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NPC Q&A : SAMMUS!!!

Sammus steps up to the plate next to answer the NPC Q&A!

Not only one of the fiercest and smartest MCs I have ever heard in ANY genre, but also one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time (but don’t start acting crazy on her now because she will tell you what’s up).

Somehow she always makes time in her busy schedule to help the cause so get to know a little bit about Sammus

 

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of Portlandia. I know I’m super late to the game, but in my defense working on a PhD for the past few years is a pretty good excuse. I finally ended up watching Portlandia on Netflix at the end of the semester and immediately connected with the show because the town in which I was raised and am currently living while I attend graduate school – Ithaca, NY – shares a lot of similarities with Portland as it is portrayed through this utterly ridiculous sketch comedy show. Also, shout out to Mega Ran for the feature of “Splash Woman” on the episode “Aimee.”

 

2. What are your most recent games played?

I’ve been playing a lot of SNES games lately on my tablet. F-Zero is probably my favorite right now — super fun and I love the music! Because I like to balance out the light with the dark, I’ve also been playing lots of Blackthorne.

 

3. What music is on your playlist?

I’ve been spinning Open Mike Eagle’s latest project, “Dark Comedy” nonstop! I have also been listening to quite a bit of Homeboy Sandman, Dam Funk, Fleet Foxes, and instrumentals from Ivorian producer Chuk le Garçon. Finally, I’ve been bobbing my head to Mega Ran’s track “Infinite Lives” featuring D&D Sluggers.

 

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Downtime?

 

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

From 2008 – 2010 I worked as a teacher in an underserved community in Houston, TX. From 2011 – 2012, I served as the Community Service Chair for the Black Graduate and Professional Students Association at Cornell University. Since then I’ve been devising new ways to get involved despite my schedule – this weekend I will be performing at the Southside Community Center as part of their annual Juneteenth celebration.

 

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I’m currently trying to learn how to mix and master tracks professionally. As a producer and the person responsible for recording my own vocals over the past three years I’ve had considerable experience with basic mixing, but I am now trying to commit more time and energy to it. Although I find mixing to be tedious and annoying, it’s also been frustrating leaving the job to other people as I’ve done for the last two projects. I’m hoping by year’s end, I’m a one-stop production-recording-mixing shop.

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective?

First and foremost I think Nerdy People of Color should visit the website and follow the stories of its members for inspiration. I am constantly inspired by all of the great work of my peers in the NPCC. Nerdy People of Color should also check out the website to stay updated on what we’re doing – more specifically when we’ll be in their areas so that they can come out, support, learn more, and hang out!

 

8. Favorites:

a) Movie? Recently, I was a guest on The FanBros Show and was asked this same question. At the time I said that “Good Burger” was my favorite flick, but I’ve since reconsidered – I actually think “Hot Fuzz” just may be my favorite film. #TheGreaterGood

b) Food? My mom’s porkchops. Actually, anything my mom cooks.

c) Website? http://sammusmusic.com

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

I just released a seven-track Metroid EP that’s been getting a lot of love thanks to my friends and fans so now I plan on promoting the project until I can promote it no longer. I’m going to be shooting the video for the EP’s first single, Power-Ups, on July 1st, promoting the second single, Crown, heading to perform at some out-of-state-shows, and preparing for my third full length-album, which is currently untitled.

 

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

I often talk about my older brother and his influence on my personal growth, so I’d like to start talking a little more about the role my younger brother has played in my life. Although we didn’t always get along, my little brother was definitely my road dog for my childhood and a lot of my teenage years – especially as my older brother began to spend more time outside of the house with jobs, school activities, and band practice. So much of the geeky stuff I consumed was because of his influence. We spent countless mornings and afternoons watching everything from Pokémon to Reboot; I shared all of the stories of the cartoon and video game characters I created with him, often exclusively; we spent whole summers seated next to each other watching poorly animated Hanna-Barbera cartoons and catching mistakes in everything form the plotlines to poor animation. One thing I’ve always admired about my younger brother was that even though he is incredible at doing so many things, he has always remained humble and generous. I remember sometimes playing against him in Street Fighter, and knowing that he was holding back so that I could at least get in a few hits. It was so nice having such a dope partner in geekdom growing up and I often draw on those memories for inspiration.

An NPC Q&A With Mega Ran

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Photo by Cathy Weaver

Every week, we’re going to give you an exclusive Q&A with a different member of the NPC. First up, its founder and most likely to bring a Mega Buster to a gun fight, Random aka Mega Ran.

 

THE NPC Q&A.

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Sounds weird but I’m nerding out on my health. I’ve been in the gym hard for the past 2 weeks, now that I’m home for a stretch, trying to get a habit going. I’m already feeling better (when I’m not sore), and I can see improvements in breath control and the overall stage show.

2. What are your most recent games played?

Man I can’t stop playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I play it every night before bed and so I never get to bed on time. It’s an addictive game. Also been playing Titanfall, Guacamelee and Bravely Default. I just opened my Steam account so I think it’s curtains from here.

3. What music is on your playlist?

Mostly beats for my new album, or collaborations that I owe people… but besides that I’ve been listening to Garfunkel and Oates, Dirty Projectors and a lot of classic Snoop Dogg lately. But in the gym it’s R&B or straight ignorant rap.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

What is this downtime thing you talk of? When I’m not recording, I’m making time to see my friends, play games I haven’t put enough time in on, or planning my next music moves.

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

From the time I resigned from teaching until the end of last year, I worked as an after school tutor and mentor to young kids, and I’d like to get back to that as soon as my schedule opens up a bit. I love chatting with them and knowing what’s challenging today’s youth… It also keeps me young, being around the kids.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I’m trying to learn how to record myself, mix myself and fully produce my own records. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have it down. YouTube tutorials work wonders. I’m also picking up new equipment to add to the live show to help the experience constantly get tighter and more interesting.

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective?

They should find a place with people like them, explaining their struggles and successes, favorite things and most hated things, and letting them know that they have a friend, a peer or even a role model out there who looks and thinks like them, and that they’re never alone.

8. Favorites:

a) Movie? Black Dynamite

b) Food? Lasagna

c) Website? This one? haha, well, maybe Kotaku or Geekologie.

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

Recording recording recording, a few big shows coming up in Orlando, San Jose, Toronto, and more. megaran.com/shows!

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

My Mom’s involvement in my life. She had always told me to get my education and not to let anything hold me back, so I did, I went hard at college and finished through some tough odds. When I decided to quit teaching and make music, I was afraid to tell her for months… when I did, she totally had my back, came to my shows more than ever and has supported me like a champion.

Viva la NPC!

 

 

A little Poem from NPC Eye.Q

You really had to be in pain to lash out at the world around you. I’m sorry that you felt such pain, that the love of your peers didn’t surround you. I wish that they could feel your pain, I bet they would never try to hurt you. All you needed was understanding friends that would never try to hurt you. To be included in a cold cold world that often might exclude you. Filled with images of the kinder gentler world none of us are really used to. When you’re not home you’re never truly alone there are people… look around you in game shops and comic spots you’ll find us we’re all around you. No need to impress us just be yourself we will surely find you. Your pain hurts us inside as well our community cries inside too cause we wish we were around you, it hurts deep inside because we know how it feels at one point many of us were you. Society may not understand your actions because they can never understand what it is to be you. Hurt others must you not, in the force confide must you a lot. There is strength in others to help you. Reach out you must, in others must you trust don’t let the darkside consume you. They look at your response as an atrocity but not what others have done to you. I’m speaking out and asking everyone to listen to the tortured souls because their all around you.
Whether it’s is geek, jock, emo, nerd. Whether it popular, live, lame, fun boring, weird ,different, quiet they’re still labels that can be used to hurt too. Don’t be afraid to own who you are and show them what you’re worth.
Don’t judge others over the path they tred, their shoes you have not worn. Instead try to understand their lives and how they feel inside just once try putting their shoes on. Do something now before it’s to late take action tomorrow may never come.

Save our future, stop the hurt.

– Chris Allen