Great, soul-filled and fantastic music insists on being heard. One such song, despite the odds stacked against it at the time, survived the test of time to finally arrive, albeit fashionably late.
The story of Love & Miracles genesis goes back some 14 years ago when, in 2007, RJ Benjamin, a then-rising star, singer and prolific music producer, met the already legendary Vicky Sampson. At the time, the two were building a strong working relationship and friendship. Benjamin acted as the producer for several songs Sampson had penned.
One track she presented was a ballad titled Love & Miracles, a song she had written with another celebrated musician and bassist, Trevor Donjeany, best-known and respected for his work with the late-great Johnny Clegg. The song was perfectly penned to be a duet and naturally, Benjamin agreed to sing alongside Sampson.
Sadly, the original recording of Love & Miracles was shelved, never to be heard and with it, the growing relationship these two great South African musicians had forged to that point. Fast forward to 2020 when a pandemic and a national lockdown gripped the world. For many artists, this became a time of reflection, and for Benjamin a chance to finally dig into the “what ifs” around his unpublished and unreleased archives.
Upon re-listening to one such gem, Love & Miracles, it became clear to Benjamin that the song deserved to be heard by both his fans and the many loyal followers of Sampson. On a phone call that saw the two artists reconnected and a unique friendship rekindled, the duo agreed to re-record and re-release it three weeks ago. The song is out now on all streaming platforms.
I caught up with the legendary Vicky Sampson last week:
What is your job description?
Performing artist, composer and singer.
What does music mean to you?
Music opens doors to the minds and the hearts of people all around the world.
My music is about…
Bringing to life my experiences and many experiences of those who do not always have a voice to express themselves.
What is your motto?
Be careful as you climb the stairs how you treat others as at some point you have to come down those same stairs.
Fame is about…
A dream for the world to know who you are and hear your music, but to me it goes much deeper than that - it’s about changing lives.
Retirement will happen when…
I don't do…
Big egos and unkind behaviour.
I would love to co-write with…
Adele, Seal and Oleta Adams.
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
To the mountains or alternatively climb mountains of my own.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
It’s connecting with people after a performance and hearing their stories.
The song you must do during every show:
My Afrikan Dream.
Any funny moments on stage?
I once got stuck halfway between the stage and the floor on a lift coming up onto stage and ended up with my co-singer singing our duet only with our top halves out.
My heroes are:
People who stand up for what they believe in, fight against injustice and stand for those who have no voice.