Keep On Rising

Former SUNY New Paltz student Sam Lachow takes college rap to another level

Sam Lachow, 21, accumulated more than 3,000 views for his most recent original music video during its first week on YouTube. But the former SUNY New Paltz student said he never set any sort of goals for the “Hash Muffins” video or his rap career in general: he just wants to “keep rising.”

“I never want to peak,” he said. “I just want to keep making the art I love making.”

Lachow, now a third-year film major at the City College of Manhattan, released his first solo album, Brand New Bike, in July.  Although he’s already made over $3,000 from the iTunes store since the release, the rapper said he won’t stop trying to be successful at making his art any time soon.

Unlike other rappers who make their beats with drum kits and synthesizers, Lachow said he uses live music to develop an authentic sound.

“No sampling, no nothing,” he said. “When you listen to this stuff, you know it’s all us.”

Influenced by artists ranging from Cat Stevens to Andre 3000, Lachow blends smooth jazz with witty lyricism to create an innovative style.

Along with writing his own lyrics and producing original beats, Lachow directs and edits all of his own music videos racking up over 21,000 views on a music video for an original song that he shot, edited and directed single-handedly.

Although he’s pleased with the views he’s received, he said he wants more.

“I feel that these views are coming from the small fanbase I have. That’s great because they’re always going to watch every video I post,” said Lachow, who grew up in New York City but attended middle and high school in Seattle, Wash. “It’s assured I’ll get a couple 1,000 views from them but I want my fanbase to  be a little more broad and not just these friends on Facebook. I want it to be bigger. I want to get 10,000 views right away. I think if I keep building I’ll get to that point. Right now, it’s nice.”

Second-year communications and media major Max Kornstein, a rapper by the name of Young Stein, said he is highly impressed with Lachow’s originality and how much he has been able to accomplish as an artist in college.

“His videos look like they were professionally made and they could be on MTV or some shit,” said Kornstein.“I’m blown away with the versatility of his style.”

Lachow shot the video for “Thank You For Tonight” on the SUNY New Paltz campus. He had many artists around the country contribute to Brand New Bike, including a few SUNY New Paltz students.

Fourth-year contemporary music major DawnMarie Allan is featured in the song “Thank You For Tonight” as well as Bounce Method’s lead singer and third-year radio & TV production major Luke DiCola and drummer and third-year business major Jason Greenspan.

“Sam knows what he’s doing and has great vision as both a musician and a director,” DiCola said. “I was proud to be a part of the effort.”

Producing an album and multiple music videos is not cheap, so Lachow said he works as a freelance video editor and spends his savings on recording time in the studio.

“I’ll spend all my money on a recording session just to be unsatisfied with how the song sounds.” he said. “Then I’ll have to go and find some work, save some money and do it all over again until it’s right.”

Lachow said he is in no rush to get signed to a label and that he enjoys working independently. Lachow also works with his manager Michael Rodriguez, a New Paltz alumnus.

“I would never want to be signed to a label that would stifle my creativity. The record labels are all about cars and girls and money,” said Lachow. “I’m not trying to sell my music on that kind of stuff. I want to just let the music sell itself.”

Lachow will be playing with Bounce Method at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Brand New Bike and other songs by Lachow are available on his website,