A Spotlight on Sampha

As many of you may know, Sampha recently won the Hyundai Mercury Prize for his album Process. The show was hosted by Lauren Laverne of BBC Music and Idris Elba. Sampha dedicated the award to his parents and thanked the judges. But what got him to that award and why is it so incredible that this shy producer and artist of ten years got the limelight for once? Well…

The guy started by himself – Like many of the greatest music stories, this started with a young boy with a dream of doing what he loved. Born in South London to Sierra Leonean parents, he built himself a small home studio in his teenage years, then went on to meet producer Kwes.  It’s always cool to see someone pursue a passion so early in their life, then see it pay off. His most successful song, Like the Piano is a tribute to his late mother, who helped him through his career, as any mother would. An emotional song, but one that is bursting with musical flavour.

He has pipes – Obviously, the Sampha can sing but there’s something about his voice. Something very emotional to each note. The way each song captures his voice in its style is great. So, you look at Blood on Me then Plastic 100°. Both songs sound incredible but for different reasons. Blood on Me feels claustrophobic and tense, but Plastic 100° is a very intimate and raw. If you look below you’ll see him at the Tiny Desk Concert series. He’s so chill and genuine. The studio versions of these songs don’t do them justice, because the emotion in his voice comes from a real place and it shines through more so in a live setting.

Drake flew Sampha out to Toronto to produce – Yep. As well as producing alongside Drake, he is also the go to for people like Kanye and even did a song with Beyoncé for goodness sake. He also performed alongside Drake way back in 2013, on the Jimmy Fallon show. Drake sampled Sampha’s song Too Much which helped further his journey to the spotlight.

This is only his first album – You know why that’s great? Because that gives us so many more reasons to be excited about what he’s going to do next. There is so much there, with that voice and those tracks. After ten years if this is what he comes out with we’re all gripping our seats to see what’s next, whether it be more collaborations as he has done in the past or another solo album. Either or it’ll probably be great.

Well, there you have it. Go check out his music, available on Spotify, YouTube and literally everywhere else you could find music.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch that Tiny Desk Concert again. Because it’s dope.