Norman Sann is proof that you can be a successful recording artist, while remaining independent. 

Born in Houston, Texas, real name Norman Sanchez grew up with a single mother and had his fair share of obstacles, including poverty. From not knowing when his next meal to getting bullied, thankfully music would be his saving grace. What started as acting classes led to learning trombone in junior high band. Soon, he’d be playing percussion, guitar, harmonica, piano, and organ. 

Norman states, “Anything is possible. I talk a lot about magic, believing. A lot of times, creating something and doing something for yourself is the purest thing you can do.”

At the end of the day, Norman is the true definition of a music lover, and he has high aspirations of expanding his growing fanbase to a global scale. His unique style, sound, and swag sets him apart from his peers, and his ear for instrumentation and pen for strong lyricism remains unmatched. 

Sheen spoke with Norman Sann during BET week in Los Angeles.


For those who don’t know, who is Norman Sann? 

It’s funny. I like to describe myself as a regular person, but I know I’m way more nuanced than a regular person. It’s a messed up answer. It’s me trying to be humble: I’m just normal like everybody else. Honestly, I’m a lot of things. I wear different faces and I can become different things. Like the jack of all trades, master of some.

Master of some? 

Yeah. You know how some people who are jack of all trades, master of none? I’m the jack of all trades, but master of some.

When did you fall in love with music?

I want to say I was born into the arts. When I was really young, I did an Oscar Mayer Wiener commercial. My mom had me acting and she had VHS cassette tapes of it, so I was  always into art. But my love for music happened when I was at church, sitting at church with my mom. Seeing those musicians at church, then they get on stage and do all this crazy stuff. After church, they laugh. I’m like bro, you guys are gods. They’re like “bro chill.” I love that. That’s where it really piqued my interest. Man I wanted to go play the keys, or I wanted to get on the drums. 

What’s the inspiration behind your name?

In school, I had a friend. He was a Japanese kid, he was an exchange student so he lived with a family. He had trouble communicating in English at times, but we connected over Dragon Ball.  Because I used to draw Goku and Gohan, I used to draw all kinds of pictures of all Dragon Ball stuff. He’s like “oh Dragon Ball?!” Yeah bro, wassup? We got real cool. He used to call me Norman San.

I like, ‘Norman San’,cause it had a ring to it! Before that, I was fascinated with this clique in Houston called Kream Clicc. It stood for kicks rule everything around me. Maxo and Elmo, I looked up to those guys. Maxo’s still rapping now. “Maxo, Sammo, Remy,” and all these guys. I’m like, I’m Normo! Even though I got no money for shoes. [laughs] I got my Payless shoes on, but it’s cool. When I met him and we started kicking it, bro I’m not gonna be Normo. I’m not cool enough. I’ma be Norman Sann.

LEFT HAND RIGHT HAND,” what inspired this record?

Ooh, I just got tired of making the same song for a while. Because for a while, I was doing the same format as far as the boom bap records. Man I could rap, but let me make something fun. That’s what I wanted, I haven’t made a fun song in a while. “Let me see you use your left hand, right hand.” [laughs] I thought it was cute. This is cute, it’s a cute little song. Really went in there having fun. I’m glad you asked about that. A lot of people always asked: “when’s your song coming out? I seen the snippet bro. I can’t stop listening to the one minute snippet.” Just be patient!

People were excited for that song?

They were blowing me up like “yo bro, I need this on Spotify right now.”

3 things you need in the studio at all times? 

Hard Drive, gotta have a hard drive. Little small SSDs, gotta have that because that’s where all the drum kits are. Besides my boy J Patz, I do all my production, so I gotta have my kits. I need a good set of speakers. 

Not equipment! 

I don’t even know. I don’t need nothing. I’ll pull up a laptop right now and start making songs. I don’t like eating, because I like to stay hungry. I swear to God. A lot of my process is done on TikTok Live. I show people what I do. They’re like “bro, how do you do this?” I literally sit down and lock in. I sit down and lock in. That was a big thing too that helped me succeed, was that I let people in on the process. Some of the comments are always: “I was there when he made the song. I saw him struggle to get that line out, and then he switched it.” Or somebody was like “Thanks for listening to me and taking that breath!”

Best encounter with the fan?

When I was struggling to make ends meet after I got let go from my first job in music, I had a fan message me like, “You’re the best artist I’ve ever heard in my life.” It was a sweet, sweet, long message. She became my first moderator. She became the biggest supporter. She told me to start a Patreon. Our first month of Patreon, we had at least 1000 people because of her. It was the biggest Patreon month I ever had. I felt bad because I didn’t put nothing on Patreon. She’s like, “Norman, don’t forget to update the Patreon.” I don’t know what to do! She was the best fan I had, and she recently passed a week ago. 

How? I’m so sorry.

I don’t know. Her mom called me: “Norman, I got bad news. Ames is gone.” I was like no. She will always forever have the best encounter with me. She really made me feel like I could do it. If this random girl from all the way in New York, she’s not social. She’s antisocial. She loves rap music, she was a very different person. If she get out of her comfort zone and take the time to write me a message like that, that’s huge. That’s dope.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Norman Sann