British singer/producer Sampha first made international waves with his 2013 collaboration with Drake, “Too Much,” off Nothing Was the Same.
Since then, in addition to his own well-received work, he’s popped up on tracks with Kanye West and Frank Ocean, giving him some of the best co-signs imaginable. Why do so many geniuses like Sampha?
Perhaps it’s because he might be a genius himself. Case in point, his masterful reworking of Drake’s “Controlla.”
On BBC’s Radio One, Sampha takes a signature Drake dance track and turns it into an resonant piano ballad. What was once a high-tempo bit of dance floor frustration becomes a deeper, introspective exploration of a budding relationship. With the lyrics in front of him, Sampha’s emotive performance and touching string arrangement creates so many new levels to “Controlla” that the track now almost qualifies as a skyscraper.
Sampha can also be heard on Drake’s More Life on the track “4422.” The full episode of Live Lounge, which also include Sampha timidly saying that “maybe” he has a full album’s worth of material he recorded with Drake, can be heard here.