Sampa the Great returns with ‘Rhymes to the East’
SAMPA THE GREAT, a Melbourne-based, singer-songwriter and poet hailing from Botswana, has just dropped ‘Rhymes to the East’, her first track on UK label Big Dada and a hopeful sign of future material.
Crafted alongside familiar faces Sensible J and Remi Kolawole (production and keys, respectively), the track comes off the back of her collaboration, ‘Fire Sign’ with both of them, her own HERoes EP, as well as a massive, co-headline tour with Remi.. Not to mention her key support slots supporting none other than KENDRICK LAMAR, THUNDERCAT and HIATUS KAIYOTE – because she really is that good.
‘Rhymes to the East’ is rather minimal on the production side, leaving plenty of room for Sampa‘s flawless lyrics and flow. A simple blend of clicks, hats and hand percussion set the tempo while some deliciously chill keys set a jazzy tone with the perfect amount of eerie dissonance. The chorus sees the action thicken with some retro electric organ and multi-tracked vocals, but Sampa never loses her tremendous sense of presence in the track.
A testament to the talent of the three musicians, ‘Rhymes to the East’ was recorded all in one take. Sampa explained; “It was a stand out track to me and one of the strongest lyrics I have captured to date. As soon as I heard this beat, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I was immediately transported to the East.” For Sampa to deliver line after line of dizzying wordplay in one perfect, flowing take is nothing short of incredible. If this track is anything to go by, the next stage of her career is going to be insane.
Alongside ‘Rhymes to the East’, Sampa announced a number of Aussie tour dates this summer as she winds down from her European tour. Check out the dates below, because you’ll definitely want to hear this new track live!
Saturday, 18 November – Strawberry Fields – The Wildlands, VIC
Friday, 24 November – Paradise at Melbourne Music Week – Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, 25 November – Spilt Milk – Canberra, ACT
Friday, 1 December – Subsonic – Monkerai, NSW
Saturday, 9 December – Festival of the Sun – Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday, 28 December – Lost Paradise – Glenworth Valley, NSW
Saturday, 31 December – Beyond The Valley – Warragul, VIC
Monday, 1 January – Freedom Time – Melbourne, VIC
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS