Connecting The Dots with Sammye Scott

Photo by Chris House

Level Up Atlanta keeps their foot on the gas as they continue hosting the stapled conversation event series Connecting the Dots. The monthly event serves as a live conversation designed to push education within the creative community of Atlanta. For June, the organization featured Spelman alumni, talent manager and Atlantic Records A&R Sammye Scott.

The conversation was moderated by media personality and entertainment host Anisa Brenee. The two touched on Sammye's time at Spelman College, working alongside Bu and Akon as the Operational Manager for Bu Vision, becoming an A&R at Atlantic Records, and much more.

"This game is competitive but you have to learn to never second guess yourself and trust your gut instinct"

The night started off swimmingly with an open bar sponsored by Deep Eddy Vodka. I'll go out on a limb and say the drink of the night was the "EntrepreneuHer" themed at the moderator. After getting the blood flowing at the bar and jamming out to the sounds of DJ Unruely the networking as in full effect. The room was full of journalist, musicians, media personalities, managers, lawyers, photographers, creative directors you name it.

Photo by Chris House

To put the icing on the cake, there was a photo booth for all to enjoy. Everyone got to take home prints for memorabilia as well. Everyone found their place of comfort at Adonis Thrax (Founder, Level Up Atlanta) took the stage and shared more about the company's purpose. After his spiel he recounted his earliest memory of Sammye and soon after introduced Anisa Brenee to begin the conversation.

"I don't need to tell you that I've been in certain rooms or the caliber of people I've been around. I just let my work speak for itself"

It was a pleasure to see two young women share personal antidotes they have with one another and ultimately be mutual encouragements for the other. We got to know a lot about Sammye in such a short amount of time. The Conversation touched on Sammye’s early days at Spelman College, working alongside Bu and Akon as the Operational Manager for Bu Vision, becoming an A&R at Atlantic Records, media and label presence in Atlanta and much more.

Photo by Chris House

Photo by Chris House

Read below to check out some of the top moments from the conversation with Sammye Scott and Anisa Brenee:

Ok so going back you started in this entertainment industry managing people and now you are an A&R at Atlantic Records...what does that feel like? Is it a whirlwind?

Sammye: It’s a little insane honestly. I put in a lot of hard work. I can start off by telling my story I guess. For those of you who don’t know, I’m from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I moved to Atlanta when I was about 17 to go to Spelman College. While I was in school I got an internship at a radio station and meet a lot of people, however while being in school doing all that it was just a lot so I had to refocus.

After doing that I finished up at Spelman and go an internship at artist factory. One day my Spelmen sister posted on Facebook that she was looking for someone to replace her at a studio working with Akon & Bu. I sent her my resume and she interviewed me and then hired me and I started working there.

After being there for a few months she saw a lot of potential in me and moved me up to executive assistant for Bu and then studio manger and then operational manager. From there things just started falling into my lap. I began working with Blue Alley Touring Agency [K Michelle + Jacob Latimore + Yo Gotti]. From there I started working with Family Ties Entertainment with JR (found K Camp and Marissa).

Marissa is an R&B artist who I currently manage. Also, this is an important part, when I was working at the studio doing 14-15 hours days I was working side jobs because the studio wasn’t paying my bills by any means. I also started managing some producers called “The Culture”. I have a business partner who told me Atlantic is looking to empower a I went over there and did what I had to do and they offer me a job and here I am today.

Photo by Chris House

How do you feel all those different positions have prepared you for where you are now?

Sammye: I look at anything that I do as an experience and a lesson. If I’m not learning something from it, whether it be good or bad, that’s self reflection that I need to do myself because you can’t look at a situation going bad as a failure or a situation that you encounter and that you’re in is a win. It’s what you make out of it.

Most people are so focused on the negative of “it didn’t work out how I wanted it to” worked out just how it was supposed to because God put it in place like that. He presents obstacles in front of us for a reason and everything is process but we are still concerned what the next person is doing and social media. Take that energy and put it into your own goals with tunnel vision and you’ll be good.

Photo by Chris House

So explain what does A&R stand for and what exactly it is that you do being an A&R now?

Sammye: So A&R stands for Artist & Reporitore. I feel that there are a variation of A&R’s. I’m the type of A&R that likes being in the room, being a part of the creative process and putting the right songwriters and producers together. It’s really a formula to it. Just because you have 3 songwriters in the room together doesn’t mean that it was radom. One person might be better a melodies, one person might be better at writing and one person might be better at delivering the song because deliverty is key when sending it off to get placed.

I’m that type of A&R that likes to connect with the creative but there are also A&R’s that have the relationships and the network to put certain people together. Everyone has their own niche. I like to go to showcase and meet people, I like to check out what’s on soundcloud and see what’s happening on Edgewood and connect with people.

Photo by Chris House

Sammye what is your take on media/radio in Atlanta and do you think it’s still important?

Sammye: Absolutely! It’s super important. You’re going to always need radio. No matter how much streaming has become prominent you’re going to always need radio. I think it is very important to have those outlets here, as well as labels. All the talent is here. Shout out to Isaac Hayes, he’s been very vocal about it.

Photo by Chris House

You know you’re one of the people who helps give me perspective when I feel that I’m behind the 8 ball when I see people with 100’s of thousands of followers get the job and not the person who is more talented...

Sammye: You’re right, and I myself am just not into social media because I’ve always been behind the scenes. I don’t need to tell you that I’ve been in certain rooms or the caliber of people I’ve been around I just let my work speak for itself. Everyone just moves different.

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