When R&B singer Sammie dropped a new album, Everlasting, last week, many thought that this was the singer’s long-awaited return, but it isn’t. Sammie has remained busy creating mixtapes and hit singles, such as “Kiss Me Through The Phone,” even after an ex-manager emptied out his bank account, he revealed.
The singer, who celebrated his 32nd birthday earlier this month, told ESSENCE that he decided to return to music after finishing his senior year of high school. But the singer started to feel a disconnect after graduation, and things suddenly took a turn for the worst thanks to his then-manager.
RELATED: What We're Listening To: Solange's New Album, 'When I Get Home,' Is Exactly What We Needed
RELATED: Viva Las Vegas! Janet Jackson Announces New Sin City Residency
“You know, you just hear those stories where one day they take everything? That legit happened,” he said. “He had access to my personal account, my credit card, co-signed on my Benz. There was a day where I had nothing in my account.”
His ex-manager gave him an ultimatum: return and work with me and you’ll get everything back or else. So, Sammie decided to take a chance on his own.
RELATED: T.I. And Tiny's 'Family Hustle' On Hold After Rapper's Sister Hospitalized
“I said, ‘Good luck. I’m not going back. I can’t sell my soul for success, or fame, or fortune,'” Sammie recalled, noting that it was not only hard to deal with this betrayal financially but emotionally since he had known his manager since he was 12 years old. “So, he was like a big brother to me.”
“When I moved to Atlanta, I didn’t have family,” the singer continued. “I’m from Florida. When I moved to Atlanta, I was staying with him. So, I got my Benz. I didn’t have a lot of credit at the age of 18, he co-signed. Need an American Express Card with a $25,000 limit? [He] would be the primary account holder to make sure I’m not splurging.”
Sammie revealed that the financial strain on him resulted in “some dark days” and eventually him doing concerts so he could at least live “check to check.”
Still, Sammie pushed through, making appearances on late night TV and later getting a deal with Interscope that, unfortunately, fell through.
“I never came out under that umbrella because they found out there was this crazy guy that was having a hard time letting me go,” he said, referring to his ex-manager. “They don’t want to sign an act that already has these issues.”
So the singer turned to songwriting, penning hits for Tank—who he refers to as his big brother—and ghostwriting for other performers until one day he found viral success thanks to The Shade Room.
“The Shade Room posted me, and 4,000,000 views later, everybody starts reaching out saying, ‘Oh, I remember Sammie. You got a deal? You got a manager? What are you doing?'”
But the singer wasn’t interested in giving up his independence, deciding instead to partner with Empre . Now, following the 2016 release of Indigo, Sammie has arrived with a new album that gets back to his R&B roots.
“I’ve already been through the worst that you could go through. I’ve already lost a car. I already saw my credit go from a 780 to a Lord knows what,” he said. “All this while taking care of my sister, helping my mom, and still helping my pops.”
“When I think about how I was still sustaining back then, it’s funny, because now I know it was just God,” Sammie said. “How was I making this amount of money stretch while doing this, while I never lost my home? You know what I mean? I wasn’t living freely as I was accustomed to, but I got everything back tenfold.”
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!