Seafood Sam is the West Coast rapper tired of the West Coast drama. Since the release of his debut EP, Durag Dreams, we have been blessed with a string of releases which blend a sun-tinged nostalgia for the land that birthed hip-hop greats such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur with an eclectic future-looking genre-blurring sound.
His most recent EP, Afros In The Wind, explores themes of fatherhood, freedom and family, which have all been formative in his creative path. The Long Beach rapper is anxious to get out on the road and share his unique sound with more of the world, but in the meantime, you can find him at the roller rink, sharing his knowledge with his son getting deep into movies and documentaries. With a new album dropping in April, we caught up with Seafood Sam to talk about being a dad, Long Beach, and pressure flips.
Hey Sam, how has 2024 been so far?
Amazing, the official single is out and doing well, my family is healthy, and my album is about to drop… I can’t complain about anything.
Your music feels like a blend of classic West Coast hip-hop with R&B, Jazz and Neo Soul. What or who inspires you musically?
What influences you outside of music?
Movies (biopics) or documentaries. Anything showing what an artist had to do to make it. Examples: The Gospel According to André, Selena, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Cadillac Records, 8 Mile, The New Edition Story, Unsung/Behind the music (any artist), Lords of Dogtown etc.
Your new album will be released later this year. How does it feel to release this body of work?
Honestly a relief from hearing all the chit-chat about the current state that West Coast rap is in, I’ve been anxiously waiting to drop this bomb, so I can represent.
What is a typical day like when you’re working on an album?
I’m never not working on something. So, with being consistent, an album or EP could pop out of the blue.
Do you prefer touring or time spent in the studio?
I’ve performed overseas a few times but haven’t officially toured, so I’m going to say tour cause I haven’t yet. But, of course, I love the whole process of creating.
You prefer to keep your real name a secret? Why is this?
No, I wouldn’t call it a secret, but the great Suga Free once said: “How you gonna blame mine? Dajuan and Suga Free the same person, but you will never catch me and him in the same room at the same time.”
And how did you come up with Seafood Sam?
It was supposed to be “Shifu” cause my lil bro (R.I.P.) real name was Master, but joking around with homies “seafood” was said, and I stuck with it.
You have previously said that your music made your dad want to rap, and in your video for “Saylo” features your son. How important is family to you?
Super important… a good portion of my music is connected to my family in some kind of way. From releasing on a cousin’s birthday or grandparent’s death days to creating a story using my uncle as one of the characters or simply retelling an old story from my [mum or dad’s] upbringing but doing it in my way.
Has having a child changed the way you approach music?
Yes, having a son made me more conscious [of] what I’m talking about. A lot of people find guidance through music, so when he gets older, I want him to listen and gain some sort of knowledge & inspiration.
Would you say that skateboarding has influenced your music career in any way? The two are quite creative disciplines.
Well..now you can find me at the skating rink gliding across the floor. But I definitely grew up skateboarding and was heavily influenced by Pharrell, TK & the whole Ice Cream skate team…I will forever know how to pressure flip.
Long Beach is known for its vibrant and historic hip-hop scene. Is this something that you look to when creating your own music?
Definitely, like I said before. I grab inspiration from all over, Sublime to the Eastsidaz.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to share? Any words of wisdom to share with our readers?
Standing on Giant Shoulders is out April 19, 2024, and as for “words of wisdom,” it’s all on the album, so pre-order now.
Main image credit: Seafood Sam ©
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