Premiere: Sam I Embraces Life with Sia, Busta Rhymes & Vic Mensa in Inspiring “Don’t Give Up”

Sam I (formerly Sam Spiegel) © Maxwell Miranda
A feverish outpouring of perseverance and staying power, Sam I’s passionate “Don’t Give Up” ft. Sia, Busta Rhymes, and Vic Mensa is as fierce as it is inspiring.‬ The song is brought to even greater heights thanks to Nevaeh Meraz’s powerful, expressive dancing.
“Don’t Give Up” – Sam I ft. Sia, Busta Rhymes & Vic Mensa




Inspiration isn’t manufactured: It’s homegrown through human experience and personal growth, self-discovery and inner reflection. It comes naturally when the stars align, and it’s safe to say several stars aligned in the making of Sam I’s new single. The acclaimed electronic artist formerly known as Sam Spiegel struck gold, teaming up with the motley crew of Sia, Busta Rhymes, and Vic Mensa to produce a wholeheartedly uplifting, powerful embrace of life.

A feverish song of perseverance and staying power, the passionate “Don’t Give Up” is as fierce as it is inspiring.‬

Random Shit from the Internet Era - Sam I

Random Shit from the Internet Era – Sam I

The mind is a dangerous place
You can clean it up if you fall from grace
So Don’t Give Up
No Don’t Give Up
The mind is a dangerous place
You can clean it up if you fall from grace
So Don’t Give Up
No Don’t Give Up

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Sam I’s inimitable new track “Don’t Give Up” featuring Sia, Busta Rhymes, and Vic Mensa. The final single off Sam I’s forthcoming debut solo album Random Shit From the Internet Era (out June 26 via Spectrophonic Sound) arrives with two special announcements – the first one being Sam Spiegel’s permanent new stage name, Sam I. Spiegel, who began releasing music under his own name in 2016, was a part of the late aughts group N.A.S.A (best known for their acclaimed 2009 debut album The Spirit of Apollo), and later co-founded the group Maximum Hedrum. The laundry list of artists he’s worked with in any number of capacities is extensive and exhausting – from Kanye West and George Clinton, to Karen O, John Frusciante, and RZA – and that’s just scratching the surface.‬

‪“With Random Shit from the Internet Era, I’ll be releasing my first album as a solo artist,” Spiegel says of his name change. “Like so many things in our world, I’ve gone through a huge transition these past few years, and I feel like I’m embarking on a new life… I’m clearing my slate with Random Shit… It is a new beginning for me. My music coming out going forward is not reiterations of old songs modernized, but where I stand now and into the future. It is day one for me in my new life as a grown-ass human and artist, and so I’ll be releasing everything from here on out under my new name, Sam I, both on the audio and the visual side. I hope you all come along on this new adventure with me.”

It’s noteworthy that Sam I’s first legitimate song release under his new name is one centered around endurance and resolve. “Don’t Give Up” is driven by any number of factors – from Sia’s heartfelt and melodic refrain, to Busta and Mensa’s equally explosive, heated verses. The tenacity of this power trio is underscored and propelled further by Sam I’s deft ear, which he employs here to craft a seismic, in-your-face production: Tight percussion and cool beats intermingle with the occasional synth pad as the three vocalists take their turns in the spotlight, with Sam I ensuring that they sound not only supremely polished, but also expressively dynamic throughout.

Sam I © Maxwell Miranda

This performance is taken to even greater heights in Sam I’s “Don’t Give Up” music video, a collaborative effort featuring Texan dancer Nevaeh Meraz.

”Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working on a short film with an incredible person, Nevaeh Meraz, to be released with my album Random Shit From the Internet Era,” Spiegel tells Atwood Magazine. “I met Nevaeh through her posting dance videos to my music and tagging me. I was struck by her. She dances with so much feeling. It’s all there…right on the surface. She lays it all out in her expression, not hiding anything.

“I love dance, and I knew I wanted to do a film around dance for the album release, so I invited a handful of dancers whom I had connected with through my music, and then I interviewed them all about their lives. Nevaeh instantly struck me as fascinating. At the time she was 18, and she had already lived a thousand lives. She’s battled mental health issues and struggled with depression, but her passion for her art form helped carry her through, and I really related to that because my love of music really helped get me through my depression that I had during and after Lyme Disease.”

“With some help from my friend Dallas, I wrote a short film based on some of Nevaeh’s real-life experiences and planned to shoot it in March, but then COVID hit, and we weren’t able to shoot. In the meantime, I kept writing and tweaking the script and talking to Nevaeh. We started to hang and choreograph the dance sequence together. As I saw the piece come together I got really excited about it. It was so inspiring to see this amazing dancer express her pain, her struggles, and ultimately her self-actualization, through this art form that means so much to her and which she’s so good at. Now that some of the filming restrictions are being lifted, we’re finally about to shoot our film, but I decided to cut together some of the dance rehearsal and interview footage as a kind of behind-the-scenes prequel to the film.”

Sam I © Gatewood Creative

It was so inspiring to see this amazing dancer express her pain, her struggles, and ultimately her self-actualization, through this art form that means so much to her.

An intimate and intense four minute journey, “Don’t Give Up” demands our undivided attention. Meraz’s powerful, expressive dancing takes an already striking listening experience to greater heights with a visual that feels freeing, uninhibited, and empowered: As we learn from a short introductory documentary with the dancer, these sorts of fluid, dramatic movements are the stuff that saved her life. Captured alongside Sam I’s song, Meraz’s performance radiates with inner strength and conviction: It’s the external expression of our will to live.

Like Sia so gracefully sings, “The mind is a dangerous place.” Yet as Vic Mensa later raps, “My mind is a weapon… I give ‘em hell, but I never give in. God fell from grace to be newly risen.” We own our faults when we make them our strengths.

”Don’t Give Up” carries with it a simple, emotional, inspiring message. Whether you’re embarking on brave new beginnings like the artist formerly known as Sam Spiegel, struggling with anxiety and depression, or any of the in-between, “Don’t Give Up” rings loud and resonates deep within. Watch the music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Random Shit From the Internet Era is out everywhere June 26, 2020.

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:: stream/purchase Random Shit From The Internet Era here ::
“Don’t Give Up” – Sam I ft. Sia, Busta Rhymes & Vic Mensa

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Random Shit from the Internet Era - Sam I

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:: Sam I (Sam Spiegel) ::



Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com