Sam Santiago Wow’s West Michigan!

Sam Santiago Wow’s West Michigan!

Rivenmaster and boys

This past August Sam Santiago and his family from Irvine, California spent a week of their vacation to visit my home city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a wonderful time getting to know Sam better, and being able to spend quality time with his family and Sebastian, a good friend of Sam’s older brother Penuel!

Staying only a few minutes from my home, it made it easy to travel back and forth from the Hotel to the house to meet every day for some special time together. We spent the entire week traveling around the city, seeing the sights, visiting parks, and of course doing lots of singing both in the car and at special engagements.

craigs cruisersSam is such an energetic fellow and is full of life and fun. Not unlike any other Nine year old, Sam loves to play video games and especially enjoyed our time at the Go Cart -Video Arcade called Craig’s Cruisers . The boys and I played laser tag, rode go carts, and enjoyed a game of mini golf before the day was over. His family also enjoyed visiting a small nearby tourist town on the bay featuring very unusual art and specialty items sold in small shops and stores.

Sam picked up a new hat at one of the shops which came in handy a little later that week for one of his performances.

Sam is always practicing his vocal skills. Even when he is just traveling in the car Sam is continually singing. There is no doubt that this boy loves to sing. On one occasion while traveling to one of the sightseeing points, Sam and I broke into our own cover of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” with Sam leading the way and me following with the harmony while trying to remember the words. Lol 🙂 What fun that was!

Sam did three performances while he was visiting. His first performance was for my local church assembly where he sang his medley of “As the Deer & I love you Lord”. He brought many to tears with his rendition of this song then raised the roof singing “How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. Everyone was standing on their feet as Sam was leading the entire congregation in this second worship song!

What the congregation did not know is that Sam had only learned this song the day before! He not only hit every note but remembered every word perfectly. Amazing Sam!


Sam on WZZM  TV13 GR Backstage

The next day brought a lot of excitement and started very early! We had to leave in plenty of time to allow for traffic and arrive at the TV station at least one hour prior to the live interview. This was very exciting for Sam being it was his first Live TV performance.

Sam Santiago on WZZM TV 13

Enjoy these two videos that includes a little behind the scenes look at our time at WZZM and of the actual interview for those of you who have not yet seen it!

Sam did an amazing job both with the interview and with the song. The actual television time was much longer than what you see here but since the program is called Take Five they try to get these segments down to 5 minutes including the interview. Producer, Eddie Rucker, who authorized Sam’s appearance, confessed that she gets hundreds of e-mails everyday asking for one five minute slot on the show. Many famous entertainers and musicians have appeared on this program, and we are so grateful for Sam to have been giving this opportunity! Thank you Eddie!

WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids, MI
See it on WZZM TV Web Site!

In addition, we found the entire staff at WZZM to be professional and friendly. Our hat is off to all of you for making us feel so welcome, relaxed and special!

Following the Television performance that morning, we took advantage of the beautiful weather outside to do an exclusive interview with Sam and his entire family. I offer this to you now, so you can personally meet Sam and his wonderful family that I am so blessed to call friends.


If all this activity was not enough, we finished out our week at the Radisson Inn Hotel, beautifully set overlooking the Grand River just north of downtown Grand Rapids. Following a suggestion from my good neighbor Andy Kroll, I had arranged for Sam to sing the previous week at an evening patio buffet, which is put on every Friday evening by the management. The entertainment features some of the best amateur singers from the area who return every week to perform. This is not just the normal Karaoke Show! Everyone who is selected to sing is very good and always entertains the guests and visitors of the Hotel.

We expected Sam to sing one or maybe two songs but after his first Journey song, “Don’t Stop Believing” the Master of Ceremonies told him to stick around to do a second song.

Sam Performs Don't Stop Believing

Sam’s second song was Joseph Brooks, “You Light Up My Life”,  which concluded with a special request by one of the weekly singers for Sam to do a third number. The house was on its feet and dancing when Sam belted out  “Lights” by Journey. This brought the owner of the Hotel over to our table requesting Sam to perform one more song!

We were so honored by this reception from the crowd who at times was so loud you could not even hear some of the other entertainers. But when Sam took the stage for his last song,”Separate Ways” by Journey, a quieter mood came over the crowd with many giving a standing ovation as Sam belted out his last note!  Sam was the only one to receive this kind of response all evening!  “We are so proud of you Sam!”

I will never forget that night of Sam’s performances and how well he was received! Sam handed out many business cards and even received some leads for upcoming performance opportunities in California.

sampose1aSam Santiago is a true star on the rise! It doesn’t matter where he performs, a small gathering for a party, a church service setting, on the stage at a fair or festival, a large sport stadium, or just privately in the car  or at home, every time he sings he puts his whole being into his performance.

I’m predicting now that Sam Santiago will someday be a household name and this is one blogger and supporter that is incredibly happy to be along for the ride!

Thank you Sam and Family for visiting with me this summer! Please know that you are welcome to come as many times a year that you can break away! The City of Grand Rapids will always roll out the red carpet and that carpet will always lead to my front door!

Don’t forget to leave Sam a Comment below!  I know he will be delighted to hear from all of you!

59 thoughts on “Sam Santiago Wow’s West Michigan!”

  1. Hey Rivenmaster you did a wonderful job to Sam he’s gonna go all the way we believe that. Thanks to the article he deserved it! I’m a fan from Japan.

  2. Great Job! Can’t wait to see you on Dec.3 on your big event.
    Sam, a lot of your fans in LA are waiting for this event. See you there!

  3. I just downloaded your songs from your bandpage that was cool to have it there anytime i can get it  for free. Good job to your performance.Love you!!! Melwari from Malaysia.

  4. I love you Sam! once a week i search your name on the internet to see if you have a new songs on youtube i live in China and i always share your videos to my friends.Your voice is AMAZING than the other recording artist.Your skills is ahead of the game.Whenever i hear your voice im in love. Good Job!

  5. Hey Sam, hope you can visit us here in Japan they love you so much here! My friends in school are excited to see you in person.Hope you will have your own album soon.

  6. Hey Sam, you just show the world how good you are. This is just the beginning of your wonderful career, all my family and friends are behind you, can’t wait to buy your CD. I just wanna see your real recording your way ahead of some other kids. AWESOME!!!

  7. WOW!, You are a celebrity now Sam. Your accomplishment is the evidence of what you are gonna be in the future. Thanks to all who help Sam in Grand Rapids and the Rivenmaster!!!

  8. You are Blessed with a great talent, i just hope your success and dream will  be answered.
    Sam, keep up the good work and always be a good kid.

  9. Hey Sam thank you for sharing  the link its really nice to know what are you up to.
    You did a wonderful job. Special thanks to rivenmaster. We are excited to see more of this

  10. You did a great job on your interview, your performance is outstanding and the article is very simple. I love it!

  11. Wow!  Everyone from the Philippines Thanks so much for commenting about Sam’s article!  This is just wonderful!  Such a great response!  I’m sure Sam will sing for you the next time he comes there!  I hope some day I can join him and meet all of you!  Your great supporters and Sam is worthy of all your praise!  I know that he is very happy to receive all these wonderful comments. Way to go Sam!   Also Vhinbien from Vietnam and all Sam’s fans from INDONESIA thank you! 

  12. I always share your videos  with my friends because your so good!

  13. Very busy kid, someday your name will be all over the place!

  14. you are such incredible young performer, your doing great!

  15. You have such a great talent, just continue what you already started you will go far.

  16. You are D’ Best! hope someone will notice your natural talent.

  17. Hi Sam! My name is Vhinbien from Vietnam i always watch your videos on your site

  18. Don”t give up of your dream i believe you will make it Coz your so good!

  19. You made us all proud Sam here in the Philippines.We are all waiting on your big hit!

  20. Your name will be famous someday.Cant wait to buy your Album

  21. Go all the way Sam there is a big thing waiting on your way…

  22. I’m a fan…I always follow you on internet to see what you do.
    I pray your career to more fruitful.

  23. Such a powerful song you smashed it, Truly amazing. If this
    is your dream to perform then you have all the makings for a wonderful
    career. Such a massive amount of talent especially for one so young.

  24. Super! i will be waiting for more of you Sam great job!

  25. What a surprise! It’s absolutely amazing to hear such a
    big, powerful voice out of this little guy. His clarity, range and
    depth of emotion is nothing short of spectacular. I expect to be
    hearing a lot more from him in the years ahead.

  26. I have seen a lot of your age on youtube but your  one of a kind  very talented and you love what your doing, i hope your success.

  27. What can i say young guy it seems you are on the right direction for stardom.

  28. So much talent with in you and you still showing a lot of your versatility. Good Job!

  29. Sam, that was to much good stuff to watch! You are amazing and cannot wait what your going to do next. Keep it up!!!

  30. Sam it was such a privilege to have your and your family in my home and visit my city of Grand Rapids!  I know that everyone you met was charmed by your personality and Wow’d by your sensational singing talent!  Keep up the great work!  Your going to be a Superstar! 

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