By Nira Dayanim
Though he’s been writing and producing music for years, Yedidyah Samuels, a senior biology major who goes by the stage name “BigToe,” is taking strides to follow his passion.
This March, Samuels released a single titled “Uncertainty” on Spotify. A few weeks ago, he followed up with another single, titled “Shout It Out.” A self-taught producer, Samuels writes and mixes his music independently using his own equipment.
“I realized that it’s one thing to have a song idea, but though producing seems simple from the outside, when you dive in it’s really complex and interesting,” said Samuels.
Samuels said he relies heavily on his “looper” pedal when brainstorming songs. His “looper” allows him to layer sounds and instruments, creating full and detailed music even when he’s playing by himself.
A cross between hip-hop and rock, Samuels’ music has drawn attention from his peers, such as senior computer engineering major Nadiv Panitch. A musician himself, Panitch appreciates the production value of Samuels’ music, as well as Samuels’ unique style.
“I’d never heard electric guitar and rap in the same song before him…When I see he’s posted [music], I listen right away. I make sure I’m wearing good headphones because I know he does a really good job with production,” said Panitch.
Samuels has been releasing music on Soundcloud and YouTube since his sophomore year. Only recently has he felt comfortable enough to make the jump to Spotify, which he views as a more serious platform.
“I wanted to wait until I felt like I was producing stuff that was of the same quality as what’s on Spotify. It’s felt like a milestone for me… If people go back and listen to my old songs versus what I’m making now, I hope they can hear that improvement,” said Samuels.
For Samuels, “BigToe” is both an opportunity to express his creativity and a way to share thoughts he otherwise wouldn’t.
“I’m not always the most talkative person, so making songs, whether they’re funny or more serious, makes it easier for me to get something across without saying it upfront” he said.
Jacob Cohen, a senior information science major, appreciates the opportunity to hear what Samuels, his close friend and roommate, has to share with the world.
“He’s always trying to spread good messages with his music. It’s just fun to hear him express himself that way. When he sings, he says things that you don’t necessarily hear when you’re just hanging out with him,” Cohen said.
Recent accomplishments aside, what sticks out most to his peers about Samuels is his pure passion for music. Constantly recommending music to friends, going to concerts and scheduling jam sessions, Samuels uses music to bring people together.
“I think he’d be a really great music teacher because he’s really good at getting others involved in his music and in music in general,” said Cohen.
Samuels, who plans to attend medical school, isn’t predicting a full-fledged music career. However, he’s excited to further explore his interests, improve the quality of his music and stay true to his musical style.
“I don’t just want to make what other people want to hear. I want to make music that I enjoy listening to and is fun for me to make,” Samuels said.