Sampha’s debut album, Process, arrived today, but it turns out said album is literally just part of the Process. (Sorry. So sorry.) Known for his collaborations with Solange, Drake, Kanye, and SBTRKT (which led The Ringer to call him “pop’s secret weapon” ), the musician has announced a film of the same name, to be released in March via Apple Music. And if an album that also has an accompanying film component (that’s not a traditional music video) — a visual album, perhaps? — rings any bells, it should be noted that Kahlil Joseph, one of seven directors (including Beyoncé) behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade, has helmed Sampha’s film.
Earlier today, Sampha tweeted a one-minute trailer for the film, with text that read “from Morden, to Freetown, Sierra Leone.” The artist’s parents (now both deceased) were from Sierra Leone. They moved to the London suburb, named in the aforementioned tweet, where Sampha grew up, and where he returned when his mother was battling cancer. On the at-once visceral and ethereal album’s piano-driven third single “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” the artist expresses both the loss and indelibility of family through lyrics about the instrument he grew up playing in his childhood home — which his father had, per The Fader, “bought from an elderly neighbor when Sampha was 3.”
Grief over his mother’s recent death and meditations on her influence course through the album, and the trailer gives the impression that the film will see the musician tracing aspects of his past and his cultural identity.
Watch the trailer for the film: