Interview: SoSuperSam – “From LA to BK”Featured, Music — By JGM Staff on July 8, 2012 at 2:19 am
I first met Samantha Duenas, aka SoSuperSam, after she opened for Childish Gambino’s surprise show at Brooklyn Bowl. Having recently moved to Williamsburg, she is quickly making a name for herself in some of New York City’s toughest (and most saturated) industries: DJ-ing, blogging, and fashion. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Sam and talk before she heads back on tour. We spoke about her musical history, working with Donald Glover, and what’s next for SoSuperSam.
Words by Brian Padilla
Photos by Mason Braswell
JGM: How did you get into DJ-ing?
SSS: One of my cousins used to manage the Beat Junkies which is a big DJ collective. He worked for Loud and Rawkus records too. I don’t know if you know but the Wu was on Loud records and Talib and Mos Def were on Rawkus. I was constantly shadowing him. I would follow him to Fat Beats and watch DJ Babu and stuff. So I’ve always been exposed to the music world.
JGM: What are your musical influences?
SSS: Star Slinger’s work– all of it. He’s a producer DJ out of the UK. I just really like how he samples. He draws off a lot of 90’s R&B and makes dope beats out of it. He’s been a big influence for me even as far as just pushing me to be producing.
JGM: When did Donald Glover enter the picture?
SSS: I met Donald over Twitter, which is kind of weird. But if you take out the social media part of it we just met over the love of music. He had tweeted a song that he was playing on repeat, and I told him I just played that song where I DJ. He tweeted at me the next day asking if I had any stuff online and at the time I had my first mixtape out. He thought it was dope and asked me to DJ his house party and I was like, “duh, yeah!”
The first time I was DJing for him I played Dirty Projectors into Lil Wayne into Mayor Hawthorne into Nas or something and he was into it all. It was harmonious. Then we did that Fat Beats thing online.
JGM: So were you there from the beginning of his musical journey?
SSS: Yeah. We were just in Paris, and he did his first European shows. He did one show in Paris and two in London, and the Paris one I was just in tears. I had a moment during his set where I was standing in one of the wings and I was just bawling. I couldn’t believe he’s now in a country that speaks English as a second language and they know all his lyrics the same way they do in Boston. To know that I was there the first show he ever did in the shittiest theater and to now be here seeing people go ape shit over him. I was just like this is incredible. It’s very special.
JGM: What’s the next move for SoSuperSam?
SSS: I’d like to start producing and also use my brand to do more personality work. I could see myself hosting things or being a spokesperson for things. I’m also trying to incorporate my singing into DJing. In the long term, I see myself doing a lot of music consulting. I’d love to be a music director for a magazine or music consultant for fashion shows and production companies. I want to always keep my hands in fashion and music.
JGM: What kind of advice would you give people interested in these fields?
SSS: This is a huge thing in anything you do– stop tweeting about it, stop talking about it, just fucking shut-up and do it. That is the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone about anything.
I’m not a religious person, but I’m really into the universe giving to you– the secret. If you keep putting yourself out there, people will come to you. You’ll get what you’re looking for. The formula for success is timing and preparation. A lot of it is timing. You want to get lucky and meet that right person who can bring you forward. But it’s also preparation. If I didn’t have that mixtape done when I met Donald, none of this would have happened. Same for Donald. He would have never thought Tina Fey would come knocking on his door but when she did he just happened to have hundreds of spec scripts ready. You constantly need to be working on your craft and sharing it.
JGM: You guys are always working.
Stream Sam’s latest mixtape below, also visit her website.