Chelsea Samuel, better known as Sammy Approved and widely known personality, creator, manager, host, and overall entertainment maven gracefully has a hand in all pots from radio to underground music. You can find her in a number of places, but mostly, you can find her working. Emerging in a strong wave of female force, Sammy Approved sets a standard for young women to look to entertainment. This is undoubtedly the beginning of a very withstanding, impactful career in media and entertainment. Even aside from her professional accolades, Chelsea has the charm and kindness reserved only for the genuine. Hence, why she was chosen for the first of our ADMIRERS series, a look into the individuals behind the most influential artists and professional brands of our generation.
Follow closely as we interview Chelsea, a.k.a. Sammy Approved, to find out more about her upbringing, influences, and latest projects on her path in entertainment media.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are currently? Chelsea Samuel of Sammy Approved & I specialize in content creation in entertainment. Currently in promotions at V103, host for Patchwerk Recording Studios IDoMusic and co-manager to artist King J (@whatjordanraps - you find his latest project here.)
Tell us about your hometown and how (or if) it has impacted you. Atlanta - OMG Yes! Literally why I started creating a lot of content for the city. Atlanta is a really special place full of culture and black excellence. This city has shaped the way I move in all aspects of my life from the way I create to the way I carry myself. Honestly one of the few places where you see so many black voices of influence. We have such raw and unique talent that I sometimes ask myself "Is it in the water?" You ever wonder why so much talent comes from Atlanta in music and entertainment. I use my experiences here to preserve our culture as many people continue to migrate into what we've built over the years. I welcome all of those individuals especially in the music space who now call Atlanta home but let us all work to preserve the authenticity of this city while embracing the expansion.
Who or what influences you? Life influences me. Be it a record I discover, a couple walking through the airport, or trying a new food spot life influences how we create. Try this: take a walk outside and embrace your surroundings instead of looking at your phone. What do you see and how does it make you feel.
Tell me about your personal relationship with music growing up. Music surrounded me as a child. My mom and her sisters would often call themselves The Clark Sisters singing "Livin" at every Christmas dinner. My older siblings certainly influenced my taste in music as a child. My sister's huge catalogue of music exposed me to anything from Outkast to Queen. While my brother put me onto the best rock music and deep Project Pat cuts. My dad even had us road trip from Sacramento to Vegas listening to the sounds of Mary J Blige and Whodini's Greatest Hits. My big sister opened my eyes to music performance as early as 4th grade when I picked up the clarinet and I haven't put music down since.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work? Telling people's stories is the most rewarding part of my job. Unfortunately, a lot of talented people's stories go untold. I meet so many creatives that my mission is to highlight and share their journeys with as many people as possible. We have to give people their roses while they're here and I am happy to make content that does just that.
What project were you most proud of? I am really proud of many of my earlier projects in high school and college be it editorial or short films I created with my close friend Kristen. I would have to say to date, one of my favorite projects is the Late Night Show with Sammy Approved. I am currently in production for the second season and we have worked really hard to make improvements since the pilot was released last fall. I am so fortunate to have so many talented people in my life - all of whom I call my friends. Jeremiah (@jeremiahlikethebible) and Kayla (@kaylove.creates) both helped me produce this show and without the support of my friends and loved ones the show would not have seen the light of day. I am beyond grateful for creative collaborations with loved ones. It's definitely the most rewarding. Check out Season 1 of LNS with Sammy Approved and please hang tight for the next season. https://youtu.be/-mfeW3uHQiA
While devling into the SammyApproved youtube files, you will be an assorment of interviews, shows, and coverage she has provided to artists and creators from all over. Sammy’s most prized possession, her Late Night Show, has had 4 masterfully entertaining episodes. In each, Sammy seemlessly covers everything from new featured music releases to her specialty segments like The Roundtable. Between episodes of the LNS, you can catch her coverage of the A3C, ONE Musicfest, Who’s Who ATL, and so much more. She’s even has a second series on her channel called #UPNEXT from her time in Washington D.C. featuring her interviews with emerging artists and producers, such as Manny Wellz (@mannywellz) and Nick Tesla (@nickelus). Her work in content creation doesn’t stop there, she now hosts the #IdoMUSIC podcast which features veteran artists, producers, and industry executives, such as Ian Burke (@Official_IanBurke) and DJ MLK (@djmlk), which you can find on The Patchwerk Recording Studios YouTube Channel .
What is one misconception people have about your industry? There is no such thing as an overnight sensation. This shit doesn't happen overnight for anyone. No matter what it looks like on the outside, trust me it takes time. Those artists or people you see on the internet with exponential growth may not have the same longevity as someone who perfects their craft and takes their time! I'd rather it take me 10 years to reach success and create a legacy that will last for a lifetime vs 10 months to reach success for only a moment in time.
Describe to us your first “big break”. My first big break was definitely given to me by Patchwerk Recording Studios owner Curtis Daniel. My first industry job was at the studio as an administrative assistant. I learned how to be a leader, the foundation of running a solid business and building a network of music industry professionals. Not only did I win big then, but I was also given the opportunity to host several events at the studio which later led to me hosting the I Do Music podcast for Patchwerk. This podcast has been a major part in my growth as a personality and given me a platform to do what I love most (highlight the journeys of others). The podcast is available anywhere you can consume podcasts and now we can be found on Spotify as well! God is good.