Sampa The Great celebrates music of African diaspora on ‘Bona’

ARIA-Award winning, Zambian-born Botswana-raised poet and rapper, Sampa The Great has shared her newest single, Bona.

The track is taken from her impending sophomore full-length album, As Above, So Below, arriving on September 9 via Loma Vista Recordings.

Bona takes influence from the music Sampa heard as a child, while raised in Botswana. Produced by Zambian royalty in Mag44, with co-production from Sampa herself (making this her first official producer credit), the track is influenced by Kwaito and Amapiano.

Directed by Travys Owen and co-edited by Sampa herself, the track’s experimental visualiser 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 visualiser serves as an expansion of Sampa’s future-forward universe – all while embodying the self-assured energy contained within Bona.

“I haven’t yet shown the influence Botswana has had on me musically; this is the style, language and swag of Batswana youth,” Sampa said of the single.

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 not all music coming out of Africa is Afrobeats.”

After relocating home to Zambia during the pandemic, Sampa reconnected with a different side of herself – one closer to the younger artistry that was nourished growing up in Africa. From collaborations with South Africa-based creatives Rochelle Nembhard and Imraan Christian, to time spent recording with a long-established network of close friends and family, Sampa says she’s unlocked an age of authenticity, and debuts a 360 Sampa to the world.

As Above, So Below unveils the many sides of Sampa, throughout a sophomore record that fuses the serious to 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.

Across 11 tracks, the record throws recognition to the music coming out of the African diaspora today, while honouring the stories of those who tread previously.

Bona is out now.

Image: Travys Owens

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