Review: Sampha – Process
The debut album by Sampha Sisay, Process, has exceeded the expectation of fans and critics alike. The South London born musical prodigy has accumulated a loyal following with a catalogue of collaborations. His distinctive sound of vulnerability in Frank Ocean’s “Alabama” and the delicate ode to love in “Valentine” with Jessie Ware already distinguished Sampha as an artist on the rise.
Process quite literally resembles the grieving process and the personal afflictions Sampha faced whilst producing the album. The loss of his mother and a reflection upon the simple life he had prior to success are the central motifs running throughout the 10 songs. The second track on the album, “Blood on Me”, subtly delves into human vulnerability with a soulful, upbeat tempo; “Arms out, you pull me in / And wipe my wounds clean”. The song “Take me Inside” tenderly nods to the complexity of a lost love with warmly hushed questions to a past lover; “Does he still make your blood rush? / These days I’m just not sure how to feel”.
The instrumental arrangement of the record shows an evolution of Sampha’s production technique; from his familiar bedroom electronic sound to a honed, masterful style. The growth in Sampha’s musical style and emotional maturity throughout the record is reminiscent of his personal journey. Like the creation of a musical talent, the process of grieving is one of difficulty and pain. Sampha has demonstrated how to reflect, grieve and evolve in a masterfully crafted soundtrack dedicated to both mortality and survival.