People You Should Know: Samarei

I had to take a break last week to catch up on homework and all the other things in my life keeping me busy. But this week we’re back with a person I think a lot of you folks in the music world definitely need to know. Usually I come up with some pretty introduction, but what this guy has to say for himself is better than anything I can think of. Why don’t you guys get to know Samarei in his own words.

Photo Credit:  Bryce Trost

Photo Credit: Bryce Trost

Who are you?
Legally speaking, I’m Sam Waldo and I was born here in Portland.  I grew up in Tigard, spending more time playing video games and skateboarding by myself then hanging out with others.  Musically, people know me more as Samarei.
( Spelled Sam Are I ) get it?  Misspelling words as an artist name is always a GREAT idea.

What do you do?
What I do boils down simply to: I write music.  These days that presents itself mostly as hip hop instrumentals.  The thing that not everyone knows is that actually studied music composition in college.  During that time I wrote classical art music and jazz pieces.  The ensembles ranged from solo piano, to jazz quartets, to a fourteen piece orchestra.  I also DJ, people may have seen me in that role as well.  I do a lot of work in Portland but have also been to SXSW the past three years, did a regional tour to Canada last month, and as I write this I am sitting in the airport on my way out to New York to start a 43 date national tour with MC Lars.

When did you start doing it?
My musical life began when I was 14, when I started playing the guitar.  This led me to music school and all that business.  My interest in hip hop began much earlier though.  That was sparked by my first cd, the Space Jam soundtrack (I can still rap a majority of it).  I also had an older step brother who got me to recite Eazy’s Gimme Dat Nut and other songs at 6 or 7 for him and his friends’ amusement.  From that point I couldn’t get enough. I dubbed my cousin’s CDs to cassettes because I had no CD player, and eventually when I got a computer I started creating.  I placed my first beat with MC Lars when I was 18, and started working locally with BigMo two years ago.  From that point on its been a constant grind to get to where I’m at now.

Artwork: P-Smoov

Artwork: P-Smoov

Where can we find it?
I just put out a project titled Best in Class that can be found at   Otherwise, you can always follow the moves at @samareimusic on twitter and Instagram.

Why should we like it?
Best in Class features some of your favorite NW artists such as: Tope, Epp, Xp, Rasheed Jamal, Mic Capes, Glenn Waco, illmaculate, Al-One, BigMo, Rey Totem,  Farnell Newton, and Luck-One.  It also calls on the outside talent of Open Mike Eagle, Random aka Megaran, MC Lars, and J. Pinder.  Overall my music combines the techniques, sounds, and often times instruments I studied in school with the hip hop music I grew up with.




I love learning about artists and their passion for music. This is exactly why I created this series. I didn’t want to do the typical Q&A interview because the answers you get from these simple questions tell you so much more about who an artist truly is. Samarei is definitely not some fly by night musician. I wish him good luck on tour and I can’t wait to hear what he has coming up for us in the near future.



Posted on October 8, 2014, in Chat It Up, Interviews, People You Should Know and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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