News Brief
Sampa The Great. Photo: Maya Mensah.

Sampa The Great Returns With 'Energy'

The striking new visual from the Zambian artist is an ode to feminine energy.

Sampa The Great is a buzzing poet, rapper, and singer who we've been keeping tabs on for a minute.

The Zambian-born, Botswana raised artist, who currently resides in Melbourne, is now returning with "Energy," her first new release since the 2017 Australian Music Prize-winning album of the year, Birds and the BEE9.

"Energy," which is co-produced by Rahki and long-time collaborator Silentjay, is a head-nodding excursion led by Sampa's interweaving rhymes, which were inspired by her experiences as a Zambian woman.

It features spoken word from Nadeem Din-Gabisi of London's Steamdown collective.


"Life is about balance," Sampa The Great tells OkayAfrica. "This year taught me a lot about this. It was very important to me to continue to apply this lesson in all aspects of my life. In the word we live in it is very important we re-evaluate our perceptions of strength and weakness and the balancing of the feminine and masculine aspects of all our energy. It's especially important in our deeply unbalanced world."

The single comes paired with a new visual which director Modu Sesay describes as "an ode to feminine energy, which is essential to all of our existence and the source of life."

Get into "Energy" below.

Sampa The Great feat. Nadeem Din-Gabisi - Energy youtu.be

Sampa The Great. Photo: Harry Deadman.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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