Sampha - Process

OVER THE PAST FIVE years, hip-hop and R&B’s biggest names have been beating a path to south London to collaborate with Sampha Sisay; a versatile singer-songwriter whose soulful falsetto switches between emotional vulnerability and raw power with ease. Sampha’s solo debut sits somewhere between the ghostly avant-soul of Frank Ocean and James Blake’s emotionally wrought electronica, its stylistic breadth exemplified by the lovers jam-meets-electro shanty of Timmy’s Prayer, Blood On Me’s paranoid gallop and the sub-Saharan flavours of Kora Sings. “I have something, some people call it soul,” Sampha sings on (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano, the album’s centrepiece, a moving paean to his late mother and the instrument she encouraged him to master. He recently told MOJO he’s yet to figure out what soul really is – but if warmth and spirituality is its key then Sampha has it in abundance.