by Shiloah Coley
You might think that you’ve never heard any of Sampha Sisay’s work before. However, his British R&B vocals have graced tracks such as Drake’s “Too Much” on Nothing Was The Same and also collaborated on Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo”, Frank Ocean’s “Alabama”, and Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
Sampha released his first EP, Sundanza, in 2010 and a follow up EP, Dual, in 2013. The 27-year-old London native released his debut album Process last month through the British independent label Young Turks. The album features both upbeat and slower tempo tracks, kicking off with “(No One Know Me) Like the Piano” which describes his relationship with the piano throughout his life, receiving his first piano at the age of three. While he has lost people in his life (both of his parents died of cancer, his mother’s death the most recent in 2015), the piano has always been a source of comfort and consistency, and he expresses this love and appreciation while treating the song as a tribute to his late mother. The album gives us another look into Sampha’s grieving the loss of his mother in “Incomplete Kisses”, but also features more upbeat tempos in “Kora Sings” and “Blood on Me.” This debut album set the stages very high for what we can expect from this singer/songwriter in the future.