From: London, UK
Sampha is certainly not new in the sense that he started releasing music in 2013. Not by a long way. And he isn't even new to critical and (reasonable) commercial success this year—2011 saw him featured heavily on SBTRKT's brilliant debut album, while 2012 saw him touring the record. As a solo artist, however, 2013 was Sampha's banner year.
Many listeners got their first taste of Sampha when Drake released a few cuts on his Soundcloud before Nothing Was The Same, the best of which was “The Motion,” a song fans surely thought would be included on the album. Instead it was left off in favor of another Sampha-helmed beauty, “Too Much,” becoming one of the album’s highlights and forever cementing Sampha’s voice in the minds of rap fans.
A couple months after NWTS dropped, Sampha decided to step up and release his own version of “Too Much” along with a b-side called “Happens”. The latter piano balled is damn near tear wrenching, and it wisely pushes the throaty UK singer’s vocal chops to the forefront. Sampha has been around since 2010, when he released a 3-track EP with SBTRKT, and he had continued to work with him and other artists like Lil’ Silva and Jessie Ware, before getting his big break alongside Drake this year.
Before “Too Much / Happens” Sampha released his Dual EP on Young Turks, with songs like “Can’t Get Close” showcasing his emotive power. Sampha’s ability to pen songs that drive a crucible through your heart is what sticks with the listener, and while “Too Much” was great, he’ll probably do better if he stays away from any and all rappers, letting the focus be on his stunning, angelic voice. 2013 will go down as the year that Sampha blew up, but hopefully 2014 will be the year that he releases a stunning debut album.