Sampa the Great, has released her new EP, HERoes Act 2, featuring three tracks with Estelle and production by Rahki, out now with Red Bull Sound Select. New songs “Everybody’s Hero,” “The Plug,” and “Paved With Gold” can all be heard now on Spotify and Soundcloud.
With influences that include Mos Def and Lauryn Hill, the 23-year-old Sampa the Great is quickly creating her own musical path, paved with lyrics centered on issues close to her heart. She found a love for hip-hop at an early age and views music as the language of the soul, transcending borders and acting as an agent for positive change. It’s a quality that is consistent throughout her debut release The Great Mixtape, on which Sampa delicately entwines her poetry into each beat, playfully switching styles and engaging listeners on every level.
Born in Zambia, Sampa Tembo moved to Botswana with her family at a young age. This early separation from her peers shaped her upbringing, and is one of the life experiences that informs her lyrics. At her primary school, a group of boys were set to perform a rap song, and Sampa was intrigued by their performance. She asked them if she could join the group, and their response was that “you can’t rap with us, because you’re a girl.” In that moment, she decided not only to be a great female artist, but a great artist, period.
“It’s a search for creativity, laughter, purpose and rhythms.” With those four simple terms, Sampa the Great describes her astonishing debut release, The Great Mixtape. Sampa has a penchant for poetry and weaves dense lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. Her music bounds from spoken-word to pure hip-hop rapping, with stops at psychedelic and bluesy waypoints in between. It’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries – to listen is to learn. Sampa’s debut 12-track mixtape flows through a collection of experimental beats by producer Godriguez and left-field rhymes shaped by Sampa’s wide-spanning influences including Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Thandiswa Mazwai, Asa, Nneka and Yasiin Bey.
HERoes Act 2 is the latest in Sampa’s exciting narrative series of songs and collaborative projects. Act 1 of 2 is a spoken-word video, 2-track exploration into self-discovery and strength from within. In a time where chaos, uncertainty and prejudice engulf us, Sampa once again shines her torch on the value and strength of each individual.