Sampa The Great's story so far is unlike most up and coming Australian artists. Recently, she dropped by and chatted to Myf Warhurst all about it.
Sampa was born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, moved to San Francisco at 19 and then decamped to Sydney two years ago.
"I started writing when I was probably 9," she said. "My parents left me at school and I wrote a song about it and my cousin told me it was really good. One day that same cousin was playing 2Pac in his bedroom and I walked in and was like 'Whoa, what is this?!'. From then on it's just been writing and slam poetry and just growing."
Being a young woman in hip hop is becoming easier, Sampa concedes, but she has still had to face a great deal of opposition throughout her life so far.
"When I started, I was really small. In primary school there was an all boys group and they did a performance. I was like 'Oh my gosh, I really want to do that' and they were like 'you can't rap, because you're a girl'. It's obviously better now, but [the opposition] is still there..."
This won't stop Sampa The Great, though. She's staying true to herself in her songs, putting the most important aspects of her life and personality out there.
"My femininity is always going to be there," she said. "My spirituality, my race, they're always going to be there. They're part of me – those three things will always be in the forefront. When I'm introducing myself to someone in a song, those are gonna be the three highlights."
She has a pretty strong idea of what she wants to inject into her live show and what she hopes her fans get out of it.
"It's about inspiration," she said. "That's all we want to do. Inspire people. Help people be free with themselves. Let them add The Great to their names – that's what it's all about.
"The rehearsals are always empowering. We always give each other props. We always say 'guys, we can do this. We know what we're going onstage for. To inspire people' It's just positive people in the band, so we're always ready to take on the task, but it's more about just having fun."
Her performing name really encapsulates this attitude.
"It's reminding myself that I can be great. I put the great after my name."
Sampa The Great plays Sugar Mountain on Saturday 23 January