Woodford Green gang member turns Christian rapper
In five years Sam Daniel has transformed from being a gang member who freely admitted to beating up his mum, to a Christian rapper spreading the word of God.
After the rave he was meant to be attending got cancelled, Sam went along to a Christian retreat weekend just outside Basildon, Essex.
What happened that weekend changed his life and set him on a new course dedicated to Christianity and promoting a message of unity.
Sam said: “I got into trouble with people when I was younger having wars and fights. There was a lot of negativity. I did graffiti and got arrested when I was 14 for fighting.”
Despite this Sam has always been interested in music and started writing songs while still at primary school where he was a big fan of Eminem. “I started writing about negative stuff. A few love songs but mainly me bigging myself up and just trying to frighten people not to mess with me, it was just negative.”
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Although he was brought up in a church-going family he was dubious about the merits of attending the camp. He said: “This guy was playing guitar and some people praying and people were just falling down and crying for fives minutes and I was just thinking ‘nothing’s going to happen to me’”.
However, when the preacher approached Sam and started talking about things Sam says he could not have known about him, his feelings started to change.
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“He put his hands on my stomach and an overwhelming sensation came over me and I started crying, it was like a wave of love and I realised that there’s more to life.
“Before camp I used to beat my mum and bruise her but when I came back everything in my mind had changed. I never hit my mum again and so something really happened to me that weekend.”
Now 19 years old Sam, of Broomhill Walk, Woodford Green, studies music technology at Redbridge College, Barley Lane, Little Heath, and hopes to be a music teacher after getting a degree. He is planning to release his first official single called Yeshuve (Bhangra remix) during June which features six artists each speaking different Indian languages under his stage name Da Sargeant.
Sam’s father is from India and his mother from Sri Lanka and he wants to use different languages to promote unity and spread the word of God in India.
Sam said: “Using so many languages is something that’s never been done. There are only a small percentage of people that are Christian in India and the gospel is needed there badly. God has called me to reach out back to my home land.”
“I’m really excited, at the moment I’m just trying to get it out there. The video, which goes on YouTube in June as well, was perfect.”