Piano musician and producer Samuel Archer has launched an instrumental musical project for the holiday season. The title of the album is “Joy To The World,” and it features familiar songs such as “O Come Immanuel,” “We Three Kings,” “The First Noel,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and the title track.
In “Joy To The World,” Samuel creates a musical canvas of acoustic pianos, strings and percussive elements. His classical, jazz, world and hip-hop playing style creates a unique musical blend that’s pleasant to the ears. Along with the holiday favorites Samuel put in two originals: “Bacchanal Christmas,” and “The Passion.”
Archer penned the song “Baby Girl,” which was recorded by B2K and it appears on the group’s debut album, Certified Gold. A remixed version appears in the first installment of Barbershop, starring Ice Cube, Eve and a host of other actors.
At age five the Tobagonian took piano lessons, and by age eight he began playing for school assemblies and church functions. At that time he was involved in an orchestra called The Joyful Noise Orchestra where he contributed playing the Melodica for a couple years. At age nine he started writing songs and poems. By the time he was 16, along with two friends at school, Ian Chance and Allen Charles they discussed and started a gospel group. This group later became known as Hi-Lite.
Sam relocated to New York to pursue a musical career hoping that other members of the group will be able to make the move but he was disappointed. Around that time visas for travelling to the U.S. became extremely difficult to get. In order to buy some time he started a NY version of the group (Hi-Lite) to get things going. He teamed up with vocalist Terrence Russell, a native of Tobago and they ministered in song around the Tri-State area. The group over the next ten years developed, boasting four-part harmony and made an impact on the local gospel circuit with a cutting edge street sound. Releasing a single called “Do You Love Me,” this song received heavy rotation on stations like WWRL 1600 AM and Kiss inspirations 98.7 Kiss FM. Hi-lite eventually shared stage with artist like Witness, Yolanda Adams, Commissioned, Hezekiah Walker & LFC choir, Monique Walker, Ron Winans and so many more.
In 1996, the Hi-lite run came to an end and Sam was trying to find himself musically and this is when he decided to venture deeper into his musical roots. Around this time he explored and expanded his musical horizon. Being influenced by the Tobago rhythms and cultures primarily African, Sam decided to do a project which later became known as Soca Therapy. This album introduced Sam as a vocalist. It surprised many who just knew him as a musician. This album prepared the way for him to perform on WNBC, which ran a telethon for Hurricane George Relief. Here Sam shared stage with Tito Puente, Junior Jazz, Voices of Theory etc.
This was 1998. It was on this telethon where Sabra London, a promoter organizing a festival for West Africa saw Sam’s performance and she was moved to invite him to perform in Senegal. In 1999, Sam went to West Africa for the festival called Soca En Senegal. Sam took with him a pad and pen and wrote inspirations from the trip. This was the foundation for the sophomore album called “The Return.”