When you lose your father at a very young age and have to take care of your physically challenged brother and mother whose health kept fluctuating, it won’t be surprising at all if such ugly past reflects clearly in what you do. Sampha is one British singer whose songs are loaded with melancholic messages of pain, distress and heartbreak.
This legendary songwriter and record producer may have had unpleasant past experiences and extreme anxiety while growing up, these experiences today are what actually skyrocketed him into the limelight and also connected him to music powerhouses like Drake, Kanye West, and Beyonce.
In this article, we’ll present to you, the interesting story of Sampha. You’ll also get to know about the fast-rising star’s biography and family. We won’t be leaving out his love life which has become a subject of public interest and other interesting facts you can’t find elsewhere.
Sampha was born Sampha Lahai Sisay on November 16, 1988, in Morden, South London, United Kingdom. His parents – Binty Sisay and Joe Sisay – were Sierra Leone citizens who migrated to London where Sampha and his four brothers were brought up.
The youngest of five brothers, Lahai lost his father, Joe, in 1998 to lung cancer at the age of nine. Not long after, precisely in his late teens, his older brother suffered a stroke that left him physically disabled. While Sampha was busy trying to shape up his musical career and take care of his older brother, his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
Binty’s health kept fluctuating for quite a long period of time, leaving the north Londer devastated and traumatized. Two years after – precisely in 2012, Sampha’s mother recovered but it was only temporary as her sickness made a fatal comeback in 2014. She finally lost the battle with cancer in September 2015.
Binty’s passing would cause Laiha more pains and agony and even impacted on his album Process which was at its core. It was actually tough for Sampha, who was beginning to rise, shouldering both family responsibilities and career expectations but after some time, his wounds healed – though not completely.
Career Beginning and Success
British songwriter, singer, and record producer Sampha Sisay began his music career as a child after his father brought home a piano which he would spend hours fiddling with. At the age of three, Laiha had already perfected his piano skills and was doing well at it.
At twelve, the London-born beat-maker was introduced to Cubase editing software by one of his brothers. From this point, Sampha’s brothers kept feeding his ears with sounds from The Clash, Groove Armada, James Brown and Herbie Hancock. Of all his brothers, Sanie Sisay was a major influence. He was a music producer at the time and had a mini studio in his flat close by.
The British singer’s first notable song, God’s Promise, which he interlaced with faith was written as a form of relief from his weighty emotions and depression.
Sampha briefly studied Music Production at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He abandoned the course and flew back to London as he wasn’t connecting with it.
Upon his return, the Sundanza hitmaker met SBTRKT, a musical project spearheaded by Aaron Jerome, through MySpace, a social networking website. Not long after, SBTRKT passed on his revered creativity to the London-born star who ended up releasing some songs and touring with him.
Sampha tasted yet another dimension of popularity when he started collaborating with Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter Aubrey Drake Graham and was featured in his viral song Too Much (released in 2013).
Drake came to know about Sampha who was making music as a grime MC and producer under the name Kid Nova after he received his first two solo EPs Sundanza (released in 2010) and Dual (released in 2013) from popular record producer Kwes.
Since their first encounter, Drake has continued to boost Sampha’s music career, including his incredibly 40-minute debut album, Process, which was released on February 3, 2017 through Young Turks.
Sampha Laisha Sisay, who performs under the mononym Samph, has also featured in Kanye West‘s Saint Pablo (released in 2016) and Beyoncé’s Mine.
Famed for his beautifully textured voice, dual beat-maker Sampha is today ‘the go-to guy for authentic emotion’ and a proud winner of the 2017 Mercury Prize – thanks to Process which is purely a meditation on his life thus far.
Is Sampha Dating?
When you are hunky, humble, quiet, reserved and enjoy a star-dotted life like Sampha Laisha Sisay, women tend to flock towards you. And when you are the easy-going type and humbly love what you do irrespective of your affluence and popularity, then you are every woman’s dream man.
If reports online are anything to go by, then we can confirm that the hip-hop artist is dating a beautiful woman named Jojo. Unlike her boyfriend, Jojo is not a celebrity. Thus she’s relatively unknown. She is, however, of Jamaican and Polish heritage. The couple live in northwest London and has been together for over three years.
Quick Facts About Sampha
- He has a record label called Young Turks.
- Beside his superb piano skills, Sampha dreams of producing albums for people.
- A melancholic singer, Sampha’s debut album is filled with pain and even a longing for spiritual healing.
- He’s known for his non-literal lyrics. His songs always tell his stories.
- Sampha admitted that he was never prepared for the fame he enjoys now. According to him, he had wanted to perfect his sound before storming out to the spotlight.
- Sampha is a bit shy in person but not when he is with the mic.
- He relocated to East London in 2013 after moving out of his family home.
- His older siblings are Junior, John, Sanie, and Ernest Sisay. They all spent their childhood days in Sierra Leone.