BAM! The lights hit. Her name is illuminated as her band beautifully starts “Energy.” She walks on stage and the crowd screams. I look to my right and instantly make friends with the boy next to me as we dance with Sampa the Great. Her energy captures the crowd.
Sampa the Great stopped in Washington D.C. during her North American Tour on March 29, 2022. This is her first U.S. tour. Her upcoming performance at Coachella is sold out as well as her Oakland and New York performances. So when my professor told me I could go see Sampa perform, I leaped at the opportunity (yes, I actually leaped towards my phone as I read the email).
Back to the concert, Sampa the Great reminds the audience of her crew and band throughout the entire concert. It shows her character. Every break between songs was used to shine light on the people around her; her manager, her background singers, her band, etc.
My first interaction with Sampa was through this webpage, actually. She interviewed with my professor. I was too stunned to speak but hearing her speak on her experiences with her identity as she travels through different continents and through the diaspora. Her music shows her experiences as a black woman and her connection with her roots despite the countless attempts to detach her from the diaspora. Sampa the Great’s rise started in Australia but she reminds us that we are more than just our own story-lines. We are the people before us, we are the people around us, as well as the journey we choose to go on during our lifetime. As she performed Black Girl Magik, it reminded the audience to respect those who come before us as well as respect ourselves as black women. It’s Black Girl Magik, stand in it as the people before you have.
The concert in its entirety felt like a walk through the diaspora, from the Zambian flag wrapped around her microphone to Final Form ringing through the speakers as we scream “I might final form in my melanin.” I am so excited to see Sampa the Great perform at Coachella (or at least see the clips on the internet after the fact). For tickets to the rest of her shows on the tour, click here.
Sampa the Great socials: