Sammy Arriaga first hit the mainstream scene during Season 10 of American Idol, but the path he chose regarding his preferred genre of music set him apart from the rest. Growing up in a Cuban family in Miami, Florida, Latin music played a huge role in Arriaga's early and present life; however, the addition of a modern country twist has proven to be a recipe for success. The young artist recently released his new single "Something We Can Dance To" — a song he stacked away for years, but felt 2020 was a perfect time to bring to life.
In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Arriaga detailed why he chose to release the single and the inspiration involving his country music route. "I've always wanted to blend my Latin percussiveness, Latin rhythms that I grew up listening to in Miami, I've always tried to figure out a way to blend that rhythm with today's modern pop-country sound," he said, adding how the song is a perfect blend of country, hip hop, and Latin beats — something the country genre hasn't seen yet.
This wasn't a recently written song either as Arriaga admits he wrote it four years ago. Still, due to the current climate with COVID-19 wreaking havoc throughout the U.S. and world, he felt this was the perfect time to lift spirits. "I start realizing that everybody's just in the dumps," he explained. "Everybody's just feeling bad and depressed and in my head, I'm like, 'Alright. If I put a song out, it's got to be a feel-good song because everybody's already feeling down.' And in my head, I'm like, 'Let's give them [everyone] something we can dance to.' And I'm like, 'Oh, okay. There you go! That's the title of the song.' So I was like, 'This is a no brainer.'"
Both of his parents are from Cuba but moved to Florida when they still quite young. Having Arriaga in their early twenties, the singer-songwriter grew up a beautiful blend of cultures. But with Spanish being his first language, country music wasn't something he grew up thinking he would sing until his dad suggested an idea.
"I did the American Idol auditions in 2010 and my dad being the businessman that he is — he was like, 'If you're going to go on one of these shows, you know that these shows always look for a really interesting story so that the TV can make interesting videos of you and tell interesting stories for the viewers.' And so he's like, 'You've got to be different. You've got to show up and give something that's different.' So, I used to show up being the Cuban country singer — or just the Latin country singer."
While that's the angle he went with, what encouraged him to move to Nashville, Tennessee transpired almost a decade ago. The young singer and songwriter is determined to add a little more flavor to the ever-changing genre and is ready to break down barriers. So far, it's worked very well for him, earning millions of spins on Spotify and other music platforms. For more on Sammy Arriaga, visit his website, and make sure to keep it locked in at PopCulture.com for everything trending and celebrity related.