|3 Nov 2021|
Sam is a pioneer in all senses of the word. For starters, he is from the Class of 2009 – the first-ever cohort that graduated from SJI International. His biggest takeaways as a student?
“Firstly, you can do whatever you set your mind to, and secondly, if all else fails, you could probably make a fortune selling overpriced fried chicken at an international school cafeteria,” Sam shared.
"There’s something special about SJII's community and environment which gives you the confidence to be yourself, and trust me, that's a rare commodity. Yes, you get a stellar education. Yes, you learn desirable values. And yes, you make friends for life. But to be able to thrive in your skin? You don’t get that anywhere else.”
At present, he’s a singer, songwriter and producer under the musical alias Dreebsby. He’s also a music lawyer and the founder of Goose Infiniti, a music industry services company. A pioneer, indeed, as you don’t meet that many people who wear multiple hats – at least the ones he has – all at the same time.
“Law started as a practical move. As a kid, I wanted to be the next Red Hot Chili Pepper signed to my label, but my brown parents were (thankfully) like, ‘No. Go to law school first and get a foundation.’ I saw that through and gained as much Intellectual Property/Music law experience as possible, realising that traditional 9-5 systems couldn’t facilitate that dream, so I had to risk going out and building my blueprint. Upon qualifying as a lawyer, I founded Goose Infiniti, signed myself, put all my savings into crypto, and pursued music full time as Dreebsby.”
Sam took an unconventional route, so a lot of trial-and-error was a given. But most of the time that’s when the best opportunities arise, and of that, he took full advantage.
“I began to see gaps in the market and how I could evolve to fill them. I started getting approached by music tech startups for legal expertise. I realised I had a huge competitive advantage and unique selling point as the only career musician and music lawyer actively straddling the creative and commercial side of the industry. So I responded by filling that gap in the market, and now I don’t sleep anymore,” he said.
He’s currently in the midst of releasing his EP called 5AM, consisting of late-night love songs to drink to at your next afterparty, with a bunch of collabs in the pipeline and an album in the works.
In fact, at the time of this interview, Sam’s got word that one of his singles, Last Night, has entered the iTunes charts in Japan. (Yay!)
For aspiring students who wish to pursue a career in music, Sam has this to say: “Combining your academic education and passion can be a unique and sustainable way to chase a dream.”
“My advice for students wanting to do the same is: have a strategy; know your strengths and weakness; build a team; show up and put yourself out there; be prepared to fail all the time; respond to feedback; evolve and pivot where necessary, and try everything until something sticks and you find that gap in the market you can exploit,” he added.
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