The formula for most media/broadcasting music platforms is not discovery. The most popular approach is to play a small selection of hits by well-known hit makers. But UTR has always embraced the freedom of being a non-profit platform, which allows song and artist discovery to be a very important pillar of what we do. A friend we made at Hutchmoot 2018, Wes McGee, introduced us to the music of Arkansas-based songwriter Sammy Lee Roller. Earlier this month, he released his debut EP Run To Thee, available now on Spotify. We had the chance to chat with Sammy this week and now allow you to discover an artist fulfilling a big dream.
UTR: Was music a big part of your childhood growing up?
Sammy: When I was around 4 years old, my first musical instrument was a toy drum set. I remember the excitement and joy it immediately brought me. The following year my grandparents bought me a toy trumpet for my birthday. I would imagine my Mom and Dad thought, “Oh boy, another instrument that makes noise”. A few years would pass and I was gifted a toy guitar with plastic strings. This, by far, was my favorite of all. Looking back on all that now, I think God was placing those items in front of me to say, “This is what I have for you to do later”.
UTR: What artists or authors tend to inspire you as a songwriter?
Sammy: I’m really inspired with artists such as Andrew Peterson, Jess Ray, Taylor Leonhardt and The Arcadian Wild. These are just a few of the people or bands that speak to me in a very original and heartfelt way. They have such imagery in their compositions and amazing instrumental techniques. There is so much truth and honesty in the way they express their music.
UTR: How would you describe your overall theme of your new EP, Run to Thee?