Plus One: Sam Lecca
Interview: Joey Echevarria
Editor’s Note: This story appears in the Winter 2023 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Sam Lecca, partner and executive producer at Polo Grounds Films, understands that the essence of capturing a rapper’s vision through music videos is an art form. London-born and Queens-raised, Lecca’s first industry gig was as a production assistant on visuals for LL Cool J. After managing video production at Arista Records, her mentor L.A. Reid, awarded Sam an opportunity as Arista’s VP of Video and Creative in 2000, crafting iconic videos for OutKast.

In 2004, Sam was named the SVP of Video Production at RCA Records. Nearly 10 years later, Lecca served as SVP of Video and Creative at Epic Records before leaving to form Polo Grounds Films with partner Bryan Leach. A creative consultant for Travis Scott, Future and more, Lecca was also an executive producer on Travis’ Circus Maximus film. Here, she speaks about career transitions, understanding artists’ creative vision and capturing it.

On Making a Career Transition in the Music Industry

It’s almost like a fight every day. You’ve got to stay focused on the mission and not ever let go, no matter what anybody says. You have to give a lot of thought into how you want to be perceived in the music business. You have to work really hard to control that as much as you can and know that it’s in your hands to do it. How people see you? You can control that.

On the Right Way to Capture an Artist’s Vision Through Music Video

You get the best out of artists when you really give them a voice, respect the fact that they have a voice and honor the fact that their voice is the most important in the conversation. Don’t tell them, “No.” When they come up with a crazy idea, figure out how to do it first. You’re going to come up with something if you take “No” out of the equation. It’s either: “Absolutely, yes” or “Give me a moment, I’ll circle back with you.”

Advice to Artists Looking to be Recognized for Their Creative Vision

No one can do it alone. Get a team around you that has a similar vision or will see your same vision. Like-minded people who are also executors. It’s a couple of key people who really have your best interests in mind and who aren’t going to say no.

Read Sam Lecca's interview in the Winter 2023 issue of XXL Magazine, on newsstands now. The new issue also includes the cover story with Latto and conversations with Killer Mike, Flo MilliDD OsamaMaiya The DonMonaleoMello BuckzzSexyy RedBigXThaPlug, plus more. Additionally, there's an exclusive interview with Fetty WapQuality Control Music's Coach K and P discuss 10 years into the label's growth, in-depth stories on the popularity of sampling in hip-hop in 2023 and the state of hip-hop touring, and the best moments of hip-hop's year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

See Photos From Latto's XXL Magazine Winter 2023 Cover Story

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