Sam Lex is a Florida born and raised musician who excels at producing melodic, emotionally charged, lo-fi style hip-hop. His newest release, “Let’s go,” is a great place to begin exploring his discography. Sam’s musical inclination started early on in his childhood, during which he performed at countless restaurants in Florida. Since then, he has been fine-tuning his sound, which is largely influenced by the musicians he grew up listening to and the ones he surrounds himself with today. Amidst this pandemic, Sam has been working diligently to create more great content and connect with his fans. If it’s upbeat, catchy tunes or kickback, mellow sounds you’re looking for, Sam Lex has got you covered.
How long have you been making music?
Sam: I’ve been making music since I was super young. My dad played guitar for me when I was super young, going all the way back to when I was a baby. Whenever I would cry and be fussing, my parents would rock me on the ground and dad would jam guitar super loud. I would always just shut up, and I feel like that kind of did something to me. When I turned four, my dad got me my first guitar, and it started there. I took some guitar lessons in early elementary school and learned a lot on YouTube throughout middle school and started writing my own songs. Then one thing grew into the next. I started recording with some of my friends and putting music out. I eventually was just like, wow, this is definitely something I want to do. I created my brand, and here we are several years later.
When you started playing guitar, what kind of songs were you playing? Were you influenced by what your dad was listening to and playing?
Sam: Yes, for sure. I’ve been all over the spectrum of the types of music I like, and the guitar really opened up the first door for me to fall in love with some artists. Bands like Green Day and Sum 41 and John Mayer. Then it grew and developed. I had different phases throughout middle and high school where I liked three days grace, more Emo Rock type stuff like Lincoln Park was really cool. I always had a love for hip hop as well.
What do you listen to now?
Sam: Honestly, I’ve been on a completely different sound lately. As I said, I’m always going through different phases, and I’m really just a guy who loves all good music. Right now, what I’m listening to when I wake up or get in the car is a lot of up in-coming artists. Many people are out there trying to grind and get it for themselves in LA, many of my friends, to be honest with you. Everybody that I feel like is right where I’m at, that’s budding into something new and beautiful is what I have my eye on right now. As far as bigger people that you might know, I love Trevor Daniel and Post Malone. I still listen to all the Mac Miller stuff and everything new as it comes out. I always take some time to digest it. I like the new hip hop albums and stuff. I’ll listen to it all, but I’m not really big on any other radio music.
I also have like a couple of playlists that I keep on hand. I have a playlist called songs that made me who I am, and that playlist is on Spotify. It just consists of all the organic stuff that I feel like is what I used to listen to when I rode around in the car with my parents, what they had on.
How would you describe the music that you make?
Sam: Right now, I’m in a huge transition. At the beginning of it dropped my single “Let’s Go,” which was a really big record for me. A super meaningful song that was a really chill hip hop, almost low-fi type vibe. It also tells a story. I would describe that as feel-good hip hop. Just a really feel-good positive song. Right now, I’m going down a rabbit hole of- I don’t want to say sad love songs, but really emotionally embedded songs. The best way to describe it would be songs on the emotional side, that feel more exposed and very melodic.
Absolutely that’s great. Did you start that transition during like quarantine, or is that older or that started before?
Sam: Good question. Honestly, I’ve always really liked more sad music. I don’t really know why. I always was really attracted to emotional songs. Growing up, I always listened to Lincoln Park; they have a lot of songs about being numb and reflecting on life. Emotionally heavy stuff. I don’t know how I got into it, to be honest with you. I always just had a knack for writing that kind of music. I’ve recently tapped into it just because many of my friends on the production side are riding this new wave of an almost alternative rock field.
Every song has a guitar in it, the 808, the trap drums. Different from typical pop music today, not pop, pop, but the trap drums, ticks, and stuff. It’s a trend right now. A ton of artists are coming out with this kind of music. I just kind of found myself on that route with a group of them. A bunch of talented people who were putting together really good production. I’ve just been writing and really finding my tone and my sound within it. I’m pretty excited about it
I’m also really excited about this next round of new music that we’re about to put out. I’m excited about development and change. I was releasing new music every Friday for about eight weeks, and it was just crazy to see people tune in; it really does grow on itself. People really discover one song, and they stick around for the next, and then it’s a snowball effect. It is really cool to see people reach out. It’s really cool to see people actually connect with something you make and then continue listening to it and vibing. It’s powerful.
How much has your family been involved in your music-making and all of that?
Sam: Well, good question. Honestly, my mom has always been super supportive. When I was younger, she put me on last-second gigs to jam out at local spots. When we lived in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island, we used to go to this Tiki bar, like every weekend, that was our thing. I was probably about nine or ten at the time. She became friends with the guys who played in a band, and she would ask them if I could play. Randomly she would be like, “Hey, my son plays guitar. Like maybe as you guys take a break later, he could come up and just like jam a song for the crowd really quick?” I would get up there and jam out for the crowd, whether it would be like a quick, just one number, or a little jam session. It just became my thing. Everywhere we would go, we’d at least try. Sometimes people would say no, but the majority would be really cool. I played at like the Hard Rock Hotel once. Once at Tiki hearts, Dexter’s, which is a super high-class restaurant.
It was just hilarious to see how many places you could get in if you just asked. That was like a really cool thing that my mom did. She got me in front of people and gave me the encouragement and experience. Then from there, my mom has always just been like super supportive of it. My dad is a college professor, so he has always been super supportive of it, but I will say he’s on the more realistic side. He’s aware that many musicians don’t make a lot of money, but he’s always very encouraging.
A quick story, in 2018, I did my first headline show at Guild nightclub. This is a really big club in the Orlando area.
It used to be called Roxy. Most everybody around here knows about it. I rented out the whole club and reached out to the manager. I was like, “I want to rent your club. How much for a Saturday night?” They gave me a great price, and I ran the whole club on a Saturday from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM like it was mine. I hired a DJ, a host, and we did the light set rehearsal. We got four openers and did a promotion with them and a giant competition for ticket sales. We ended up selling 271 tickets.
It was really crowded in there, and we just blew it up. It was an awesome show because everybody had rehearsed. I played my guitar live and did a whole set. My whole family had come. My grandparents came down too, everybody. At that moment, I felt like my dad had a wow moment. You know, he was like, Holy crap. Music really is a business. If you want to make it into a career, you have to monetize and understand how to turn profits. Connecting with your fans is the number one part of that. I feel like at that moment, he was just like, that was awesome. Ever since then, he’s been on board. It’s been really good. Both my parents have been super supportive.
Since you had so much experience while growing up, your mom putting you on stages and such, do you get stage fright now?
Sam: I don’t know if it’s stage fright. I definitely get nervous. I don’t feel nervous about getting in front of people, I get nervous because I want to give my absolute best. Anytime I know I have something coming up, I will think about it every night before I go to sleep. I’ll really think about exactly how it’s going to look. For the most part, I try to envision how everything will go beforehand, just because I really want to give the best to me. I’ll overthink the heck out of it, to the point where I’m not even nervous anymore.
What is your favorite song to perform?
Sam: A lot of my favorite songs I haven’t had the opportunity to perform yet. I have performed a lot of my older stuff, but I’m really excited about performing all the newer releases.
My songs “Sorry,” “Drunk,” and “Real Friends.” They’re three of my biggest songs right now. “All a game” is one of my most trending songs right now, and I haven’t even had an opportunity to perform it.
Now and then, I’ll go on Instagram live and tear it up. People love that. I have a lot of fun with that. It’s another opportunity to connect with people. I’m really excited personally about this new batch of music I’m currently working on. I have a ton of music. I’m taking my time to be very selective and pick out some content that I can build around and develop some videos.
Are you making any tentative tour plans?
Sam: Right now? I’m more so focused on the music aspect of things and growing my online presence. It’s just been huge for me to gain fans. I have an opportunity; a new way to connect with my fans is to text message me, which is so cool. I have been having loads and loads of people texting me-.
I wanted to ask you about that. You have your cell phone number posted on all your social media. What’s that like?
Sam: It’s awesome. Basically, it’s an extra number that I can use particularly to connect with my fans. It’s just for that. It allows me to talk with them one on one. Some of the stories they have shared with me really inspire me to keep creating. I love making music, and regardless of what happens, I’ll never stop because it’s my passion. I love it. That being said, it’s very reassuring when people are reaching out and saying they really connected with a particular song or lyric.
Do you try and keep up with all of the texts, or does it get overwhelming?
Sam: I do. I really do. Like I told you to text me. You can text it if you’re in the UK, Germany, or the United States. It’s really cool to see people from all over reach out.
You have a bunch of music videos out. Do you have a main person that makes music videos with you? Are they all made by the same person?
Sam: I do. Kyle Loftus is an amazing director. He is right here in Orlando lives 10 minutes up the street from me. We’ve become best friends through this industry. I worked with a few other people. My friend Lars is great, but Kyle has done the majority of my videos. As I said, he’s my neighbor. However, he discovered me through Gary V, who is a huge motivational business speaker. He’s a social media personality who used one of my songs in a video. I guess Kyle watches him religiously. He actually discovered my song through a vlog that Gary V had used.
“I Promise” is the first one we filmed together, a highly emotional song. It was basically a letter I wrote to one of my friends who went through one of his life’s worst times.
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