Sampa the Great electrifies Aria awards

SAMPA the great.

SYDNEY – Hip-hop artiste Sampa the Great called out the lack of diversity of the Australian music industry
in general – and of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) board in particular – during a highlight performance at the 2020 Aria Awards, the industry’s biggest yearly event, which was broadcast on Wednesday night.
Tame Impala were the night’s big winners, taking home five trophies for their fourth album, The Slow Rush. But Sampa the Great, the next most successful, gave the night’s most talked about performance.
The vocalist – real name Sampa Tembo – won best female artiste, best hip-hop release and best independent release for her first studio album, The Return. Her electrifying Aria performance of Final Form was filmed in Botswana, where she is currently based, and opened with a few new lines: “Is it free, this industry,
for people like me? Diversity, equity – in your Aria boards?” she rapped. “When we win awards, they toss us in the ad breaks of course.”
Tembo was ostensibly referring to the 2019 Arias, when she became the first woman of colour to win for best hip-hop. She called it “bittersweet” in a speech that did not make the 2019 broadcast: “I hope the Australian music industry starts to reflect what our community looks like,” she said at the time.

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