South London start-up Sampha has penetrated music working alongside notable artists across genres like SBTRKT and Drake but has kept a low profile despite such co-signs. In a recent interview with Spin, the British music man talks Drizzy already being familiar with his work when they met, initially making hip-hop beats and more. Peep some pull quotes below.
Finding His Niche: “At first I was trying to make grime beats and hip-hop beats for rappers who weren’t really feeing it,” he says, laughing. “Eventually I started including my vocals into my productions, and I found a community of like-minded musicians via Myspace.” As for his distinctive falsetto, he says that also came naturally. “I almost had to be told that’s what it was I was doing. That’s just the way I sing, really — I’ve had like one singing lesson and that was it.”
Meeting Drake: “He said that he really liked my music and where I was going, and that’s kind of how the relationship started,” says Sampha, who later flew back to Toronto for a few days of Nothing Was the Same studio sessions. “It was a great experience because he gave me so much confidence,” marvels Sampha. “He would say, ‘Why don’t you put some drums there, why don’t you add something else here?’ He asked me what I thought a lot of the time, which was cool. Very empathetic. Him and 40 were quite hospitable — just nice people, which was cool to see. Because just to watch him write, you realize that he’s actually very talented.”
Future Plans: “I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing for other people,” he says, “but I don’t know if I want to let any cats out of the bag—they’re not finished, and I don’t know if everything’s going to see the light of day. But now that I’ve got a little more me-time, I’m just trying to find my groove and really get into trying to write a body of work.” But he also admits that “me-time” doesn’t always come easy. “I’ve been helping out some friends from around my area as well. I kind of make music where and when I can, and I guess that’s why I collaborate so much. Like, ‘Yeah, I’ll be up for doing that!'”
Read the full interview here.
Photo Credit: Spin/ Laura Coulson