The road traveled for an artist is a road full of discovery, uncertainty, exploration, pits stops, and re-do’s. Sometimes the direction of the road takes you away from your space of familiarity, from friends and from the community that nurtured your creativity. For an artist finding their way it could feel like losing a critical part of yourself, and having to find it all over again.
Sampa Tembo, also know as Sampa The Great knows very well the road traveled of an artist finding her way and finding her way back home. Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana for the first 20 years of her life, living in San Francisco as her first introduction to America, and eventually finding her base in Melbourne and Sydney. Sampa’s rich global experience allowed her to slowly find herself, her voice, her artistry, and eventually back home. Home, to Sampa, is within yourself. Sampa explains in an NPR interview
“At the end of the day, I’ve managed to create home within myself. When I’m not at home, I’m still home.”
In her travels Sampa began leaning heavily into her music when she arrived at a sound engineering school in Melbourne, Australia. During her time there she found her community and began crafting her sound with her peers. Her first two offerings displayed a rapper, poet, and singer who could rip apart a dustied boom bap track with a smooth and slick flow, and then flip it and create a sound and vibe that you’d think came straight from SoulQuarian clan.
Throughout her albumThe Return, Sampa weaves together soul, funk, folk chants, RnB, Hip Hop, and spoken word effortlessly. It becomes easy to forget who and which album you’re listening to at moments when she leans heavily into one. It’s a beautiful effect that displays the vast amount of music and rhythms Sampa has experienced in her home country of Botswana and the other corners of the globe she’s traveled to and soaked up. The track Freedom is a good spring board into the musical world of Sampa The Great. There is a warmth and sense of hope with the track that permeates throughout the entirety of The Return. The Return and Sampa’s artistry are enthralling because she sounds seasoned in her sound but she’s only scratching the surface at the the depths she can go with her music.
You can learn more about Sampa the Great here:
About The Curator - KA II
I was raised in a community that believes in and practices the act of love, spirituality, understanding, and openness. These beliefs and practices are my foundation in this life and continue to drive my pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and freedom. I also come from a place where the gift of rhythm and movement are interwoven into each other and into the fabric of life. It is never one without the other.
Music and Dance are not just things we do and enjoy. They are a necessity. In times of joy we dance, in times of triumph we turn the music up a little louder, in times of stress and unbalance we close our eyes and dance. It is how we feel our emotions and what ignites our creativity, intellectual abilities, and the way we see the world. Without the two, life would have no color, art, love, or culture.
Music and movement have always been the guiding light of creativity and the master teacher, therefore I aim to share how they elevate my mind, heart, and soul to think wider and to think with compassion, wit, and intellect. I hope you enjoy the content. Peace