Award-winning, Zambian-born, Botswana-raised poet and rapper Sampa The Great has released her long-awaited sophomore full-length album, As Above, So Below, out now via Loma Vista Recordings.
As a career-eclipsing record, anchored by the artist’s spoken word in the Zambian-rooted language of Bemba, As Above, So Below traverses Sampa’s memories of Africa through a self-exposed lens of authenticity and womanhood while looking to the future of Africa’s relationship to the world and its global communities.
Sampa invites an international roster of collaborators, including Angélique Kidjo, Denzel Curry, Joey Bada$$, Kojey Radical, WITCH, Chef 187, Tio Nason, Sampa’s own sister Mwanjé, and more to contribute across 11 tracks spanning hip-hop, neo-soul, Zamrock, Amapiano, and Southern African rap.
A reflection of Sampa’s transitory upbringing, the record’s sonic hybridity throws recognition to the music coming out of the African diaspora today, while honoring the stories of those who tread previously. As Above, So Below is Sampa’s musical encyclopedia—each track grounds new modes of expression against various musical influences uncovered throughout her lifetime.
After relocating home to Zambia during the pandemic, the MC reconnected with a different side of herself—one closer to the younger artistry that was nourished growing up in Africa. From collaborations with Southern Africa creatives Rochelle Nembhard and Imraan Christian, to executive production by award-winning producer and Zambian royalty, Mag44, to time spent recording with a long-established network of close friends and family, Sampa debuts a 360 Sampa to the world.
As Above, So Below unveils the many sides of Sampa throughout a sophomore album that fuses the serious with the sensual. As Above translates as Sampa’s outside self, while So Below is the Sampa within, together uniting to reveal the highest version of herself, without a mask or role to play. Anchoring the record, is Eve: Sampa’s blueprint of her ideal self who manifests within As Above, So Below’s lyrics, and visually appears throughout the album’s videos.
Sampa the Great says about As Above, So Below: “As Above, So Below is more personal than communal. The literal meaning is what is within me, is what is expressed outside of me. After years of feeling like I had to represent and be an ambassador for everyone, I finally feel like I get to be an ambassador and fully represent myself.