Sampa The Great blends the music of her upbringing into new single ‘Bona’

Elements of South African genres Amapiano and Kwaito run throughout the track

Sampa The Great has released ‘Bona’, the latest single from her forthcoming second studio album, ‘As Above, So Below’.

Released today (July 28), ‘Bona’ – meaning ‘look/check this out’ in Setswana, the language of the Bantu people from whom Sampa is descended – sees Sampa deliver buzzing vocals laid out over a pulsing melody, infused with elements of the South African genres Kwaito and Amapiano.

Listen below:


In the description for the single’s visualiser, Sampa wrote: “I’m a big fan of the misfits. The ones who don’t fit in or belong. Too edgy and different for home and too “radically African” for everywhere else.

“‘Bona’ was written for the young creatives who don’t quite fit in anywhere, so we end up creating a home for each other.”

Additionally, in a press release Sampa spoke of the influence of her upbringing in Botswana on today’s single. “I haven’t yet shown the influence Botswana has had on me musically; this is the style, language and swag of Batswana youth,” she said. “‘Bona’ is a chance for me to shine light on other elements of music that I was influenced by when growing up, outside of Zambian music.

“I want to bring a Southern African anthem to the mix and DJ desks, and show that not all music coming out of Africa is Afrobeats.”

Following the release of single ‘Never Forget’ and the announcement of forthcoming album, ‘As Above, So Below’, Sampa – aka Sampa Tembo – was NME‘s cover star for its June issue.


‘As Above, So Below’ is set to arrive on September 9 via Loma Vista Recordings and will feature both ‘Never Forget’ and ‘Bona’.

The start of June also saw the Melbourne-based rapper wrap up a five-date tour, dubbed ‘An Afro Future’, purpose-built to usher in her new era.

Performing at Melbourne’s Forum on June 1, Sampa was awarded a five star review by NME‘s Karen Gwee. “Sampa’s whole-hearted engagement with the crowd made the show a warm, intimate one,” Gwee wrote.

“In the Forum, for a few hours, it was Sampa’s world – a joyous, liberated paradigm – and we were all living in it.”