SoloSam prepares to love himself for 2018


Photo Courtesy SoloSam MGMT

SoloSam will be performing February 23 at Emporium, on 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Working on dual projects for 2018, -Itis and Egocentrism, SoloSam has been busy taking up the creative burden of handling his own production while providing the lyrics and performance. SoloSam, also known as Samuel Akainyah III, is a Chicago native who currently resides in Wicker Park and also works as a glass blower while working on his music. 

Recording with Banks The Genius at Glass Tree, a Chicago-based studio, SoloSam is careful to cultivate a sound true to himself and his complex thoughts.

To preview what is to come for SoloSam during the new year and find out where he came from, The Chronicle sat down with Solo to discuss his influences in rap and production and the thought processes behind his new work.

THE CHRONICLE: Your upcoming project -Itis is supposed to drop this year; what is the concept behind this new body of work? 

SOLOSAM: That’s going to be a variety project of my own self-produced work, so it’s a mix of putting it out there to solidify myself not only as a rapper but as a producer, while creating the type of music I love to create. 

What about Egocentrism, what’s the story behind that?

[Egocentrism]  is still in the process of being created and is a project that’s more focused on self-love and mental health. The idea came about last year with a year of me taking away something really important to the SoloSam identity, which is individuality and focusing on yourself. I saw it really take a toll on my mental health and I realized as selfish as it was, focusing on my own mental health and well-being is important and vital for me to be there for myself but also for other people. That idea of egocentrism, focusing on one’s self, seeing yourself as the focus of the universe can sometimes not be a bad thing. 

Why have you started to produce your own music?

It came from me having writer’s block just because a lot of my projects, like if one had five songs, three would hit and two wouldn’t and that’s from the mere fact that I wasn’t creating the type of music that I needed to. I was realizing that I had to start creating music to make music. By doing that, I was able to solidify a real sound for myself to kind of translate my thinking. 

Who do you look to as an influence for your production?

It would come from a mix of 9th Wonder, Dilla and I guess I’d say J. Cole. I like to combine that old sound with the more relevant production of today.

When did you decide you wanted to write rap?

I remember in the 8th grade I used to make up these dumbass songs to annoy the teachers. It would just be songs talking about the bad stuff me and my friends used to do during the day, like make fun of teachers, and I would just make them up and rap them, kind of like a recap of the school day. I remember Lil Wayne, he was the man, the Drought mixtapes, The Carters, that’s a person who inspires me a lot. 

When and where is  your next show?

It’s with my guy Ajani Jones Feb. 23 at Emporium, [1366 N. Milwaukee Ave.] i’m excited for that one, it’ll be in Wicker Park.