Young British-Nigerian rapper, Sammie Cash, is on a mission to introduce trap music, a subgenre of the American hip-hop music that gained prominence in the 2010s. He calls his own afro-trap, a blend of afrobeat and trap.
"Most of the music Nigerians are listening to right now are trap music from overseas. We are not yet open to having afro-trap music, why is that? We can have such sounds. Everyone cannot be an afrobeat artiste," he argues in a recent chat.
For the young artiste born in London to Nigerian parents, trap is more than a sound. It is a lifestyle.
"There was a time I was down, but I got back up, saved some money, and released a record. That was trap. Because I have been down and back up. It's an expression of self."
Cash love for music started when he was still a toddler. Raised in America, he found music as a way of expressing his emotions. Since then, be hasn't regretted his decision to make a career out of music. Raised by musically inclined parents, his taste in music is eclectic and is inspired by music rap legends like 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., the late Nigerian rapper Dagrin, Drake, among others. He recently signed to Naptown Records, Nigeria where he released his debut EP 'Paid Attention'.
It is his first project since 12 years.
"I've been in artiste development for 12 years now. And now that I've done my first EP, it's like a transition. I'm expressing my transition, that it is okay to take the time and no matter where you find yourself, that everybody has his own level. What goes up, comes down; what goes down, comes up. So we have a circle of life."
'Paid Attention' is laced with similar messages of hope and redemption where he advises his listeners to stay in tune with what is happening around them and focus on their goal. But what really excites the artiste is his ability to blend different sounds in the EP.
"It's a wonderful mixture of different sounds which shows my openness to my culture from different sides. I didn't just make afrobeat, trap, or UK grime. but I put a mixture of everything. The six hard tracks were different sounds from different vibes. So, my first body of work, I am really happy that I was allowed to express myself however I wanted to."
Cash is optimistic that afro-trap will be accepted in Nigeria, even if it will be a gradual process.
"I love all genres of music but I feel like there's a particular sound that's more allowed and appreciated than others. That's because it hasn't been accepted. If we get rappers and artistes to push that sound, that lifestyle, there's no way but to accept it because the people that are following us are not hiding. They're everywhere," he argued.