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News March 6, 2020

Sampa The Great creates history with Australian Music Prize win

Senior Journalist, B2B
Sampa The Great creates history with Australian Music Prize win

Sampa The Great makes history by becoming the first and only artist to win the Australian Music Prize twice.

The Zambian-born, Botswana-raised Aussie rapper bagged the AMP with The Return, her first full-length album.

A jury of 48 industry professionals on Thursday selected The Return as 2019’S greatest album in Australia, earning Sampa a $30,000 winner’s cheque.

Now based in Melbourne, Sampa also collected the prize in 2017 for her mixtape Birds And The BEE9.

The Return beat out records by Angie McMahon, Hatchie, Stella Donnelly, Thelma Plum, Pond, Nick Cave and others, in what organisers describe as “perhaps the most electric list” in the award’s 15-year history.

“This year we had over 400 albums that met the eligible criteria for the award, which is a truly unbelievable nod to the amazing body of work being produced by Australian musicians in just the past twelve months,” said Australian Music Prize director Scott Murphy.

“Although it was an extremely hard decision to make, with so many amazing albums on the finalist list this year, we couldn’t be happier to award the prize to Sampa The Great. The Return is a truly important record that will no doubt be held up as one of the all-time great bodies of work, for years to come.”

Sampa has a big year ahead of her. She’s booked to play Coachella festival and Montreal’s Osheaga 2020, and she’ll criss-cross North America for a spring tour with stops in Washington, DC; Seattle, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and more.

Stream ‘The Return’:

The Return ruled the ARIA Vinyl Albums Chart on its release last September and went on to win Best Hip-Hop Release at the 2019 ARIA Awards, making Sampa the first woman of colour to win the category.

The album “was not written for radio play or commercial appeal,” she explains in a social media post. “It was written to bring to light the journey of a person who began her career in a country far away from home. It was to bring to light the sense of displacement felt in that journey and in a global sense throughout the world. It allowed me to tell my full story – without having it told for me. I thank the AMP for looking at solely the music and judging only that. As in this day and age it seems that is not the norm.”

Watch Sampa The Great’s ‘Final Form’:

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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