Following her breathtaking recent performance as part of this year’s virtual Roots Picnic, Sampa the Great has shared a potent new visual for her The Return track ‘Time’s Up’. It’s a collaboration with longtime creative partner Sanjay De Silva, who directed The Return short film along with the clips for ‘Final Form’ and ‘OMG’.
‘Time’s Up’ is a track that was made to reflect a conversation between 2 young black artists about the Australian music industry. With the current atmosphere it’s an important time to address systemic racism within the music industry, especially as it slowly rebuilds,” comments Sampa on the track.
“Allyship should never be performative and as we continue past blackout day, all music orgs/labels should be put to task in bringing forward their initiatives for real change within their industry.”
The fierce clip echoes many of the sentiments that Sampa and rising Melbourne rapper Krown share on the song itself – criticising performative allyship and shallow “diversity” and calling out the industry in the hopes of more substantive progress.
Taking the tongue-in-cheek aspect of the song and dialling it up, there’s a slew of metaphors – including the industry literally shaking Sampa’s culture out of her for their profit.
“We referenced some very specific 90’s music videos throughout, from Tupac’s ‘Hit Em Up’, to videos from Busta, Da Bush Babees, Jamiroquai, and De La Soul,” explains De Silva. “Each one is utilised to convey a powerful message about how the music industry has treated and continues to treat and exploit black artists.”
Coinciding with the video’s release, Sampa has announced she’s partnering with culturally responsive therapy practice Pola Psychology. The initiative will shed a light on the struggles faced by African youth in accessing culturally safe, appropriate mental health services, and raising funds to reduce those barriers to access.
“The labour put on marginalised people to have to address systemic racism every day means more trauma and pressure on our mental health and emotional state,” explains Sampa. “I’m partnering with Pola Psychology, a Naarm (Melbourne) based therapy practice to make sure African youth/musicians can access culturally appropriate mental health care in their own community, by their own community. At a time like this, it’s important to let my friends and the wider African community know that this support exists and our health matters.”
Watch the video for ‘Time’s Up’ below.