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Sammie Dishes on New Tour, New EP and Why He Doesn’t See Himself ‘Fit’ for ‘Verzuz’ Battle

2000s R&B heartthrob Sammie has been heating up stages across arenas while on “The Millennium Tour” with several of the hottest acts from back in the day, including Omarion, Ashanti, and more. Now the “I Like It” crooner is again set to hit the road with Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger as they co-headline the multi-city “Vibes on Vibes Tour” kicking off next month starting on March 11, in Atlanta, with stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and more. 

In addition to his nationwide event, Sammie is also celebrating the release of his latest EP, “Satin Sheets,” an entire project “dedicated to the sensuality of women.” Ahead of his highly anticipated project, Atlanta Black Star spoke to the award-nominated singer to discuss teaming up with Bellinger for the tour and his recent musical efforts. The “Kiss Me thru the Phone” singer also opened up about his musical career, including why he doesn’t see himself fit to compete in a “Verzuz” battle.

Atlanta Black Star: You’re co-headlining the “Vibes on Vibes” tour with Eric Bellinger. What’s inspired you two to hit the road together? 

Sammie: Eric Bellinger is my brother from another, kindred spirit. He’s somebody I’ve also been a fan of, he’s a prolific songwriter and amazing artist. We’ve done like five or six one-off shows together over our careers. And every time it’s just been a vibe, hence “Vibes on Vibes,” the title for the tour, and it’s just something that’s been that works actually before COVID hit.

So, initially, I was supposed to do “The Millennium Tour” in 2020, get off and rock with EB, but, of course, the world was on pause, but, shout-out to AVG and Live Nation for still sticking with us throughout the loops and twirls. And now it’s the perfect time to come back outside and vibe with them. 

ABS: For those eager to know, how is this tour different from the “Millennium Tour” you also performed on? 

Sammie: This one is way more intimate. You know, we were doing arenas, you know what I’m saying? 15-20,000 capacity. This one is real up close and personal. We wanna make sure we can touch the people. Even the way we’re doing our meet and greet packages — you get both of us. So it’s like a two-for-one deal.

We’re letting you into the soundcheck so you can kind of see, you know, the ins and outs, which has never been done before. It’s not your typical, just pull up, take a picture and keep it pushing. We’re gonna let you really get the vibes. You know what I’m saying? And sit with you and talk to you and let, ’em see how we put the show together. So we were just very intentional in this rollout and making sure the people could really feel connected to us. 

ABS: Being that you were one of the more veteran acts on the “Millennium Tour” roaster, have you ever found yourself stepping in as a peacemaker when conflicts would arise among other acts, like the reported feuds we’ve heard about between Bow Wow and Soulja Boy?

Sammie: You know what’s crazy? There was no true issues on this tour. To be honest, it was like entertainment. You know what I’m saying? Everyone is going to pop their sh-t a little bit, you know, ’cause, you know, you wanna bring your best foot forward, night in and night out. But truthfully, every night was a party. We was in each other’s dressing rooms, taking shots of Casamigos, laughing. You know what I mean, everybody at all times had the cameras rolling. So there was really no animosity on the tour.

I think the things that, you know, made The Shaderoom a couple of times was just us probably bored, tweeting, you know what I’m saying? And just talking sh-t and, and ultimately it just made us wanna put on for each city more and more.

So it was no drama, but I would’ve been the peacemaker if there was something, because that’s my role, you know what I’m saying? But there was no issues. Everybody had a great time, and I think we’re on it and just humbled to have had that mark in history.

ABS: What was it like reuniting with some of those artists from that era?

Sammie: You know, this tour was hands-down the highlight of my career, actually, you know what I’m saying? Because it solidified my significance for my generation. We as artists can scream for our flowers, but it’s another thing when the fans just willingly give it to you, you know what I’m saying? It was awesome to share the stage with Ashanti and Lloyd and Bow and Soulja, Omarion, Pretty Ricky, Ying Yang Twins. Like, we ran the early 2000s.

So, for the fans to come out night in and night out and flood these arenas with love, it was very nostalgic and just really refreshing, you know what I’m saying? And I’m honored and humbled to be a part of it. 

ABS: You’re celebrating the release of your newest EP, “Satin Sheets,” congratulations. You had some very intimate subject matters on there. Tell us a little about the inspiration behind this project.

Sammie: I’ve been around women my entire life. You know what I’m saying? But indulging since I was like 17, 18, so I’ll be 35 March 1st. It was just time to let that side of me out.

ABS: The musical celebration better known as “Verzuz” has seen iconic artists such as yourself go for hit for hit. Have you ever considered participating? If so, who would you see yourself going up against?   

Sammie: You know what, humbly, I’ve been independent 90 percent of my career, right. So I say that to say I have an extensive, elaborate catalog, but I never had the backing from a major like a Chris Brown or Trey Songz per se. So I don’t know if I’m fit for “Verzuz.” I know my Sammie lovers know my music, but there’s also a whole bunch of people that don’t know, you know what I’m saying?

So that’s something that if I was dealt a different hand and I wasn’t 90 percent independent, I think for sure, for sure I could stand with the best of them, but for what it is, it’s like a hype thing. And then most of the people that I’ve seen of course have always been backed and had millions and millions of dollars have invested behind them. 

Maybe a Lloyd, maybe a Mario, you know what I’m saying? Both of those are the homies, but the way my career was set up, I never had for real, for real, the major looks that some of my peers have gotten across their careers, but I’ve just had major success. So it’s a difference, you know what I’m saying? So I don’t know if that’s necessarily the platform where it would be suitable for how I run my music career.

ABS: What has been your favorite battle so far? 

Sammie: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony against Three 6 Mafia. It was the most ghettoest, beautiful, I don’t know, ratchet … It was just a concoction of high energy, you know what I’m saying? And classic. It was just very entertaining for me. It’s one of those ones that I slept on it. I wasn’t at first intrigued, and then I’m glad I tuned in. And it was, it was a lit situation. 

ABS: Before we end, what else would you like our readers to know?   

Sammie: I appreciate everybody just, just for putting their art out, but if I had to pick someone, Musiq Soulchild. I grew up on his music. I remember being in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, actually listening to “Aijuswanaseing” album. The early Musiq Soulchild era was classic, and he had hit after hit. So I’m looking forward to checking that out. 

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