entertainment, music

Are we nearly there yet? or, Sampha’s potential

This weekend’s ear worm was Valentine by Jessie Ware ft Sampha, via the album Devotion.

I’m only just beginning to allow myself to listen to Jessie’s music. The ubiquitous and shouty marketing around her album release put me off completely without even having heard a single track. Sorry Jessie, I think your music is really interesting, however, let’s talk about Sampha.

Sampha. Talented no doubt, but in my [humble] opinion he has not yet arrived, though his EP, Dual (Young Turks) did mid-2013. The intro, Demons, lacks clarity. The voicemail message is more worry/menace than the accompanying track which is educated and light. The juxtaposition makes uneasy listening. How I wanted it to be a bold statement, to have more bite, to push the point…

This is my problem, having ‘learnt’ the voice before the name, first on SBTRKT’s Hold on and then Jessie’s Valentine, I had prepared myself for the yearning vocals, my Sampha feeling; harmony woven with distress.

I’m in agreement with Mario Cotto that Without is the standout track, with what I want to call an allegro giusto drum track, that trains the listeners pulse to its beat – this is the stuff!

The rest of the EP makes O.K. listening. Here is a producer and an artist exploring his capabilities and with a grand toolbox and bags of creative potential. I hope his next outing really nails it. I’m actively willing him to, harness the potential, get the emotional, creative and popular balance just right. He deserves not just success but also longevity.

Sampha isn’t one to know just yet but is definitely one to watch!

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