Sampha @ Swedish American Hall

(Ben Walker)

Singer-songwriter and producer Sampha is not as well known as his collaborators — Drake, SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Kanye West, Solange Knowles, Koreless — but thanks to working with them, his moan-of-a-voice has gone further than it could have on its own. It’s all over SBTRKT’s self-titled 2011 debut, interspersed between fluttering marimba melodies (“Hold On”), piercing through glitchy, electronic abysses (“Trials of The Past”), and darting around tinny high-hat punctuations (“Something Goes Right”). In 2013, Sampha popped up on Drake’s “Too Much,” a moody, R&B-inspired track from Nothing Was the Same, as well as on the Toronto rapper’s loosie “The Motion,” which never made it onto an album let alone Spotify, but is a standout track nonetheless. The Londoner’s biggest achievement to date occurred earlier this year when Kanye West chose him for the hook on “Saint Pablo,” a piano-driven ditty that was added belatedly to The Life of Pablo. With his own solo debut slated for release sometime this year, here’s hoping Sampha gets his share of the limelight, this time for his own work, and not somebody else’s.

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