mic, “when I came here tonight, I told myself that I was going to crowd surf to Meek Mill. Who wants to help me crowd surf to Meek Mill?” And then he did.
It was, in a sense, a perfect symbol of the LA-based DJ and producer’s transition into the new year: the hard work is paying off, time to hop on the wave. Indeed, 2011 saw Samo Sound Boy’s hard work blow him up into one of the biggest breakthroughs in Bass Music. Not only did he sign to Drop The Lime‘s Trouble & Bass label and release two excellent EPs (Heavy Bass Champions Of The World Vol. XIII and Shuffle Code), he formed the duo DJ Dodger Stadium and the new, much-buzzed-about Body High imprint with Jerome Potter (of LOL Boys). And to top it all off, XLR8R named his video for “Shuffle Code” the “Best Video of 2011.” Watch this man, New Philadelphians, because he is poised to take over.
I caught up with Samo to discuss his influences, LA, Trouble & Bass, the coming year for Body High, future video projects(!), and his wishes for more underground raves in the US. Check out the full interview (and goodies) below.
TNP: From what I understand, you’ve lived all around the US, and even kicked it in Argentina for a while. What started all the globe trotting?
Samo: When I was 20 enrolled in an art school down in Argentina called UMSA. I did really badly in the classes, but that’s where I got my first regular DJ gigs, at a Hip-Hop / Reggaeton club on the southend called Fugees 99. I would make 20 pesos a night, which I think equaled about 8 bucks US. It was a crazy learning experience though.
TNP: Why did you decide to settle down in LA?
Samo: I settled In LA after visiting a friend who was living out here and working as an artist assistant for Mike Kelley. I was just instantly taken with the city. Ever since it’s been highly influential on everything I’ve done creatively.
TNP: What are the biggest inspirations for your current sound? Did all the traveling effect it bit-by-bit, or did it spring fully-formed into your mind one day?
Samo: LA itself is probably my biggest inspiration as an artist, but I think I’ve grown increasingly influenced by Chicago and Detroit. I just have always been drawn to raw, bare sounds with a fair amount of space in between them. I mean, you could describe LA with those exacts same words really.
TNP: Why’d you decide to sign with Brooklyn’s Trouble & Bass? So far as I know, you’re the only T&B artist holding down the West Coast.
Samo: I decided to sign with T&B because of their dedication to what they do. Patrick [The Captain] (who manages the label) is probably one of the hardest working people in the game. I just really responded to that mindset. I have a million ideas and he and Luca [Drop The Lime] really help synthesize them and make them a reality.
TNP: How’d you and Jerome link up to form DJ Dodger Stadium and the Body High label?
Samo: Jerome and I met in LA. We formed Body High as a place to release the stuff we had made together (as DJ Dodger Stadium). It was stuff that we just didn’t want to hand over to anybody else: we wanted to carry out the vision from start to finish ourselves. Soon after we decided to self-release, we realized how many of our friends needed a better and more focused outlet for their work. It quickly became apparent that Body High was going to be about our whole crew, the people who we identified with and had been coming up with. Really just a chance to co-sign on each other instead of waiting around for that to come from somewhere else.
TNP: Who’s on deck next for Body High? Floyd Campbell, DJ Ghost Pepper, and Body High Smash all have stuff in the free pack [which you can download here]; any of them getting a release anytime soon? Have you found anyone else exciting?
Samo: The next two official Body High releases will be DJ Soulja-Man – Eski Tech and DJ Sliink – Vibrate EP. After that we have a lot more really exciting stuff too but you gotta just stay tuned.
TNP: Are we gonna get a sequel video for “Shuffle Code”? Because you, Octo, and DJ Shrimp can’t just get knocked all the way to Vegas by a tsunami and then leave us hangin’. I mean, the Skunk is still out there somewhere, scheming on the Shuffle Code. Can’t trust that dude.
Samo: Haha, yeah there might be a sequel to that video sometime. I’m also definitely directing something totally new but it’s a bit too early to give too many details. It’ll be live action though.
TNP: Speaking of “Shuffle Code,” what’s up with Octo and DJ Shrimp? What’s their story?
Samo: They were just charactersI made up based on paintings on the the side of a Mexican butcher/seafood shop off Slauson Ave. in LA.
TNP: Where do you envision yourself, DJ Dodger Stadium, and Body High going next year?
Samo: In 2012 there will be a 2nd DJ Dodger Stadium EP, a new Samo Sound Boy EP, and 8-9 releases on Body High.
TNP: What artists should we be watching next year? Anyone underground you think will blow up?
Samo: Watch Floyd Campbell. He’s a new producer from Venice Beach, LA and is making some of the most interesting/original stuff I have heard in a minute. Check out his “Visions” mixtape [above] for an idea of what I mean.
TNP: How’d it feel to crowd surf to Meek Mill on New Years? Philly treat you guys well?
Samo: I love Philly. Playing there for NYE was really ideal for me. To be able to go in for a really young crowd at such a cool underground event was amazing. I was very impressed with the whole thing and actually found it pretty inspiring. The US needs more events like that. And Meek Mill is the shit. Definitely a break-out artist of 2011. I can’t wait to get back to there and pick up where we left off on NYE.