The rise of Sampa the Great has been spectacular to watch. A young woman hailing from Africa and based in Sydney, she has set about making music that artfully combines her natural style and energy with thought-provoking, socially-conscious themes. She views music as the language of the soul, transcending borders and acting as an agent for positive change.
Born in Zambia and raised in Botswana, Sampa Tembo found a love for hip-hop at an early age, carrying it with her as she travelled and studied. Her upbringing and life experience inform her lyrics, which cover political and societal imbalances in a meaningful way, tackling heavy themes with a light touch. It’s a quality that runs through her recent debut release The Great Mixtape, produced by fellow Sydney-sider Godriguez. Sampa delicately entwines her poetry through each beat, playfully switching styles to ensure it engages you on every level.
Like her many influences - both musical and political - Sampa hopes to inform and inspire, delivering her message in a way that is bold yet inclusive. “I’m great,” she proclaims, not as a boast but instead a rallying call. “You’re great. We’re great.”
In the vain of un-announced releases Sampa dropped 2 Soundcloud uploads ‘Blue Boss’ (Hitting #1 on Hype Machine and picked up by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, Reaching 1 Million Spotify plays in 2 months) & ‘Black Dignity’ added to Triple J Rotation. Her collaboration with Urthboy & Okenyo spawned the single ‘Second Heartbeat’ in early 2016. In March her collaboration with REMI ‘For Good’ hit the Triple J airwaves.
Sampa has won over a wave of adoring fans having been chosen to support Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ibeyi, Little Simz and Fat Freddy’s Drop along with her sold out headline shows and festival slots at Golden Plains, Sugar Mountain, WOMAD & VIVID Live.