Today (Nov. 29), NPR Music unveiled the latest episode of their popular “Tiny Desk Concert” series with Sampha. In the 23-minute clip, the British talent blessed viewers and attendees with live renditions of cuts from his latest album, Lahai, and his breakout EP, 2013’s Dual.
Released in October, the critically acclaimed Lahai contained 16 songs with a wealth of contributions from Ibeyi, Léa Sen, Yaeji, Kokoroko’s Sheila Maurice-Grey, Owen Pallett, Kwake Bass, El Guincho, and more. The LP debuted at No. 1 and No. 4 on the U.K. R&B Albums and U.K. Independent Albums charts, respectively.
“I don’t go in with a concept,” Sampha said to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about the creation process behind Lahai, which is titled after his middle name and his grandfather’s first name. “I just know I want to go into the studio and create something, so a lot of it comes from an intuitive place or a place of intuition. So I feel like it’s a snapshot of where I am. I feel like Process is a photo of that time, and this also feels like a bit of a sonic photo of where I am or where I was at. And I can see that, yeah, I have moved on a bit.”
He also spoke on how grief and loss are two major themes on the album. “I guess I was going through some once in a lifetime things, and losing someone who’s been with me for all my life, and going through that and having music as a canvas going through that time,” he explained. “So for me, it’s a beautiful document of even the tough things I was going through, or even the relationships or what me and my brothers went through, and I have that as a reminder.”
Check out Sampha’s “Tiny Desk Concert” performance below.