Leading Ladies: Samsaya’s Multicultural Pop Experience


Samsaya with her signature red heart painted over her left eye which serves as a reminder to approach life with an open mind. Courtesy of Audiofemme.

Indian-Norwegian singer, Sampda Sharma – known by her stage name Samsaya – prepares for the release of her sophomore album, “Bombay Calling”, this year with her first single, “Stereotype”. It’s an incredibly upbeat song that manages to be insightful and catchy all at once. Samsaya sings about reconciling her multiple identities to a dance-inducing beat and memorable chorus.

The song starts off with an accordion-like beat and percussion that provide a steady, driving rhythm. When Samsaya starts to sing, her voice is electric and restless, matching the frenzied yet contained beat. Though her lyrics are a bit predictable, her delivery makes them come alive (I love it when nonconformity and plural identities are made into an infectious summer anthem). It is absolutely impossible not to shake your hips and move to this song, so why fight it? It’s just as she sings: “I just dance to whatever I like.” Bonus points for those bouncy drums in the pre-chorus that make you feel a little tipsy but act as the perfect lead in for the chorus that instantly anchors you.

A veteran to the music industry, Samsaya has performed all over Norway and released her first album back in 2004. Since then, her music has appeared in Hollywood films and commercials. Born in India but raised in Norway, Samsaya’s multicultural experience has greatly influenced her music. Her debut album, “Shedding Skin”, weaves Indian instrumentals, pop, R&B, and hip-hop all together, a mosaic of sounds that echoes her multicultural identity. Highlights include “Pure to Me” for its incorporation of Indian string instruments and percussion, “Bas Bas” for its multilingual lyricism, and “Ever Been Had?” for her foray into rapping and soulful attitude. “Shedding Skin” is available on Spotify.

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