Sampa The Great releases highly anticipated new album

Words by Sasha Gattermayr

Featuring Silent Jay, Jace XL, Ecca Vandal, Thando and more.

I got actual chills when Sampa performed at MIFF this year as part of the Hear My Eyes program, where she staged a live score to the French film Girlhood. When I saw her perform last year at Meredith Music Festival, the crowd was just a sea of shoes held aloft in respect and approval.

Now, the Zambian-born, Botswana-raised, and Melbourne-based musician has released her highly anticipated sophomore album, aptly named The Return.

Fusing her spiritual and ancestral connection to Zambia with her physical experiences as an adult in Australia, the 19-track album traverses a story of freedom, expression, heritage and displacement. She even samples her mother on one of the tracks and cast both her parents in one of her music videos.

As always, her strong political messaging is underscored by her lyrical bravery and astounding musical experimentation. It’s hard not to feel emotional listening to an artist reckoning with herself, her form, and the world she inhabits.

Listen to The Return here.


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