Fueled by an unstoppable passion, Sammie Poitier, known in the music world as Sammi Starr, is reaping the fruits of his labour and proving that perseverance has its rewards.
The proud Bahamian singer, songwriter and producer is racking up a number of first under his belt this year having released his latest single, Second Time Round, directed by Lavado Stubbs/Conch Boy Films, via social media in April, signed with Sony Music Entertainment and welcomed his son in May and won the Bahamian Icon Award in the Music category in July.
Starr has written and produced between 70 and100 songs and in 2015, he was named Music Master Champion in the first ever Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Song Competition. Along with a $20,000 grand prize was the contract he signed with Sony Music Latin Division, which materialized in May of this year.
“That is the Sony that covers America and Canada and that segment of the world. Sony Latin is what BahaMen are signed under. So right now we’re predominantly in this area until things blow up,” said Starr.
For Starr, signing with Sony means he has officially been given the opportunity to be showcased to the world. Like any recording artist, producer or songwriter, the all-time goal is to be recognized by a major label and marketed by their machinery in order to make it to the world stage.
“I could be wrong, but I believe that for the average individual who hears or sees that I am signing a contract with the Sony Music Group they see it as an automatic transformation from regular guy to superstar and that’s actually not the case,” said Starr. “People are kind of looking at it almost like if someone gets drafted into the NBA where they are automatically rich because you know they are going to get a million-dollar contract and then they are automatically famous because they are going to be playing in the NBA right away. A record contract is almost completely different, unless an individual is already a superstar when they sign
“With a record deal, they basically just open the door and give you a car to drive and say drive through. It’s up to you to determine how fast you drive through that door, whether the lights are on or not… it’s up to you to come up with the hit music. You’ve got to work, you’ve got to be passionate, you’ve got to stay the course and be focused.”
Starr is in talks with a Los Angeles manager who has worked with superstars such as KC and JoJo, N-Sync, Jon B and other talented artists, but he has yet to sign with a management label.
With BahaMen being a world renown group, Poitier is elated to be signed under the same recording label and is even more excited about his future.
“I think it’s awesome. You see the exposure that they have had; they’re all over. So to be on the same label is amazing to me. I am looking forward to it.”
For Starr, family is everything and he credits his passion and successes to his parents who are also musically inclined – his father, who plays just about every instrument from the horn, to the drums, piano and bass, to his mother who is a song bird.
The second of four children, Starr remembers growing up with his sisters and playing music and singing in church. Now a husband and father of three, Starr is quick to point out that family is more important than music.
“I do all of this for them, so we can be able to live where we want to live and work on what beach we want to walk on. Travel wherever we want to travel. Just love and live life. That is key for me.”
So what’s next for the rising Starr? He is eager to find out. In the meantime, he’ll stay true to his passion.