Audio

Lizbet Sempa Goes ‘Deep Inside’ in a Powerful New Single

British-Ugandan artist Lizbet Sempa returns with the soulful new single titled "Deep Inside."

London-based singer and composer Lizbet Sempa returns with her new single “Deep Inside.” Born to Ugandan parents, the singer’s latest song highlights Sempa’s vocal depth and songwriting abilities.


“By the river is where I’ll be / I’ll be waiting for you here / Time is calling for you dear / mind is thinking that you’re near,” she sings.

The song is about “how ego can stop beautiful things from happening” and the concept of “waiting for love but it never coming,” the singer tells Nylon.

The classically trained artist has been causing quite the buzz internationally with over one million subscribers on Soundcloud and a co-sign from British musician Ghostpoet. After taking a three year hiatus from publishing music, Sempa has now returned with two brand new singles, “All the Things” released earlier last year, and the newly published “Deep Inside.”

"Deep Inside" single cover. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In a previous interview with Okayafrica, Lizbet explains, “Vocally and mentally I’ve changed a lot since those first songs. There was industry pressure as some people were questioning if I was still making music but I just had to do my thing in my own time.”

Sempa hopes to release an EP in early 2016.

“It will probably be called Built for Love, and once that’s out I’ll start gigging, sharing the music with live audiences, and just showcasing my work,” she explained to Okayafrica.

Listen to Lizbet Sempa’s “Deep Inside” above.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

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This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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