When Sam McIntire, a junior at Century High School, first picked up the violin in elementary school, music became just one of his many interests. His mother, Wendy Olenik, said that though his attention was divided between science, languages, computers and music, she knew that whatever Sam chose to focus on, he would excel at it.
"Samuel is just a very driven and passionate person," Olenik said. "I always knew he was going to do great things."
It wasn't until he entered high school, and he first picked up a guitar, that Sam, 17, decided he wanted a career in music.
"The turning point for me was around freshman year when I took the dive from computers, which had been my focus, into music, and decided to put both those things together," Sam said.
Sam will be holding a release party for his debut album, "Metamorphosis," at G.L. Shacks from 1:45-3 p.m. April 26. There is no cover charge at the door. CD's will not be for sale at the show but can be purchased at http://www.reverbnation.com/sammcintire. His music can also be bought on iTunes and Google Play.
He said he wanted to have the album release party local for a number of reasons. First, he wanted to make it convenient for friends and family so they didn't have to travel to Washington, D.C. or Baltimore for the show; also, it's more convenient for him because it's so close to home; and he also really likes G.L. Shacks.
The album consists of 12 songs, and every facet of the production was done by Sam. This includes songwriting, vocals, every instrument and all edits, engineering and graphics. He accomplished this feat with the use of software programs installed on his home computer. Jim Hiltz, a local musician and songwriter and a mentor to Sam, said that he knows what it is like to record an album, and the fact that Sam was able to finish an album by himself is astounding.
"That feat in and of itself is astronomical," Hiltz said. "It floors me."
Hiltz first met Sam when they played together in Joey D Cares Rock Orchestra, a nonprofit organization that is composed of middle school and high school students as well as adult volunteers who perform shows for charity. As amazed as Hiltz is about what Sam accomplished, he said he isn't surprised and thinks that his potential is limitless.
"I think Sam could enter the music business and pretty much do anything he wants," Hiltz said. "If it's not on the musician's side he will be somewhere in the music business, he's that talented."
Sam said his goal was to reach as large an audience as possible. To do this, he said he incorporated different styles which helped him maintain a high level of creativity.
"I'm trying to write a song to please the masses without sacrificing any artistic elements," Sam said. "I like my music because it's hard enough so I feel that any guy can really get into it and has some really cool guitar riffs, but also has a pop flavor that any person who listens to pop radio could still get into the melody of the music."
Olenik said that it wasn't just her son's passion for music that enabled him to accomplish such a daunting task. It was also his knowledge of and appreciation for computers.
"You don't put up brick walls in front of Samuel," Olenik said. "If it can be done, he'll figure out how to get it done."
Though Sam said that he has enjoyed the process of writing, playing and recording his own material, he said that he eventually wants to work with other artists in their endeavors.
"My long-term goal is to manage and produce an array of artists from different genres," Sam said.
Hiltz said that when he first met Sam, what surprised him the most was not his musical development but his maturity and positive attitude.
"As good a musician as he is, he's an even better human being," Hiltz said.