Written By: Fletcher Bonin
Sampha, though a native Londoner, makes waves world wide with his debut album Process. Sampha has long been a featured artist on the tracks of some rap’s most mainstream acts, including but not limited to the likes of Solange, Drake and many more. His unique, melodic sound lends itself perfectly to a smattering of genres. On Process, he combines R&B themes with shimmering electronic instrumentals. This creates a sonic, otherworldly sound that gives each one of his perfectly crafted lyrics further gravity. Sampha is a singer in every sense of the word, and his controlled vocals are launched into the stratosphere with light, yet tactical, electronic enhancing.
Sampha sings directly from the heart, imbuing each of the ten tracks with a passion and clarity born of personal experience and pure depth of character. The themes of this album are emotional and complex, as are the beats that accompany them. Released earlier as a single, and now a chart topper, ‘(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano’ is elegant, slow, and potentially the most beautiful, heartfelt track of 2017 yet. On this track, Sampha is vulnerable and passionate, singing with little or no accompaniment other than the piano. He sings clearly and sonorously, “No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home, you assure me I have something, some people call it soul.” It is exactly this bareness, this honesty that makes Process such a fascinating study in complexity, a maze of wondrous potentialities worth every thought it provokes.
On of the most powerful tracks of the album is undoubtedly ‘Incomplete Kisses’. This track features Sampha’s vocal strength, loosely distorted and complemented by a glimmering backbeat. This is likely my favorite track, as not only is it so quintessentially Sampha, it is also essential to the new-school R&B genre. He sings soulfully, “Those incomplete kisses, were weighing you down with every step, in this house we’re sinking, but we’re too far to really care, the TV keeps glitching, the lights dim down and portals appear.” It is with lyrics and songs such as ‘Incomplete Kisses’ that Sampha so perfectly merges old school R&B themes with a modern sound.
Other tracks to be sure to check out are ‘Blood On Me’, and the mystical ‘Timmy’s Prayer’. But in all honesty, you can’t really go wrong with any of the tracks on Process. Allow Sampha to be your guide through this conception in love, passion, and uninterrupted tunes for the soul.