Last night from the 2020 ARIA Awards, Sampa The Great took home three awards, Best Independent Release, Best Female Artist and Best Hip Hop Release for her 2019 debut album, The Return, culminating in a thrilling live performance from Botswana.
Filmed at dusk from a stone rooftop, Sampa The Great is joined by her live band and team of enigmatic dancers for a raw and stunningly choreographed performance of “Final Form”, the debut single from The Return LP. Zambian-born, Botswana-raised and now Melbourne-based, Sampa opened the performance with a powerful spoken word set to the introductory bars of album track “Freedom”, as the rapper and poet addressed notions of equality and representation within ARIA itself and the wider music industry. Not to be missed, replay the live performance here.
Sampa The Great was nominated for 6 x ARIA Awards including Best Video, Best Australian Live Act, Album Of The Year, Best Female Artist, Best Hip Hop Release and Best Independent Release for her 2019 album, The Return. “This award means a lot to me, because Hip Hop has been redefined in the past five, ten years in Australia. Young black artists, young people of colour, keep doing what you’re doing, keep bringing the stories to the forefront, because now we get to see a side of Australia that was never shown.” Sampa stated upon accepting her second title for Best Hip Hop Release. “I’m sending all my love to Black women who are in Hip Hop. It often feels isolated and masculine. You can step into whatever genre, and be you. You can define genres.” Taking out her final award of the night for Best Female Artist, Sampa said, “As someone who is wholeheartedly supported by some amazing women, it’s an honour to receive this award. I’ve done my best to represent who I am and who I’m growing to be, and show the beauty of where I’m from. Women deserve to be applauded, of different shapes, sizes and race, and I am honoured to be able to be applauded as well.”
In 2019, Sampa took home Best Hip Hop Release for “Final Form” at the 2019 ARIA Awards, alongside multiple other wins at the annual J Awards, including Video of the Year and Double J’s Artist of the Year, Best Hip Hop Act at the Music Victoria Music Awards and broke industry records by winning the prestigious Australian Music Prize twice in her career. The Return LP was made triple j packet Feature Album, Feature Album at Double J, FBi, Triple R, PBS, SYN, Radio Adelaide, RTR and 2SER, and received praise from the likes of The Guardian, NPR, Pitchfork, The FADER, Billboard, OkayAfrica, Michelle Obama and countless others. “Final Form” has since gathered over 11 million streams to date.
Last night’s 2020 ARIA Awards arrive after a momentous year for Sampa, which includes becoming the first solo artist and female musician to win Best Live Act at the National Live Music Awards and becoming BET Amplified first-ever global artist. Alongside a remix of The Return track, “Time’s Up” with new verses from New York rapper Junglepussy, Sampa appeared on The Avalanches’ recently released single “Take Care In Your Dreaming” alongside Denzel Curry & Tricky, as well as Baker Boy & Dallas Woods on “Better Days”. Entertaining audiences across the globe by playing festivals like Glastonbury, Splendour in the Grass and Laneway, Sampa has performed virtually for AFROPUNK, Black August and the Roots Picnic and consistently keeps in the company of greatness, supporting the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Ms Lauryn Hill.
Re-live a historic moment for Sampa The Great today, as she commemorates her 3 x ARIA Award titles, taken from 6 x nominations, with a show-stopping live performance that reaffirms her powerful message and creative vision for a music industry that celebrates all artists in years to come.