Episode 263: Sampha

“Spirit 2.0”

Sampha is a singer, songwriter and producer from London. His first album, Process, won the Mercury Prize in 2017. He’s collaborated with artists like the XX, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Solange. If you saw the Song Exploder Netflix show, Sampha was in the Alicia Keys episode, for the song they did together as a duet. This year, in October 2023, Sampha put out his second album, Lahai. And for this episode, I talked to Sampha about the song “Spirit 2.0.” Coming up, you’ll hear the original demo, and some early voice memos.

Sampha recruited some collaborators for the song, like producer Pablo Díaz-Reixa, aka El Guincho, who won a Grammy for his work on Rosalia’s first album; plus Yaeji; and Lisa Kaindé, from Ibeyi. But the song “Spirit 2.0” first took shape when Sampha was by himself, at home.

You can buy or stream “Spirit 2.0” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

For a transcript of this episode, click here.

El Guincho – Co-writer, co-producer, programmer
Owen Pallett – Arranger, conductor
Yussef Dayes – Drums
Yaeji – Additional vocals
Lisa Kaindé, from Ibeyi – Additional vocals
Oberheim OB-6
Moog Mother-32
Ngoni and Kora – West African instruments
Wassoulou music
“Sabu” by Oumou Sangaré, from her album Worotan
Kodwo Eshun – Writer on Ghanaian percussion taking architectural form
RAK Studios
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
In Conflict – Owen Pallett album featuring “The Passions”