Zambian musician rocks world stage

Written by on June 24, 2019

It’s funky, it’s groovy, and it’s got a 70’s vibe to it. A mix of several musical genres. Final form the latest single by Sampa Tembo aka Sampa the great.

Zambian-born raised in Botswana, studied in the US, currently based in Australia. Thus, she has a little of everything.

“My music is kind of all these musical influences meshed into one. It is though at the root hip-hop but definitely has African soul, R&B, reggae, just everything in one,” she told Reuters.

‘Black Magic Girl’ is one of her best-known songs. She wrote it for her sister after she saw her looking in the mirror. Then it was an inspiration to let the world know that anyone can define their lives.-

“So what I would do is I would go write down a lot of stuff in my diary, and I was in love with words and being able to express myself through words and that’s how spoken word came into play. Because I would play around with words and I would play around with performing them or you know the way I’m gonna say to express to other people.”

Sampa recently concluded her first tour in Africa performing in Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia.

At a recent concert in Johannesburg, her energetic performance and socially conscious lyrics plus her uniqueness further impressed her audience.

“I felt like I was in the studio with her when she was thinking about all these songs so it was like a journey to me. From telling a story about her sister, telling about the racism in Australia, telling a story about just trying to be a queen, being herself. I heard all that through her performance and that is what for me an artist should do,” said hip-hop fan Thapelo Raputi.

Sampa got major props when she featured with Grammy Award winning hip-hop star Kendrick Lemar and won the 13th Australian Music Prize for her debut album ‘Birds and the Bee9’.

“You can tell that she sings from an informed African voice and an inspired African voice but her rapping style you can take it to like the new guys from a Kendrick Lamar, Queen Latifah to Lauryn Hill for the most part. There’s a lot of Lauryn Hill in her and in a unique way in an African way and not to take up not to take away from her own unique talent,” another fan said.

Sampa has new album scheduled for release later in the year. She also has a US – and a European tour that will see her perform at the Glastonbury Festival.


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