Sampha Sisay has largely taken the back seat in the music industry since he released a couple of great EP’s, the last being released in 2013. This hasn’t stopped him from being such an importance to the RnB scene. Everything he touches, whether it be vocal additions or production wizardry, seemingly turns to gold. Most notably he appeared on Drake’s ‘Nothing Was The Same’, Kanye’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’, Frank Ocean’s ‘Endless’ and most recently, Solange’s ground breaking ‘A Seat At The Table’ LP.
Remarkably, Sampha has been releasing music since 2010 and ‘Process’ is his debut full length. As a small backstory to this record: Sampha lost his father to cancer in 1998, and lost his mother to the same disease just as recent as September 2015. This record is an attempt to try and heal wounds and to understand what it means to be alive, and die. This isn’t a miserable album to listen to but there are blatant signs that this is an immensely personal project.
“They said that it’s her time, no tears in sight, I kept the feelings close” Sampha sings on ‘No One Knows Me Like The Piano’, the third and final single in support of ‘Process’. This is probably the rawest track on the album, both lyrically and instrumentally. Sampha’s voice and production makes it feel like it’s just you and him and it’s a very overwhelming experience.
The album as a whole is so intimate and the album closer ‘What Shouldn’t I Be?’ expresses that perfectly. The lyric “I should visit my brother, but I haven’t been there in months” feels like an insight into Sampha’s personal diary and this record shows him completely letting his guard down and letting the audience in.
This is one of the most introspective projects I’ve listened to in a long time. Named ‘Process’ after the stages of grief people experience after losing a loved one, Sampha doesn’t pull any punches on the emotional scale. The production is masterful and the 10 tracks of gorgeously blended RnB and soul just seem to fly by.
What did you think of this album? Let me know!
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First Hurdle Music