UK soul singer Sampha has treated us to several live performances of late; most recently, he appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Now, after being featured on the track “4422” on Drake‘s More Life (as well as his 2013 album Nothing Was the Same), Sampha performed a cover version of his collaborator’s song “Controlla” in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
“It’s so odd, not hearing it in sweaty clubs,” remarks Clara Amfo, the show’s host. “Controlla,” a dancehall anthem in Drake’s hands, turns to sleek soul with a jazzy twist under Sampha’s guidance. He hollowed out the beat and added strings to build and release tension in his version of the song, the breezy confidence of his voice also highlighted by a relatively minimalist piano.
Listen to the full live session here; “Controlla” begins around 2:14:17. Read our review of his recent album, Process, here, and of Drake’s More Life here.