Sampha’s newly released album, Process brings a new aspect to the genre of electronic music as he channels both soulful and jazzy melodies. Not only is he a skilled musician and producer, he also possesses a strong voice filled with emotion.
Though his music is classified as electronic, it is by no means reminiscent of typical EDM. He manipulates the use of echoes and synth beats to convey a more mellow and laid back style.
In “Plastic 100 °C,” he exhibits his artistic side by incorporating extended metaphors about feelings of being trapped in outer space. It is the sensations of suffocating, melting or being lost that he uses to express how he is alone and avoiding his problems.
These emotions are also translated within “Blood On Me,” when Sampha talks about running away from or ignoring something he fears. An interesting official footnote included on his Genius page stated, “I would run and try to really get into the mood of the song. I was really out of breath, trying to make myself feel angry.” This out-of-breathness contributed to a more unique sound; it is not a song that can be easily sung along to.
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There is one song on this track that completely breaks away from this electronic barrier: “No One Knows Me (Like the Piano).” This piece is simply a naked piano melody accompanied by Sampha’s raw and passionate voice. It channels his longing for familial comfort and brings back a sense of nostalgia to a time in which he possessed a sense of safety and bliss as a child.
His seasoned piano skills are also highlighted in “Take Me Inside,” which then slowly eases into more sci-fi/electronic rhythms to complete the track. This is a short and not-so-sweet song about lost love.
Most artists have an obsession with word play. The title of “Reverse Faults” plays on the plot line of the song as it sings about how a relationship ended due to his inability to take the fault for any of his actions. He sings, “Took the brake pads out the car/ And I flew/ Smashed this window in my heart/ And I blamed you,” showing that he held responsibility for his actions despite being angry at the consequences. The beat drop before the chorus brings a perfect change up to the melody of the song as it’s effect is comparable to the crash of soothing waves.
For those not familiar with Sampha, co-writer Kanye West on song “Timmy’s Prayer,” should be enough to pique one’s interest. Here he begs for forgiveness; hurting after a painful breakup. This song will definitely send you bobbing your head back and forth.
Process brings an artistic, mournful and heartfelt twist to the electronic genre. Not all of Sampha’s songs are necessarily upbeat or joyous, but they demonstrate a deeper analysis of his own feelings, actions and character.