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Sampa The Great – Zambian-born, Botswana-raised female rapper now based in Sydney. Started in 2015. Played at Splendour In The Grass as well as support for Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and Little Simz.   https://www.facebook.com/sampathegreat   http://sampathegreat.com/

Simply from her debut release in late 2015, ‘The Great Mixtape’, she has gone on to support the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and Little Simz, all huge artists in their own respect.Blending her twisting melodies with her soulful flow, lyrically Sampa delivers tenfold, taking on issues regarding feminism, race, and ambition, subjects that few Australian emcees touch on, yet alone to the degree she does. For this reason, with her bold and unshakable style, it’s even fair to say Sampa is Australia’s equivalent of the esteemed Lauryn Hill.

“What I’m seeing so far is a growth of diversity, message, and artists themselves—and a broader perspective in terms of where the music is reaching. It’s not just a message to Australians now, it’s a message to the world from Australia.”

– Sampa the Great (Sampa Tembo) is a poet and singer-songwriter. Expressing herself through music, poetry and visual art, Sampa captures listeners with thought provoking words, while encouraging people to enjoy the simplicity of creativity.
Sampa The Great hails from Africa, the motherland. Born in Zambia, she was then raised in Botswana when her family decided to move there when she was young. Music was immersed within her family life and at the age of 22, Sampa left home and moved to Australia to further her musical studies. Sampa views music as the language of the soul, transcending borders and acting as an agent for positive change. Separating from her peers in Botswana, moving away from her family as well as her upbringing all inform her lyrics.
Sampa has a penchant for poetry and weaves lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. Her music bonds from spoken-word to pure hip-hop rapping, with stops at psychedelic and blues along the way; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries.

“What I’m seeing so far is a growth of diversity, message, and artists themselves—and a broader perspective in terms of where the music is reaching. It’s not just a message to Australians now, it’s a message to the world from Australia.”


Sampa The Great is alread entrenched in the tapestry of Australia’s hip-hop scene. Winning the 13th Australian Music Prize for Best Album of 2017 with Birds and the Bee9, the Zambian-born multidisciplinary artist has since continued her upward momentum. The release of Energy featuring Nadeem Din-Gabisi, a jazzy and hypnotic offering, came with the promise of new music. “This song and visual symbolises finding this balance,” she said in a statement. “[I’m] thanking those who have supported this journey so far and bridging the gap between BBEE9 and the new music to come in 2019.” A fervent mix of reggae, jazz and neo-soul, Sampa’s music luxuriates in her native roots while emanating the lessons learnt from her global journey. Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, she studied in California for three years before moving to Melbourne. Not one to rest on her laurels, Sampa the Great aims to live up to her own name.