Sampha, originally from South London, is currently touring his new album ‘Process’, and after listening to it once I was hooked. I felt very lucky to see him perform for the first time in New Zealand at his sold out show at the Powerstation.
The place was packed when I got there and the stage was simple. This concert was more about the aural experience than the ‘show’ (and I’m not just saying that because the tallest man I’ve ever seen chose to stand directly in front of me for most of the night.) ‘Process’ was only released 3 months ago but most of the crowd knew all the words, creating a harmonic backtrack to that smooth Sampha voice.
The band stood in their respective, low-key corners of the stage, Sampha settled into his keyboard and launched straight into Plastic 100°’. He didn’t talk much between songs, but with that voice, he didn’t need to. He let his music speak for him.
One minute you’re dancing in red lights to Blood on Me lost in the rhythmic, electronic beat. Next, he plays the tender (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano and you’re trying to contain your tears of joy as a beautiful melody drifts from his keyboard. The whole crowd was absolutely lost in it.
I love that Sampha’s music suits most occasions or moods. His sound is soulful yet modern. He has combined his retro soul voice and piano playing, with fresh electronic beats. His lyrics are full of deep emotion and passion, he makes you fall in love, breaks your heart then picks you up and makes you dance.
He had a humble quality about him and seemed shocked by the crowds roaring applause to his encore performance. You could hardly hear his thanks over the crowd. It was a show of emotional dips and troughs, we actually skipped the uber home and walked instead so we could process all those feels. Sampha was beautiful and I’m grateful I got to witness his awesome talent.