Fresh from her history-making debut at Glastonbury Festival last week, Sampa The Great has dropped new single ‘Never Forget’ from her forthcoming album, As Above, So Below.
When she took to the stage at Glastonbury last Saturday, the Zambian rapper and songwriter – born Sampa Tembo – told the crowd: “I’m standing on this stage with the first Zambian band to perform at Coachella… the first Zambian band to perform at the Sydney Opera House… and the first Zambian band to perform at Glastonbury!”
The ARIA-Award winning artist relocated home to Zambia during the pandemic, during which time she reconnected with herself and began collaborating with a number of local creatives – including Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanjé, who feature on the new single.
In a press release, Sampa described ‘Never Forget’ as “an ode to Zamrock music, a genre born in the ’70s combining traditional Zambian music and psychedelic rock,”. particularly focusing on kalindula music – a traditional style of bass guitar.
“This tribute was inspired by the band WITCH and their lead singer Mr Jagari Chanda, who has become one of my musical mentors,” Sampa continued. “I discovered Zamrock later in my life and was surprised that this music was known globally, yet not fully celebrated and acknowledged in Zambia today.”
Sampa acknowledged similarities in her own musical journey, after her career took off outside her country of birth.
“I thought it was fitting to pay homage to those who came before me and merge past, present and future through music and imagery; passing the baton from one generation to the next,” she said. “The archival footage in the clip includes the late great Paul Ngozi, the late president Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia’s first president) and the legendary WITCH.”
Love Hip Hop?
Get the latest Hip Hop news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
The cinematic video, by directors Rharha Nembhard, Imraan Christian and Furmaan Ahmed (the former two of whom also directed the video for Sampa’s last single, the Denzel Curry-assisted ‘Lane’), intersperses footage of Sampa and her collaborators performing with the archival video.
Watch Sampa The Great ‘Never Forget’ ft. Chef 187, Too Nason, Mwanjé:
In his own statement, director Imraan Christian said the track was “an anthem for those who celebrate their roots: particularly within the African soil and greater diaspora.”
He continued: “From a filmmaking perspective we looked at the idea of cyclical time and cross cultural pollination, collaborating closely with Rha Rha and Furmaan, we explored our own lineages within mystic traditions which ultimately inspired a lot of the visuals scene.
“The video nods to some of the themes that were born in ‘Lane’, and we once again witness Sampa stepping into the role of Eve as this story begins unfolding across the visuals we’ve seen and the visuals to come. A quote that stands out to me when I think of this video: ‘we are our ancestors wildest dreams, manifest’.”