I, like I think a lot of people, first stumbled across Sampha thanks to Drake sampling him on “Too Much”. There was just something unique about his voice that really drew me to the song (which is fantastic in it’s own right). Then just last year he added another great feature to “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange. While there wasn’t a ton of solo stuff to go off of, you could still hear his sound and influence all throughout today’s music as the list of artists he’s collaborated with continues to sky rocket. So if there ever was a perfect time for him to drop Process (his solo debut) it would be now.
“My vital organs are beating through
My ribcage opened, my heart ballooned
I… I’ve lost another one
I’m on the floor trying to dress my wounds
Address the fact it was mine to lose”
I don’t know what it is, but there has seemed to be a rise of great English singers over the past half decade or so, that bring a wholly unique sound that I hadn’t really experienced before. Not quite R&B, but not quite pop either, with some elements of modern electronic/dance music that has produced some amazing music. The production on Process follows this same sort of thinking with songs ranging from the more traditional ballads, to more modern pop constructions with synths layered in, to everything in between. It’s really great production and it manages to blend everything it’s working with to create a wholly cohesive listening experience. “Blood On Me”, the lead single, is a great single that perfectly melds it’s piano and hip-hop drums elements together. “Under” makes fantastic use of some hypnotic synths and the piano, which is a common element of his production, is played to perfection on maybe my favorite song off the album, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”.
“Sophisticated bitter queen
You’re the ghost in my machine
As I sit at my piano
And flick through every channel
Channeling those memories
Trying to put and end to these”
Sampha’s voice is amazing, it’s got a unique breathy quality to it that really makes him stand out from his peers. It’s soft and full of emotion, yet powerful at the same time and really kept me engaged throughout. The majority of Process is a contemplative look at love, life, and self and Sampha handles these complicated issues with admirable deftness. It’s no wonder why he’s music’s secret ‘it’ man that everyone seems to want to work with; he’s the entire package as a musician, lyricist, and singer. This is surely just the first glimpse at what will be a spectacular career.
Have you heard Process? What’d you think about it? Was it one of the more impressive debuts you’ve heard? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
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