Sampa The Great

“As young, upcoming artists, we aim to be the examples we saw, but as you grow in your artistry, you realize that example was only there to show you you could do it. Now it’s time for you to take that example and interpret it into who you are. So, the less I tried to be like Lauryn [Hill], the more I could be Sampa. And the more I could see what I love, the stories I love to tell, the music I grew up on and love sharing, and the more I could solidify myself as an artist,” says the Zambia-born Botswana-raised poet and rapper Sampa The Great, reflecting on her creative path, in episode 79 of LSQ. “And so that journey has continued and grown within the past six years, and I think it’s taken a really beautiful turn in relocating back home. Because now the context isn’t me trying to represent different groups of people in a country I wasn’t raised in, to bring people something different than what’s shown on the mainstream. You’re bringing African artists to the mainstream in a country like Australia, that’s huge work, and I know it was a huge weight for me, even though we broke a lot of walls. I realize it took a huge toll on me and it was a huge weight, that, when I relocated back home [to Zambia], that full-circle moment of being in a place where the dream actually started forced me to go back to the mindset of the kid who dreamt it, and how happy I was to express the music and share music, in general, without the opinions or weight of anything else, and really forced me to take a look into representing Sampa for a change, versus everybody else. I mean, everybody else didn’t even ask me to represent them, if we’re being honest. And just taking a chance to look at who I am outside of my music, my own happiness, and making sure that I actually love what I do. And those all are important ingredients to the world of self-discovery, and just being transparent with myself, and aiming to be my freest self are some of the thought processes that went into As Above, So Below.” Sampa The Great’s awesome new sophomore studio album, As Above, So Below, is out now. Tickets to her upcoming European headlining tour are available HERE.

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