Sampha Announces Release Date for ‘LAHAI,’ Unveils Tour Dates

Over six years after the release of his debut studio album Process, angel-voiced South London native Sampha is now just weeks away from his long-awaited follow-up. Taking to Instagram today (September 6), the 34-year-old announced that his sophomore LP LAHAI will arrive on October 20.

Videos by American Songwriter

Simultaneously with this declaration, Sampha unleashed the second promotional single for the album titled “Only,” along with its music video. One of the most up-tempo cuts of his career thus far, “Only” sees Sampha’s elegant singing voice on full display.

Making for an even more eventful Wednesday, Sampha also revealed the dates for his Lahai Tour, which will not only see him spend three nights in his hometown but also perform eight shows in North America and three more in Europe outside of the U.K. Tickets for the shows go on sale to the public next Friday (September 15) at 10 a.m. local time, with pre-sale opportunities starting next Wednesday (September 13).

Sampha first announced LAHAI and debuted the cover art on August 25, explaining the meaning of the title and the motifs he intends to tackle with the album.

“My grandfather’s name. My middle name. My next musical chapter. My next album,” he wrote on Instagram. “Fever Dreams. Continuums. Dancing. Generations. Syncopation. Bridges. Grief. Motherlands. Love. Spirit. Fear. Flesh. Flight.”

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Two months before this, LAHAI‘s lead single “Spirit 2.0” came out, his first solo output since Process. In between albums, Sampha touched all corners of hip-hop, R&B, electronic, and alternative music via collaborations. A month after Process‘s February 2017 release, he featured on Drake’s “4422.” Then in 2018, he played piano and earned songwriting credits on Florence + the Machine’s “Grace.”

The next year, Sampha made a guest appearance on Solange’s “Time (is),” following it up in 2020 with a feature verse on Alicia Keys’ “3 Hour Drive.” In 2022, he not only landed on two different songs from Kendrick Lamar’s show-stopping Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album but also found himself on three different cuts for British rapper Stormzy’s This is What I Mean LP. Most recently, Sampha stole the show on “MY EYES” alongside Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, which was the fourth song on Travis Scott’s chart-topping album UTOPIA.

Meshing all these diverse sounds and influences, it will be fascinating to see what Sampha provides for fans on LAHAI. Until then, check out the music video for his new single “Only” below.

(Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

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