Sampa The Great announces ‘Final Form’, a triumphant single that sees the MC embrace the struggle of growing as an artist. Having just been named Zane Lowe’s World Record, ‘Final Form’ is Sampa’s first new music for 2019 and sees her fiercely delivered lyrics entangled with a warm, tightly wound beat. Produced by longtime collaborator Silentjay (Rhythm Section) - and mixed by Jonwayne of Stones Throw Records notoriety - it draws inspiration from the energy of their shared inspirations in classic hip-hop.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the constant chatter around you about how ‘you are not there yet’, how you ‘might not make it’” Sampa says. “Final Form is about expanding yourself and calling out any negativity towards that growth process. As an artist I now recognise my in-between stage; sometimes it drops and sometimes it rises, but I love that I get to level up each second. I might even final form tomorrow.”
The ‘Final Form’ official video sees Sampa travel back to Zambia to explore the traditions and communities of her roots. Bridging the gap between the traditional worlds of Nyau dancers and modern Zambian youth culture, it was filmed in the run up to her first ever shows on African soil, including her recent homecoming show in Zambia. “The video was inspired by the belief of having a spiritual exodus back to yourself.” Says Sampa. “We often as black people in the diaspora talk about the physical return to our roots but not so often about the spiritual. ‘Final form’ is meant to start that conversation. It was important for me to do this video in Zambia, the place of my birth and where I’m from, because if I am truly to become the greatest version of myself, I am going to start at the most me I’ve ever been, which is where I started from, where I grew up! I was born and raised between Zambia and Botswana. By a Bemba mother and Tumbuka father and to erase that by calling me anything but Zambian/African, is to erase my history, culture and essence. Everything I was born from.”
Having previously performed worldwide supporting the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Thundercat, Joey Bada$$, Hiatus Kaiyote, Noname, Ibeyi and Little Simz, in 2019 Sampa is set to play live at Glastonbury, Love Supreme Jazz Festival and with Sons Of Kemet at Somerset House in the UK, before performing alongside Burna Boy in New York’s Prospect Park on 19th July, with additional shows at Dark MOFO (Tasmania - alongside FKA Twigs, Kelsey Lu, Nicholas Jaar), Down The Rabbit Hole (Netherlands) and headlining Hip-Hop Collection (Paris) with more TBA.
The Zambia-born, Botswana-raised MC released her acclaimed “Birds and the BEE9” mixtape in 2017, described by The Observer as a record in which “categories dissolve around her”, support for Sampa The Great has come from the likes of NPR, Clash, Okayafrica, XLR8R, Huck, Mixmag, Rolling Stone AUS, Complex, Noisey, Vibe, Gal Dem and more. Capping off 2018 with new single ‘Energy’ - premiered via Zane Lowe’s show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 and clocking up over 1M views on Youtube - she recently collaborated with Denzel Curry on his Triple J ‘Like A Version’ session, and with Estelle on an EP via Red Bull Sound.
Sampa the Great (Sampa Tembo) is a poet and singer-songwriter. Expressing herself through music, poetry and visual art, Sampa captures listeners with thought provoking words, while encouraging people to enjoy the simplicity of creativity.
These guys performed a free gig in Auckland, New Zealand, and jumped on a 3am flight back to London straight afterwards. That flight (25 hours+) is a killer so much respect for that! Great music which translates well into a live show. Good luck for the future and come back to NZ soon! LeeT