Revisiting Sampha’s Process


It is too early to call it a classic?

I don’t know, but I will dare to.

The first track, Plastic 100C, ushered me into what would be one of my favourite albums.

Having a slight phobia to hype, I had allowed the album to sit in my library for a while, same with SZA’s CTRL, another modern-day classic, not feeling any urgency to listen to it. I had known Sampha from his work with SBTRKT, particularly on Wonder Where We Land, and had always thought he was a great musician but never really gave him a chance.

I wasn’t surprised to see him feature on the Solange anthem, Don’t Touch My Hair, from her long-awaited and highly-celebrated A Seat At The Table.

So the hype around Process was thick in my space, with a friend now and again, mentioning a line from a particular song. I didn’t pay any of it mind, until I finally decided to give the album a listen.

What I found was an open love letter embedded in a triumphant record, both highly personal and experimental.

His voice cradles you through, unknowingly wrapping your wounds in the process. At the time of the listen, I was at a conflicting space in my life and the music somehow provided me the room to crumble.

As if intended for 2AMs alone or being driven through the city as the buildings act as lanterns in the night sky, tracks like Under take you on a spotless trance. His voice, rising up and diving down the scale, has the rare power to mesmerize.

After being converted to a Sampha stan, I was in awe when came announcement of the zine and short film, Shy Light. A collaborative project between the British singer and LVMH prize recipient, fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner, along with other talent creatives.

Shot in Freetown, Sierra Leone; the zine is a sensory overload of colour, brown people and the simplicity of documentation. The short film, partly styled by Ib Kamara, is an incredible piece of work that marries well with the music that Process provided us with.

Over a year later, the album reigns in my heart (and my playlist) keeping me lamenting about the memories the objects we spend our fragile times with, hold. For me, it is my pen and notebook and for Sampha, the piano he played in his youth.

This is the purest trick of art, it is able to make you break, weep and build you up afterwards – piece by piece.


Creative Direction – Sampha & Grace Wales Bonner

Photography – Jalan & Jubril Durimel

Art Direction – Jamie Andrew Reid

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