Sampa The Great

Ages 16 and up
Tuesday, May 23
Doors: 8pm Show: 9pm

Tickets $24 in advance /$27 day of show

Sampa The Great is poised to be her highest self. In just a few short years, the Zambian artist (born Sampa Tembo) has established herself as one of global rap’s most compelling and outspoken voices, reaching new levels of recognition and acclaim with the release of 2022’s defining album As Above, So Below

The 29-year-old recorded her sophomore album over the course of two weeks while back home in Zambia during the pandemic. As Above represents Sampa’s outside self, while So Below translates the Sampa within, uniting to reveal the highest version of herself— honest, without a mask or role to play. To bring the album to life, she worked with a network of friends, family and Zambian creatives: Mag44 serves as the project’s executive producer and co-producers are Sampa Tembo (her first producer credit), Sam Nyambe, Sammy Masta and Solomon Plate. It’s a homecoming back to her roots as well as a mark of her growing beyond her borders. She is expansive — she transcends genres and expectations — as both an artist and as a woman. 

The fusion of urgency and poignancy that can be heard on Sampa’s most recent material can be traced all the way back to the start of her career; beginning with The Great Mixtape in 2015, developing beautifully across the Heroes Act 2 project in 2017 and culminating this period with the breakthrough Birds and the Bee9 mixtape in the same year. Netting Sampa the first of two Australian Music Prize wins (making her the only artist to achieve the feat), Birds and the Bee9 established her arrival within the music industry as a game changer for innovative hip hop being produced out of Australia. 

Sampa the Great (Sampa Tembo) is a poet and singer-songwriter. Expressing herself through music, poetry and visual art, Sampa captures listeners with thought provoking words, while encouraging people to enjoy the simplicity of creativity. Sampa The Great hails from Africa, the motherland. Born in Zambia, she was then raised in Botswana when her family decided to move there when she was young. Music was immersed within her family life and at the age of 22, Sampa left home and moved to Australia to further her musical studies. Sampa views music as the language of the soul, transcending borders and acting as an agent for positive change. Separating from her peers in Botswana, moving away from her family as well as her upbringing all inform her lyrics. Sampa has a penchant for poetry and weaves lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. Her music bonds from spoken-word to pure hip-hop rapping, with stops at psychedelic and blues along the way; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries.
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