The good folks over at Elixr Global asked me to curate a poolside playlist and I was happy to oblige, it’s called Poolside Convo. Check out their blurb below and make sure to sign up for their newsletter. PS if you’re an Apple Music person I made the same playlist for you here.
Press play on any given Houston anthem’s music video, and there’s a decent chance you’ll catch Texas native Sama’an Ashrawi mugging in the background, hooking them horns. We met in his home state at SXSW this year, shortly after he’d interviewed friend of Elixr Zack Fox for an upcoming audio project.
It just takes a glance at his website to uncover a treasure trove of interviews that Sama’an has conducted in his career as a filmmaker and journalist: chatting with Thundercat about J. Dilla, speaking with every rapper and Houston figure possible about the influence of UGK, diving into the creative process with Kamasi Washington. But filmmaking is just the tip of the iceberg – Sama’an nabbed two production credits on Bun B’s project that drops tomorrow. Catch his playlist to get an insight into his current late summer vibes.
“I started DJing in 7th grade and what I’ve learned is that you never stop learning,” Sama’an tells us. “Okay — now fast forward 15 years to summer 2018. I was informally DJing a lakeside party in Austin for comedians Mo Amer and Dave Chappelle and their families. Mo had just taped his Netflix special so the mood was celebratory and relaxed; after years of hard work, this was everyone’s chance to kick back, eat some BBQ, and jump in the lake. Scorpion had just dropped and Dave wanted to hear a few songs off the album, so I played a couple, but it just wasn’t the right vibe.
I switched it up and played Gary Clark Jr’s live rendition of “Three O’Clock Blues,” originally by Lowell Fulson and popularized by B.B. King, which was a bit of a drastic shift, and a bit of a risk. Thankfully, not longer after, Dave came running over and said to me, “Mannnn, I love this blues shit.”
That moment set the tone for the rest of the day and gave me the foundation for this playlist. On Poolside Convo, I tried to stay away from obvious choices in favor of deeper selections with the hope that, if you’re reading this, you’ll discover some fresh cuts for your next waterfront gathering.
Don’t forget to check out more of the SMNTCS Playlist collection and stream the playlist below.