After years of high-profile collaborations, London-born pianist, producer and rueful crooner Sampha made his grand entrance with his Mercury Prize–winning 2017 album Process.
• Inspired by his older brother, who built a studio in their childhood home, Sampha forayed into music production in his early teens.
• Through MySpace, Sampha connected with London artist Kwes, who helped him secure an internship in 2009 with his current label Young Turks.
• That year, Sampha issued his breakthrough single, a remix of The xx’s “Basic Space”. His debut EP, Sundanza, arrived in 2010.
• Between 2010 and 2014, Sampha contributed to Drake’s Grammy-nominated 2013 album Nothing Was the Same and Beyoncé’s triple-Grammy-winning 2013 eponymous LP. He also joined early sessions for Solange’s 2016 album A Seat at the Table and worked on the song “Saint Pablo”, off Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo.
• Sampha issued his debut album, Process, in 2017. Led by the heartfelt ode to his late mother, “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”, Process hit No. 7 on the UK albums chart and won the 2017 Mercury Prize.
HOMETOWNMorden, South London, England
BORN16 November 1988