Samantha Lindo



As a child, Samantha Lindo watched tears roll down her grandfather’s face when he returned to his old family home in Jamaica only to discover it in ruins. The experience got her wondering what ‘home’ really means – particularly in the context of her own relatives, so many of whom had packed up their lives and left the countries they were born in to start over.

Lindo’s new album Ancestry tells some of those stories, from her great-great-grandparents, a Black Methodist minister from Barbados and white Scottish teacher who married in 1891, to the great-uncle who emigrated to Canada in the 1970s, who would phone London long-distance and ask her to sing down the line.


Now based in Bristol, Lindo is still channelling the innocence of her childhood self. Bringing together elements of soul, jazz and disco, she treats difficult subject matter with optimism and warmth. She switches between a honey-sweet, rippling vocal evoking the likes of Minnie Riperton and Etta James, and crisp, assertive spoken word segments which lay out who she is, the lessons she has taken from her ancestors, and where she is headed next. “I fought so hard to break the shame,” she declares in ‘Bloodline’, “so I can shelter others to do the same.” Likewise ‘Shades of Yellow’ documents the burden of inherited trauma, and the “ache to be seen” by her father. Despite focusing on the past, Lindo refuses to let herself sink into nostalgia, choosing instead to set the individual journeys of her family into wider contexts of migration and climate change, while thinking of ways to shape a better future. The soaring gospel harmonies of ‘Legacy’ end the album on a hopeful note, tracing the threads of family history right through to her newborn daughter.