Sampha: “I don’t go in with a concept. I just know I want to go into the studio and create something, so a lot of it comes from a place of intuition”

The singer-songwriter and producer dives deep on his second album, Lahai, which landed last month.

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Sampha performing live

Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 – in which he talks about his second full-length, Lahai – singer, songwriter and producer Sampha waxes lyrical on his music-making process.

Lahai arrived 20 October via Young, and is touted as an ”exploration of human connection and the depth of life itself”. And as Sampha explains, his intuitive approach to songwriting was at play during the record’s creation.

“It is a funny thing because the way I make music is quite… I don’t go in with a concept,” he says. “I just know I want to go into the studio and create something, so a lot of it comes from an intuitive place or a place of intuition.”

He later adds: “I feel like I need to find a sonic palette… As opposed to, I sort of got into music more so just making beats and stuff, and that’s my main thing. Aside from me, I do play piano and I write songs, but generally speaking, especially when it comes to the thought of making a record, it comes from a sonic palette first.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Sampha discusses collaborating with producer SBTRKT on Lahai.

“He didn’t have to encourage me [to sing], per se, but it was like, ‘Oh, maybe we should develop this into. Or write some more. Maybe write some more lyrics.’

“Because I would just naturally just start humming and I can’t help myself. That’s why I feature on so many things because I get into a space and I start just naturally humming.

“That was a space where I kind of honed in songwriting more so and alongside production. And obviously having him as a bit of a mentor, he would show me how this is how he is able to do this and dah, dah dah, and he was really open in that sense. And DJing and playing live. And it was the first time I had songs on the radio.”

You can watch the full interview below:


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