Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and currently based in Sydney, Australia, the 23 year old poet, visual artist, emcee, singer/songwriter and pop artist Sampa the Great, who publicly has cited Mos Def, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Nneka, and others, as influences. And since the release of The Great Mixtape and collaborations with fellow Australians, pop artist Wallace on the skittering and jazzy single “Beauty” and internationally acclaimed Australian emcee Remi on the neo-soul and conscious hip-hop influenced “For Good,” the Sydney, Australia-based artist has quickly built up a growing internationally recognized profile as she’s opened for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ibeyi, Little Simz and Fat Freddy’s Drop, as well as played sets at Golden Plains, Sugar Mountain, Laneway, WOMAD and Vivid LIVE. However, 2017 may arguably be the Sampa the Great’s breakout year as her Rakhi-produced HERoes Act 2 was released yesterday through Red Bull Sound Select, and features the Sydney, Australia-based artist collaborating with Estelle. And while further cementing her reputation for a ridiculously dexterous flow that draws from spoken word performances, old school, hip-hop lyricism, with complex inner rhyme and multisyllabic rhyme schemes, old school soul and the blues and jazz, her latest single “The Plug” features Estelle and Sampa doing their thing with a swaggering, self-assuredness over a Timbaland-like production featuring futuristic bleeps and bloops, industrial clang and clatter, glitchy and shuffling beats and swirling electronics.
HERoes Act 2 is the second part of a two part narrative series of songs and genre-defying collaborative projects with Act being a spoken-world video, 2 track exploration into self-discovery and inner strength within a world that’s gone mad with uncertainty, racism and fear. “The Plug,” like the two other songs on the EP continue in a similar vein while continuing her reputation for crafting material based around her own personal experiences as an outsider, her desire and need to create, and the recognition that as individuals and as a society, that we need to value the strength and abilities of the individual; but in terms of this particular song, the song leans towards recognizing and championing the god-given talents of the individual, while brushing away haters and nay-sayers, with your desire to make a name for yourself at what you can do.