Sure enough, he takes to the Tonight Show stage alone, just him and his piano cast in silhouette, set against a burnt-orange backdrop that, together with the silhouette, resembles dusk. Sampha’s singing has always been a strength.
sampha happens lyrics – Samphamusic
Sampha has had a busy year. Sonically, Sampha explores many different textures, voices, and styles across the album. Most of it is centered on Sampha’s unique brand of electro-neo-soul. It’s hard to pin down and define, but it takes influence from R&B and from his previous electronic work. He utilizes a world sound on Kora Sings”, featuring an African string instrument (also called a Kora). On Under”, Sampha sings over a slick trap hip-hop beat, with his own synth twist. There are flashes of musical saturation contrasted with tender moments of bare synth plucks and piano.
It is a slow ballad, an homage to his musical roots, before his rise to fame and before the loss of his mother, as he sings about the piano he would play in his mother’s home. Though the subsequent tracks do re-engage with some of the early heaviness, it is less chaotic and gains precision as the artist gains understanding and control of his pain and grief.
The only times I would go and make music was when she was in the hospital for the day,” Sampha said. As a caregiver, you can become a little bit numb because you have to be very functional,” he said. But songwriting, which he tends to do improvisationally at the piano, helped to sort of realize the gravitas of things and helped me reconnect and empathize with my mom,” he said.
The only way I see myself as unusual is in other settings, like socially. I’ve had quite a lot of friends or people who know me – because I was always quite a quiet person and not really that vocal or talkative – who are like, Oh wow, Sampha, I never thought you would be making music, or doing all these things”. The times I feel unusual, are the times I realise that music is the way of expressing or showing people I have this perspective on things. I guess that’s the beautiful thing about human beings.
I meet Sampha on the roof of Young Turks’ studio in Hackney the night after he joined Alicia Keys on stage at Camden’s Roundhouse (Keys is such a big fan she got him up to perform some of his own songs). Before he arrives, I watch it back with his manager and friend from the label and you can feel his charisma somersault out of the screen on every note. We’re turning it up and marvelling as he shyly walks into the room just in time to catch us craned over the computer screen. He quietly laughs and admits he hasn’t seen it yet. This is the Sampha of Dual (his last EP) fame, constantly shifting the lines between producer spreading magic from behind the scenes and artist commanding the attention of the room.
For years, some of the biggest names in music (and the best talent scouts) — including Drake, Beyoncé , Kanye West and Solange — have deployed his lush, tender soprano, which can feel wounded but never weak, to telegraph their vulnerability. Through guest appearances on tell-all songs like Drake’s Too Much” and Mr. West’s Saint Pablo,” Sampha has made himself a go-to collaborator for those in search of emotional heft.
The standout comes in ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ – with just his voice and that instrument, Sisay weaves the powerful tale of the piano he first learnt on, in his mother’s home and – while a little schmaltzy – it is quite beautiful. Without the intrusive glimmers of electronica, this track gains a real sense of warmth and intimacy that feels lacking elsewhere. When he says You would show me I had something some people call a soul”, he blurs the line between talking about the instrument and talking about his mother, and it’s a touching conceit.
The suggestion on that record, one of this site’s favorites of the year so far , was of a soul-searcher who, despite the likes of starry collaborators Solange, Drake, Frank Ocean and Kanye West bringing him to the brink of A-lister status, had not quite been able to shake certain demons, a weight very much fixed on his shoulders.
S: Now, my ears are very much more attuned to things. But I don’t necessarily think I’ve become a better songwriter. I feel like music is a documentation of where you are at the tie. So if I listen to something that I wrote when I was 14, I think, That’s great. That was really good.” And I might not be able to ever go back to that time and place, but I feel like some things drop off and some things get better. Your understanding of sound grows, but you might not have the same energy as when you were 21 or younger. You mature and maybe your sound…I wouldn’t say dulls, but maybe it’s not as hyperactive as it used to be.
In a conversation with Fast Company after a recent music festival set, Sampha opens up about the importance of catharsis in finally releasing Process, why he’ll never regret his earliest music, and the reason he can’t figure out what he sounds like.
While Sampha and the band were in the Music Hall greenroom listening to a playlist that somehow includes Cortex as well as Meek Mill, she peeks into the other backstage rooms to see what the rest of us hangers-on are up to. When the band takes the stage after the cellist and singer Kelsey Lu’s set, Jojo watches the show from a table in the balcony, a speck in the crowd of her boyfriend’s fans. Sampha appears in a buttoned flannel shirt, black jeans, and a pair of sneakers that one might wear to mow the lawn. As he stands at the keyboard and sings, his fans fill the venue with the light and silence of a smartphone vigil. If he’d lost the drums, we’d have been singing kumbaya.
Before the release of his debut, Sampha had already worked with famous artists such as Kanye West or Drake and released two EPs. The debut album “Process” was affected by Sampha’s mother dying of cancer in 2015.
However, rather than allow moments of soul-searching an introversion to define the record, Process stands out as Sampha stands up, in defiance of the challenges he’s faced. ‘Brave’ is a term used too often to describe music that reveals some vulnerability (what music doesn’t?), but here, by placing himself front a centre, Sampha is hiding nothing.
London-based songwriter Sampha Sisay has been making music all his life. He started learning the piano at a young age, and rose to fame as part of the electronic act SBTRKT in 2010. He’s collaborated with some high-profile names in music, including Drake, Solange, Frank Ocean and Kanye West. In 2017, Sampha released his solo debut full length release, Process, and it was well worth the wait.
Sampha stopped by the NPR offices to perform 3 tracks from Process. The result is a Tiny Desk Concert as intimate as it gets (and that’s saying something). It’s just him, a piano and these heart-wrenching songs that we reckon double as coping mechanisms.
Use the audio player below to listen to the full session and hear three songs from Sampha’s debut album, Process. The Alabama Shakes singer and guitarist brought an eight-piece backing band to the Tiny Desk for a set of deeply personal and affecting songs.
Process, despite its successful effort to create one engaging narrative, also ends on a question mark with What Shouldn’t I Be?” This track echoes a universal question that suitably caps Sampha’s journey to process his pain and find understanding.
Process brings an artistic, mournful and heartfelt twist to the electronic genre. Not all of Sampha’s songs are necessarily upbeat or joyous, but they demonstrate a deeper analysis of his own feelings, actions and character.
Sampha wrote and produced Treasure” himself, recording it in London in August. British electronic singer known as Sampha whose teamed up with artists such as Drake , Kanye West , Solange Knowles , SBTRKT and Beyonce He is popular for his solo EPs Sundanza and Dual.
In February 2017, it was time for Sampha to tell his own story with the release of his debut album Process. The album—an achingly beautiful, emotionally raw and musically adventurous body of work—is the culmination of years of work and was one of the year’s most acclaimed albums, culminating in Sampha winning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Sampha’s live performances are equally emotive, leading to sold-out shows around the world that have been met with widespread acclaim.
As Sampha’s lurked inside our speakers for years, his first true arrival is as loud as it begs to be, moving from slow swoons of piano to frantic, electric eccentricities across ten tracks. It’s quite easy to forget the swells of pain when admiring the warmth they’re covered in; Sampha’s production never loses sync with the content, morphing itself to be as grandiose or claustrophobic as necessary. No One Knows Me (Like the Piano)” exemplifies this, inviting us into his childhood home with a glowing piano loop that gives us a front-row seat to his mother’s fading words. Reverse Faults” is a hell of a record as well, giving Sampha the chance to ponder his own mistakes before crashing into a trap-like drop upon realizing how much he fucked up and blamed his lover for all his mistakes.
And how could they not be? This is the golden boy who has lent his sweet vocals to all number of impressive artists: Solange, SBTRKT, Kanye. He has demonstrated time and time again a delicate and sensitive artistry.
Sampha, full name Sampha Sisay, has built his trade by being a reluctant artist. Tipped as a star on the rise at the beginning of the decade, his EP releases (‘Sundanza’ and ‘Dual’) packed delicate but virtuosic vocals over warped, fractious beats. Dexterous in his ability to unify disparate soundscapes, black heritage music through a prism of futurist underground greyness — Sampha was merely scratching the surface of his abilities.
Following the release of ‘Dual’ Sampha came fourth in the BBC ‘Sound Of 2014’ list. Sampha’s highly anticipated debut album, Process, will be released on February 3rd on Young Turks. Singles ‘Blood On Me’, ‘Timmy’s Prayer’ and ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ are available now. ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ was named Best New Track by Pitchfork.
As one of the UK’s most enigmatic young artists, Sampha has spent years generously dividing his time between solo and collaborative work, lending his talents to a whole range of standout releases, from homegrown UK contemporaries such as SBTRKT, FKA twigs, Lil Silva and Jessie Ware to world-renowned superstars like Drake, Beyonce, Kanye West, Solange and Frank Ocean.
London-based musician Sampha has unveiled a new song for the Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet-starring film Beautiful Boy, out today. Treasure” doesn’t stray too far from Sampha’s usual work, focused around piano and Sampha’s angelic falsetto. Last year, he released the Mercury Prize-winning album Process and, since then, has shared a cover of Solange’s Cranes In the Sky” and appeared on an Everything Is Recorded track.