Speaking about the Kendrick rendition, Sampa shared, “I covered Kendrick’s ‘DNA,’ or Kendrick in general, because Kendrick’s show was the first big, major support that I got in Sydney, and it was a huge inspiration for me to actually take being an artist seriously.”
“I really like DAMN.,” she added. “I think, you know, an artist who’s really focused on lyricism and storytelling, sometimes you can get really heavy with your projects. I feel like DAMN. was a lighter version of Kendrick and we got to see him happy and joyous and talking about stuff that we all talk about, which I love.”
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.