30 Days in LA: Sampha, Kelsey Lu and Serpentwithfeet

By Amanda Jolicoeur-Louis
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Night one of 30 days in LA was beyond memorable with the most unexpected and yet eerily cohesive line-up we’ve experience yet. RedBull Sound Select brought together Serpentwithfeet, a unique character who self-described his music as “Pagan Gospel”; Kelsey Lu, a classical cellist with a powerful otherworldly voice, and Sampha, the soulful electronic phenom who hasn’t stopped impressing us since his early days working with SBTRKT.


Serpentwithfeet kicked the sold-out show off, wooing the audience with his perfect runs and drawing them in with his polarizing image. The man is the prettiest human snake we’ve ever seen and as soon as he walked on to the stage we knew we were about to experience something amazing. His performance blurred the lines between classical, r&b and gospel while remaining #darkAF and totally badass.


Next up was Kelsey Lu, she graced the stage solo, armed with nothing but her cello. Between each song she would stop to speak directly to the audience about her inspirations and feelings. Her childlike voice was jarring to hear in comparison to her booming vocals. A thick blanket of silence would fall over the audience whenever she sang, only to be broken by applause when she would end a song by whispering “thank you” into the mic.


Towards the end of the night the anticipation for Sampha’s arrival could be felt. When the lights dimmed and his 5 piece band (including Kelsey Lu and her cello) walked on stage the audience exploded with cheers. Once on stage, Sampha wasted no time getting straight to the music. He performed all of his hits and also threw in brand new tracks unheard by stateside fans until that night. The only thing better than his voice and multitasking abilities (he played like 5 instruments that night, seriously.) was his dance moves. The man can move. After about 30 minutes Sampha abruptly ended the show, leaving the audience begging for an encore. He returned on stage two minutes later without his band and performed a few more unreleased tracks acapella–because he’s that amazing.  

To learn more about upcoming shows, visit www.redbullsoundselect.com

All images via Red Bull Sound Select.
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