Grammy Award Winning Producer Harmony Samuels talks about his journey
For most 13 year-olds, daily routines consist of making plans on what to wear, what to do after school, and fitting in what to eat in-between. Dying after school isn’t usually a factor. Except for Harmony Samuels now 35, one day it was. That day began with a mother’s premonition and an ominous warning.
“She gathered all of us [siblings] to tell us she had a dream that my little brother had gotten hit by a car,” Samuels recalled.
It was in that moment that Samuel’s mother urged for a family prayer before they were off to school.
But the dream wasn’t about his little brother it was about him. On his way back from school, Samuels was steps away from a life changing moment when he decided to cross the street to go home.
“Right when I crossed the street I was hit by a car going 67 miles per hour and basically died on the spot,” said the Grammy Award winning producer.
It was at that moment that he hit the windshield and his face split open on impact. “I saw myself floating over my body and I watched everyone rush to my aid. Basically, during that time I heard God say ‘it’s not your time’. Then I woke up and saw that they were zipping me up,” he said.
A life-changing moment like the car accident would never fit the picture of a music lover like Samuels. From the age of four years old, he began growing interest in the composition of music by playing the drums. “My parents were surprised when I went up to the drums and starting playing them in church,” said Samuels. “They were like ‘where did he pick this up from?’ because no one taught me how to play them.”
Growing up in a Nigerian-Caribbean household, Samuels had a mix of culture when it came to music—even before he was born. “I’ve always been a lover of music. It is my first love,” Samuels said. He recalls his mother telling him stories about how he was active in the womb whenever he heard music. “I can remember my mother telling me that she would play music for me and I would move when I heard it.”
Samuels, who is also a leader in the music ministry at One Church, Los Angeles, received his foundation of music through church. “My parents were worshippers. My mom would sing and my father was a musician in church. So I was in church three to four times a week,” he said.
From London to Los Angeles Samuels had made his way around the music world. Producing and writing music like the hit songs “The Way” by Ariana Grande, “I Bet” for Ciara and working with countless other musicians like Fantasia, Maroon 5, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Michelle Williams and Nigerian artists Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay.
However, things in the music industry weren’t easy. As a young Black male in the entertainment industry Samuels faced a lot of stereotypes entering the business in London. “They pigeon-holed me for being a street kid, but I didn’t want to be subjected to just one genre of music,” he said. “I went through several years of invisible racism in England. That’s where they won’t tell you they don’t like you they just won’t use you.” But, he didn’t let that stop him. He pushed the London streets with his original music and landed a radio dj job. After that he started to make a name for himself in the dj world by entering contests and cultivating his talent. By investing his time into his craft Samuels found himself craving to do more in music, but wasn’t getting the break he was looking for. “I got to the point that I decided that I was going to become a music teacher and just transfer the love and knowledge I had to people who wanted to learn,” he said.
But before he made moves to teach he decided to make his way to Los Angeles to chase his dream through a business meeting. His true calling awaited him when Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins heard some of his music during that trip and decided to have faith in him.
“Rodney gave me that chance when he told me he liked my music,” he said. “All you need is that one person who will believe and invest in you.” From then onward, Samuels has produced R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and Rock music for some of the industry’s top artists. Now with his own label B.O.E. Global, he plans to do the same with those who came after him. In November, Samuels co-hosted a workshop called “How To Go from the Job to the Dream” in North Hollywood to encourage others to improve their crafts.
“Make sure you groom your gift and sharpen your gift. These ways will make you grow. You have to work hard and continue to challenge yourself,” he said. His company BOE Global recently partnered up with Polaroid Cube for their Dec. 18th event “Mentor Fridays” where they will be giving LA based artists, songwriters and producers help in shaping their craft.
All in all, his story stands out and truly can be looked at as a chance of purpose for those who are seeking a second chance.
“What I want people to learn from my journey is that you can do absolutely anything. Learn to help people effortlessly. I want others to see my life and see that I helped people until I couldn’t help people anymore,” he said.
To keep up with Harmony Samuels follow him on Twitter and Instagram @HarmonySamuels and to learn more about BOE Global www.boeglobal.com