Sampa The Great has partnered with Sanjay De Silva (director of ‘The Return – A Short Film’, ‘Final Form’ and ‘OMG’ videos) for a new two-and-a-half minute video entitled “Times Up”. Sampa Melbourne-rapper Krown speak freely to admonishing diversity and calling out the music industry for true progress. Executed with energetic choreography, colourful styling, effortless musical ferocity from the duo.
“Time’s up” is a track that was made to reflect a conversation between two young African artists working in the Australian music industry.” explains Sampa. “An industry that has often been careless in protecting the wellbeing of Black Artists. The labour put on marginalised people to have to address systemic racism every day means more trauma and pressure on our mental health and emotional state.”
“I’m partnering with Pola Psychology a Naarm (Melbourne) based therapy practice to make sure African youth/musicians can access culturally appropriate mental health care in their own community, by their own community. At a time like this, it’s important to let my friends and the wider African community know that this support exists and our health matters.”
Director Sanjay de Silva continues: “We’re playing with the tongue in cheek aspect to the song and dialling it way up by incorporating metaphors like the padded room—to represent the way the industry sees black artists—to the imagery of the industry literally shaking Sampa’s culture out of her for their profit. We referenced some very specific 90’s music videos throughout, from Tupac’s ‘hit Em Up’, to videos from Busta, Da Bush Babees, Jamiroquai, and De La Soul—each one is utilized to convey a powerful message about how the music industry has treated and continues to treat and exploit black artists.”
Recently, Sampa performed as part of this year’s virtual Roots Picnic, alongside an incredible line-up featuring H.E.R., SZA, Musiq Soulchild and more. With a stunning 15-minute set featuring “The Return” singles ‘Freedom’, ‘OMG’ and ‘Final Form’, the 11-person strong crew backed Sampa with an incredible performance, and follows her run of sold-out shows in 2019—including alongside Burna Boy at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park—capped off with an incredible performance of ‘OMG’ on the BBC’s Later… With Jools Holland.
The release of ‘The Return – A Short Film’ featured a moment-by-moment visual reflection on the powerful musical and personal evolution behind Sampa’s award-winning album release. The visual, directed by Sanjay De Silva took a behind-the-scenes look at Sampa’s journey of self re-discovery that shaped the album, including her formative return to home country Zambia, collaborative sessions in her Melbourne studio, and meeting the artists, family, friends and community who inspired or lended their own voices to the project.