The London vocalist, previously a bedroom recording artist with a loyal Internet following, found worldwide acclaim with his take on fractured, haunting slow jams, especially accented in his subtlety by the production here by Scott recording upstart Rodaidh McDonald, previously heralded for his work with Adele, Hot Chip, and the xx’s Mercury-prize winning debut (a trophy Process took in 2017). What Sampha’s melancholic soul vocals brought modern R’n’B is comparable to the edge The Weeknd brought back to dancefloor pop or the emotion Drake suggested to this generation of mainstream rap. Was it as important or impactful? Perhaps not, but it was infinitely more compelling.
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