Sammy Wilk has records for every emotion you go through in life. Going through a breakup? Stream “Options.” Going through a tough time? Stream “Help Me.” Trying to turn up? Stream “Lift Off” or “Killer.”
All these songs can be found on his most recent EP titled Keep It In The Middle. With over 1.7M followers on Instagram alone, the singer-songwriter has dedicated his night and day to his music — spending the majority of the day in the studio. If not that, he’s with friends and family.
AllHipHop spoke with the 23-year-old about his new team, best encounter with fans, and favorite Drake song.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Sammy Wilk?
Sammy Wilk: Sammy Wilk is a kid from Omaha, Nebraska. Grew up an athlete, found out when I was a senior in high school I could write music. I moved to LA in 2015, writing music, going on tours, and evolving as a human being. Trying to learn and love, and enjoy myself while I do it. That’s who Sammy Wilk is.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Sammy Wilk: Once people really started to resonate with what I was saying and enjoying the s##t I was doing, it helps. You should really know yourself, that's what I'm learning more and more. It's got to be a self-driven situation. Once I really found my groove being the studio. It's sometimes hard to get what you have in your head out and vocalize it. Once I figured out how to share my emotions and experiences in a way I was pleased with at the end of the song or project (whatever it is), that's when I knew that “I know what I'm doing and this is the s##t I’m supposed to be doing.”
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Sammy Wilk: My real name’s Sam Wilkinson. Sammy Wilk happened very organically. People called me Sammy Wilk in high school, people called me Wilko. I was actually thinking about changing my name for this new music.
AllHipHop: Oh, really?
Sammy Wilk: Yeah, I was gonna change it. I had some ideas but at the end of the day, Sammy Wilk is the most authentic to me. Hopefully it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass. Sammy Wilk is cool for what it is.
AllHipHop: You took a 2.5 year hiatus, what happened then?
Sammy Wilk: I was just writing a f##kload. Going to New York and LA back and forth, working with different producers. Writing, trying to get my sound to the point of what I really wanted it to be at the moment. It took a long time. I was trying to get my team together. I never had a team growing up, so I recently got a manager and a production deal.
AllHipHop: Dope! With who?
Sammy Wilk: I got a deal with a production with KSR who’s with Shaft, who did Cardi B going up. He did Cardi B from start until recently. Then my managers, Mike and Alan Nazzaro, they’re just the s##t. I got introduced to them through my agent over at CAA. It’s a very cohesive group of people that I really rock with not only on a work level, but on a friendship level.
AllHipHop: Who’s your agent at CAA?
Sammy Wilk: Mark Cheatham.
AllHipHop: He’s one of the biggest ones.
Sammy Wilk: Yeah, he's a good dude.
AllHipHop: Did he book all of your tours and stuff?
Sammy Wilk: No, I just recently signed Mark in the past 6 months. We're still getting things moving forward.
AllHipHop: What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Sammy Wilk: Encounters with fans are always shocking because I can't believe they love me so much. They can shake and cry. I still have one where this chick really seized up and hit the ground. I had to pick her up and set her down on the couch. It's tough for me. Every fan experience is crazy because they’re at a loss for words. I’m like “I can't believe you love you so much.” Fan experiences are gonna forever be wild to me.
AllHipHop: Most played artist on your phone?
Sammy Wilk: Drake, he doesn’t miss. I got some J. Cole on there. We were listening to that new Kehlani record on the way here. I'm all over the place. I'm listening to all my old reggae stuff like Iration and Rebelution. But right now, I’m listening to Sammy Wilk.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite Drake song?
Sammy Wilk: The “No Guidance” record right now. I love the Take Care album, Views, etc.