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Review: Sampha, Drake Songwriter, Steps Out on Powerful ‘Process’

Our take on the debut from U.K. collaborator of Kanye West, Solange, Frank Ocean and more

Review: Sampha, 'Process'

Sampha's debut album is 'Process.'

The breathy voice of London singer/songwriter Sampha Sisay, 27, is a remarkable instrument: indelibly evanescent, fragile yet powerful across his entire range. He’s hook man to pop’s most advanced megastars – see Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair,” Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo,” Frank Ocean’s “Alabama,” Drake’s “Too Much” – but his debut LP proves him their peer. With a taste for non-Western melodies and futurist beats (check the African harp and polyrhythms of “Kora Sings”), his songs are intricate weaves. But not invariably: “Take Me Inside,” recalling Maxwell’s spare take on Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work,” sets Sampha’s voice against a lone piano, before it steps back into the marvelous digitized kaleidoscope he calls home.

In This Article: Hip Hop, Sampha

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