The deluxe album adds seven special live versions of ‘As Above, So Below’ captured at ZNBC Studios in Lusaka. Sampa the Great brings back key players from the original album such as Mag44, Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda, and James Sakala, and also introduces new talent including rising Zambian rapper Natasha Chansa and the iMitundu Choir. Combining elements of hip-hop, neo-soul, Zamrock, Amapiano, and Southern African rap, and anchored by Sampa the Great’s spoken word in the Zambian-rooted language of Bemba, the addition of new live recordings with special guests brings an already phenomenal, ground-breaking artist to even higher heights.
The original version of ‘As Above, So Below’ saw early critical fanfare around release from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The FADER, Teen Vogue, W Magazine, and more. The album traverses Sampa’s memories of Africa through a self-exposed lens of authenticity and womanhood, while looking to the future of Africa’s relationship to the world and its global communities. Sampa the Great has elevated on a global scale as the first Zambian artist to ever appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with her recent performance of Let Me Be Great featuring Angélique Kidjo and The Roots (and couch guest Michelle Obama); the first Zambian artist and band to ever play as a solo act at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Primavera, and Glastonbury festivals + open for Billie Eilish on tour; and the game-changing moment of having her ‘As Above, So Below’ stand-out single Never Forget in the trailer for Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’.
To accompany the release of the deluxe album is a mini-documentary ‘As Above, So Below (Live from Lusaka)’ that details her recording process, behind the scenes, and other artists speaking to her legacy in Zambia and around the world. The introduction of the documentary begins with Sampa the Great stating “There is a saying ‘Zambia Ku Chalo’, which means ‘Zambia to the world’, taking Zambia, Zambian culture, Zambian music globally. I don’t only want to take Zambia to the world, I want to bring the world to Zambia.”
‘As Above, So Below‘ embodies Zambia Ku Chalo. Sampa the Great continues to be a voice for her culture; reminding herself what home is, as she embraces her authentic self alongside her friends, family and Zambian creatives including Emmanuel “Jagari ” Chanda, Mag44, Solomon Plate, Gabbi Chansa Lamba, Natasha Chansa, iMitundu Choir, and more.
Preaching the reflective side of the creative process for the artist themselves Mag44 states in the documentary “with Zamrock, it allows us to tap into who we are as Zambians and where we are from.” The live recordings showcase not only Sampa the Great, and other Zambian icons, but local talent. An intimate approach into the artistry, fans will blossom a deeper connection and appreciation as they listen to the music tell a story.
Next week Sampa The Great will begin her North American Tour with upcoming shows across major cities throughout the US and Canada kicking off in Seattle with stops in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City, Toronto and more, with additional dates at Lighting in a Bottle Festival as well as the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
Thanks to Thinking Loud