Meet Sami Switch, a grime artist from Caversham who has been getting attention on the Berkshire and London rap scenes since he was just 16. The Guide met up with him as his second mixtape, Momento Mori, dropped, to find out about the Reading rap scene, starting young, and staying positive.

"When I was younger in primary school, my parents were very into poetry so I think I started writing poetry then," explained Sami. "When I started secondary school [Highdown in Caversham] there were a lot of people who were very into grime music, and I started seeing that I could take it further, take it seriously, and then I started actually making songs. When I was 16 I met Twan Pemberton [the son of Boney M's Liz Pemberton and founder of BlakMagik records] through a friend and he gave me the opportunity to get into a real, professional studio instead of just a corner of the bedroom, and get it out there properly."

Now Sami is working on music full-time, and has gained coverage on online youth TV station SB:TV, and rave reviews for his first mix-tape, Carpe Diem. The 19-year-old told us that while the meanings of his mixtape titles - 'seize the day' and 'remember you will die' - both embody a positive sense of living fully and in the moment, things hadn't always been that way.

"I want to say I'm quite positive, but before the tracks were not always. I got caught up in rapping about the same things most rappers rap about, and then I went through a bad patch," he revealed. "I went through recovery and I realised through that you can take positivity from any bad thing that happens to you.

"My last mix tape was called Carpe Diem and the reason I called it that was because I was going through a time where I was maybe seizing the moment a little too much!

"When I was looking at my new album I wanted to continue with the Latin phrase. I found 'memento mori', and through that I thought of so many discussion between me and my friends, about life and work, and about how people should realise how short their lives are."

Sami added that his music was about making a connection. "My aim is to firstly make a living off music, obviously, because that's a necessity in this cruel world, but secondly to show and express my thoughts and maybe influence people to see positively," the rapper said.

While explaining that the rap scene in Reading - where he has never done proper gig, in favour of London venues - could be 'competitive', Sami said that the level of support he gets from fans in his hometown is 'mind-blowing'.

"When I go out in town its mind-blowing how many people come up to me to get photos. I get a lot of love from people my age and younger people. I want to say I am very lucky because I have got a group of friends who will be at the front of the room at shows and I get complete energy from them when I see them going crazy. I love it, I love it."

Find Sami's mixtapes, gig dates and videos at