Sami Chohfi – It’s Just Me (single)
Beneath a scattered array of broken glass and a wax-covered cork that lay on the ground before us, Sami Chohfi picks up what would appear to be a scroll in the opening shot of the music video for his new single “It’s Just Me.” He unrolls the document with a look of deep reflection on his face. Suddenly we cut to a dewy pier in West Seattle, where Chohfi is singing and casually strumming an acoustic guitar in a rare moment of Emerald City sunshine. He reminisces of himself as a young boy, when he sat down and penned the scrolled paper that we saw at the start of the video, stuck it inside of a glass bottle, and sealed it in that unforgettable, cherry red candle wax. On a driftwood-covered beach, the young man hurls the bottle into the water, with all of his youthful memories, emotions and inhibitions contained inside. Chohfi recalls taking a virginal swig from a flask and staring out across Elliot Bay at the sparkling city casting an incomparably intimidating shadow from the other side, all while dispensing what is inarguably his most intimate and moving studio performance thus far in his career. This is one music video that is guaranteed to stoke a reaction out of anyone who takes a peek at it this summer, but that’s only one reason why you might want to keep an eye on what Sami Chohfi is up to right now, both in and out of the studio.
The master mix here is as muscular and meticulously designed as anything that Blue Helix, Chohfi’s primary vehicle, has made, and I would even go as far as to say that this track lets his vocal breathe a little more than it was able to alongside his hard-rocking band. This isn’t to dismiss the incredible work that Blue Helix has dished out in the last five years; quite the contrary, in fact. The reality is that, while Blue Helix set the bar pretty high for any sort of solo career that Chohfi would ever hope to launch, he far and away exceeds all of the expectations that I had coming into this review in the performance he gives in his debut. “It’s Just Me” utilizes his skills as a singer extraordinarily well, and I think that with some more time to grow into this new way of recording, he’s only going to get more agile and mature in his style of attack. His trademark confidence is still intact, but Chohfi is exposing more of his emotions to us in this single and embracing the experimental in ways that many of his peers would shy away from in fear of losing the interest of mainstream listeners.
Sharp, emotive and unflinchingly evocative from beginning to end, you really can’t go wrong with the single and music video for Sami Chohfi’s “It’s Just Me,” and I say that knowing full-well just how awesome a season it’s been for acoustic rock music specifically. There have been a lot of artists worth writing home about this spring, but few have produced on the level that Chohfi is in this song, and if it manages to get even a fraction of the buzz and mainstream publicity that his material with Blue Helix has in the past, then I think he could stand to gain a much more diverse fan base through this exciting solo venture than he’s ever had before.