‘As Above, So Below’: Sampa the Great brings her vision to life

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‘As Above, So Below’: Sampa the Great brings her vision to life

Sampa The Great

'As Above, So Below' is the truest expression of her art to date, according to Sampa Tembo (aka The Great).

Co-produced by Sampa alongside Zambian producer Mag44 – whose music she admired as a child – the album was recorded in Zambia during the pandemic. 

“Who did music/ Made that shit language/ African branded/ We did (never forget)…” – ‘Never Forget’ (feat. Chef 187, Sampa’s cousin Tio Nason and l’il sis Mwanjé) pays tribute to Zamrock, a genre with ‘70s origins that combined traditional African music with psychedelic rock, and showcases Sampa’s gruff timbre and trademark percussive flow to perfection.

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Inventive rhyming elevates ‘Lane’ (feat. Denzel Curry) – “Thinkin’ you’re Geppetto/ Pullin’ strings, you ain’t got the memo/ You know that I’m walkin’ through the meadow…” – a song about giving yourself permission to show your full range as a human being. 

After clocking Sampa’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert, Angélique Kidjo reached out to request a collab: Sampa features on Kidjo’s ‘Free & Equal’ and now the five-time Grammy Award-winning Beninese trailblazer returns the feat. favour on this album’s ebullient, brass-infused closer, ‘Let Me Be Great’. 

Sampa envisioned ‘An Afro Future’ (“seeing people who look like me on stage”).

Then she assembled a history-making, 15-piece all-Zambian backing band for touring purposes – bringing her vision to life and empowering others.

You will remember the name/ Sampa The Great is the greatest” – ‘Never Forget’

Label: Lorna Vista Recordings
Release date: 9 September