Windhoek-Local music producer and musician, Samm Vataleni Niingungo, popularly known as Sam-E Lee Jones continues to make his mark on the local production scene.
Despite scooping N$ 10 000 at the Beat Auction Golden last year, a beat competition, Sam-E Lee Jones once again surprised a lot when he scooped the Best Producer award at this year’s Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) for the album Pumumu by top local singer Gazza. “I feel that this puts a big responsibility on me to show other producers that you can do anything. All you need is to work hard and study the music,” says Sam-E Lee who has been with Gazza’s stable, Gazza Music Production (GMP), whose music as a result has heavily been attributed to his midas touch. He has also produced hit songs for artists such as The Dogg, Blacksheep, Kalux, Tequila and Tswazis, which earned him a mark in the industry as one of the best producers.
Sam-E’s break came when four of the songs he produced of Money by Gazza featuring Lady May and Keko, Ayeeko by Kalux, Shuukifa Kwii by The Dogg and Xuro by Tswazis all won awards at NAMAs 2016. He started producing in 2003 due to lack of producers in his home town of Walvis Bay. And later joined GMP when he first started producing for Gazza’s album Boss. He is also the producer responsible for most of the songs on Gazza’s new album such as Can I, Swagga, Shoshela, Okatota, Sunrise and Imba. On Blacksheep albums, he produced the songs Ondakolwa, Omalodu and Ice (Just in Case). He also produced some of the hit songs for Mekox, notably Forever and Boiling Point.
Last week Sam-E released his latest single, Ma Go Lower featuring Gazza which was well received on the social media. “I see myself taking Namibian music to an international level and working with people from other countries in Africa and oversees. I also see myself releasing a number of albums that can compete on an international level,” determines he.
One of the most commercially successful producers, his journey started in 2008 with House music, during his final year of high school when he composed a mini house music mix tape with 10 instrumental pieces under the name “Sam-E Lee Jones” giving it to a few friends.
In 2009, during his first year at the University of Namibia (Unam), two of the songs from his house music mixtape, In the light and Here we go, became popular and was on heavy rotation on most of the local radio stations. This would be his first, but certainly not last, taste of having a number one song.
In 2011 Sam-E’s beats caught the ear of Namibian artist Gazza who was working on his seventh album, Boss. He ended up producing three tracks on the album, including the song Boss the title, as well as top hit song Gazzat which featuring South African sensation, E’Lvovo. Since he has been producing songs for every one of Gazza’s albums thereafter. In 2013, the song Tufike Apa he produced for Gazza’s Blood Sweat & Tears album became the first Namibian music video to feature on TraceTV. And since there’s has been no way to stop him.