A frequent collaborator, Sampha is now making a name for himself as a solo artist, with his new album Process earning plaudits for its meditative and soulful electronica. Taking to the BBC Radio 1Xtra Live Lounge this week, he again demonstrated why it’s his time in the spotlight with a phenomenal rendition of Roy Davis Jr’s garage classic “Gabriel”.
Taking on a track as cherished as the Peven Everett-sung anthem is no easy task, but when you’ve a voice as saturated with soul as Sampha’s you’ve got license to try anything you want, and the South Londoner has no issues in doing the original proud. Reimagining the track with just his voice and a piano, Sampha takes the already emotional content and amplifies it by ten, bringing the beauty of the lyrics out with a spacious arrangement of down tempo piano runs and melancholic vocal pinings. A better live lounge performance will be hard to come by.
Sampha can be caught live at O2 Institute in Birmingham next month, with a show on Sunday 26th March. After that, Parklife Festival attendees will have the opportunity to see him on the Sounds of the Near Future stage on Sunday 11th June.
Photo courtesy of Sampha