Zambian-born, Botswana-raised poet and rapper Sampa The Great has shared her newest single, “Bona”, taken from her impending sophomore full-length album As Above, So Below, arriving on September 9 via Loma Vista Recordings.
Much like its recent predecessor “Never Forget,” “Bona” takes further influence from the music Sampa heard as a child while raised in Botswana. Produced by Zambian royalty Mag44, with co-production from Sampa herself (making this her first official producer credit), the track is influenced by Kwaito and Amapiano, fusing the genres into a hybrid hip-hop blend.
A slowly descending swipe of chimes opens the song with ethereal beauty, before a bouncing bassline tos-and-fros setting a fiery tempo. Sampa raps utop the frenetic pace, before a dynamic and majestic chorus of call and response unfolds. A self-defined moment of Southern African Swag, Sampa’s wide-reaching message of “Bona” to be yourself and not succumb to the intimidation of others, unveils more from the narrative of her forthcoming album, As Above, So Below.
Directed by Travys Owen, the track’s experimental visualizer sees Sampa inhabiting a fluorescent dreamscape, performing whilst she flickers through a series of prismatic scenes. From immersion underwater and acceleration through frenetic flashing lights on the back of a motorcycle, to celestial choreography cocooned by an ethereal glow, the visualizer serves as an expansion of Sampa’s future-forward universe – all while embodying the self-assured energy contained within “Bona”.
Sampa says of “Bona”: I haven’t yet shown the influence Botswana has had on me musically; this is the style, language and swag of Batswana youth. “Bona” is a chance for me to shine light on other elements of music that I was influenced by when growing up, outside of Zambian music. I want to bring a Southern African anthem to the mix and DJ desks, and show that there’s an array of music coming out of Africa, on top of Afrobeats.