Sampa The Great
Sampa the Great (Zambia/Botswana/Australia)
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.
Sampa The Great hails from Africa, the motherland. Born in Zambia, she was then raised in Botswana. Music was immersed within her family life and at the age of 22, Sampa left home and moved to Australia to further her musical studies.
Sampa has a penchant for poetry and weaves lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. Her music bonds from spoken-word to rap, with stops at psychedelic and blues along the way; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries.
Tembo's debut project, The Great Mixtape introduced Sampa the Great to audiences, giving them their first taste of what she was about. Produced by Sydney based musician Godriguez, The Great Mixtape was about making one's presence known, making your dreams become a reality and believing in yourself no matter who you are and where you come from. Since this initial release, she has collaborated with artists like REMI, Hiatus Kaiyote, Estelle and has supported Kendrick Lamar and Thundercat.
At the beginning of 2017, Sampa the Great released a 3-track EP called HERoes Act 2, which served as a sequel to HEROES, a spoken word piece she released in late 2016. Via the Red Bull Sound Select program, the project was a collaboration with British singer-songwriter and rapper Estelle and LA based Grammy nominated producer Rahki (Kendrick Lamar). HERoes Act 2 sheds light on doubts, fears and vulnerability that one faces as an artist and in everyday life.
Following her first European headline tour and supporting Joey Bada$$ on his All Amerikkkan Bada$$ tour, Sampa the Great released her second project Birds and The BEE9 with Ninja Tune’s sister label Big Dada. It garnered attention from Gilles Peterson (BBC6) and Annie Mac (Radio 1), and was described as “a spiky-smooth concoction of pride, bombast and vulnerability” by The 405.
Both deeply intimate and outward looking, Australian Music Prize (AMP) winning mixtape Birds And The BEE9, took musical influences from Sampa's African upbringing and lyrical content from her own experiences of hurt and pain. Working with a close circle of producers to help realise her musical vision – including Kwes Darko, Sensible J and Alejandro ‘JJ’ Abapo – the mixtape spanned soul to gospel and hip-hop, with Sampa shining as both a singer and MC. Receiving acclaim from Clash, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, triple j, and landing coveted feature album spots across community radio stations across the board, it’s no wonder Sampa The Great was awarded with the AMP award for 2017.
In her endeavours, Sampa the Great continues to strive to always be the best she can be; with promise of more music, poetry and avenues of expression always around the corner.
“Her stage presence is unassuming but effortlessly charismatic. She beats her chest a little with a fist as the crowd roars, after a superhuman run of rapid-fire bars that pushes past where most mortals would need a breath….” – Guardian
“Sampa The Great’s captivating fusion of soul, jazz and hip-hop is what makes this album so inspiring and original, and marks her as one of the most exciting talents emerging at the moment.” – London in Stereo
“Originating from Zambia, the Melbourne-based poet and singer-songwriter is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she a brooding soulful, hip hop genius who redefines typical rap music, but she is also a powerful commentator, using her words to effect positive change.” – AU Review
“An adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries” – OKAY AFRICA
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Sampa The Great feat. Nicole Gumbe - Black Girl Magik
Sampa The Great - Energy (feat. Nadeem Din-Gabisi)
Sampa The Great - Rhymes To The East | A COLORS SHOW
Sampa The Great - Everybody's Hero