Country : Tanzania Label : Loma Vista Genres and styles : Africa / Afro Rap / Afrobeat / Afrobeats / Afropop Year : 2022

Sampa the Great – As Above, So Below

· by Alain Brunet

Since the release of her excellent mixtape “Birds and the BEE9” in 2017 and the equally inspiring album “The Return” in 2019 (Ninja Tune), Tanzanian artist Sampa Tembo has been known as Sampa the Great. The imperial pomp of the moniker is justified here, given the influence and reach of this African rapper and singer, transplanted to Botswana, California and Australia before returning to Tanzania during the pandemic. Very critical of the Australian music industry in which she became a star, Sampa the Great fully assumes her aesthetic leadership of southern African neo-soul / hip-hop by returning home. On “As Above, So Below” (Loma Vista), she makes a clear statement about her Africanness, and a quest for inner balance after so much displacement as a citizen of a poor country. Sampa Tembo’s poetic rhetoric covers all her states and aspirations, she can be soft or scathing, her posture can be critical or spiritual. Moreover, she expresses here the paradox of being a star and an internationally recognized artist and having to deal with all the third world handicaps, she notes the increased difficulties, the under broadcasting and her pride to rise above the fray.  The mix of cultures is remarkable in her still young discography. She calls upon the best of African-American hip-hop (Denzel Curry, Joey Bada$$) or Afro-British hip-hop (Kojey Radical), she also welcomes artists from her native continent, such as Zambian beatmaker and producer Mag44, Afro-jazz artist James Sakala, rapper Chef 187, neo-soul singer Mwanjé (her real sister) or Beninese panafrican star Angélique Kidjo. The balance reached between soul/hip-hop music from the West, Afro-Caribbean music and popular music from Southern Africa mixed with zamrock, afro-jazz, afrobeat or afrobeats, make the specificity of Sampa the Great, most definitely a new dominant artist of our planet sound.

Latest 360 Content

Suoni, June 17 | Reverberations, voices and multiple reflections

Suoni, June 17 | Reverberations, voices and multiple reflections

Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All…….

Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All…….

Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

Botanist – Paleobotany

Botanist – Paleobotany

Jordan Hamilton – Project Freedom

Jordan Hamilton – Project Freedom

Nino Carlos &  Friends – Placenta

Nino Carlos & Friends – Placenta

Arooj Aftab – Night Reign

Arooj Aftab – Night Reign

Samuel Hasselhorn – Urlicht : Songs of Death and Resurrection

Samuel Hasselhorn – Urlicht : Songs of Death and Resurrection

Suoni per il popolo | The socially committed and fiery jazz of Irreversible Entanglements

Suoni per il popolo | The socially committed and fiery jazz of Irreversible Entanglements

JAKŌ and his experimental soundscapes at Suoni

JAKŌ and his experimental soundscapes at Suoni

Ishi Tishi and their Evening With All The Animals at Suoni

Ishi Tishi and their Evening With All The Animals at Suoni

Suoni per il popolo | A chat with a contemporary music legend: Howard Skempton

Suoni per il popolo | A chat with a contemporary music legend: Howard Skempton

June 13 at Suoni Per Il Popolo: No Hay Banda with Sarah Davachi and Nadah El-Shazly + Sarah Pagé

June 13 at Suoni Per Il Popolo: No Hay Banda with Sarah Davachi and Nadah El-Shazly + Sarah Pagé

Habitat Sonore at Centre Phi| Summer playlist and ideal venue for active, immersive listening

Habitat Sonore at Centre Phi| Summer playlist and ideal venue for active, immersive listening

HABITAT SONORE :  the music that rocks Montreal… and the Phi Center !

HABITAT SONORE :  the music that rocks Montreal… and the Phi Center !

Piknic Électronik | Pretty Privilege is aiming joy and sassiness

Piknic Électronik | Pretty Privilege is aiming joy and sassiness

Suoni | Sarah Davachi and the idea of being played by No Hay Banda

Suoni | Sarah Davachi and the idea of being played by No Hay Banda

Suoni Per Il Popolo | The Jellicle Kiki Ball

Suoni Per Il Popolo | The Jellicle Kiki Ball

Phi Centre | KALLITECHNIS is about sensuality and introspection

Phi Centre | KALLITECHNIS is about sensuality and introspection

Dumai Dunai – Sometime Between Now and Never

Dumai Dunai – Sometime Between Now and Never

Montréal Baroque Fest 2024 : discover the ‘’Multiverse’’ programming

Montréal Baroque Fest 2024 : discover the ‘’Multiverse’’ programming

L’Orchestre de l’Agora, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, Claudie Bertounesque, Richard Strauss, Élizabeth St-Gelais | Nicolas Ellis explains the Gala de la Terre

L’Orchestre de l’Agora, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, Claudie Bertounesque, Richard Strauss, Élizabeth St-Gelais | Nicolas Ellis explains the Gala de la Terre

Subscribe to our newsletter