HERITAGE: Jessie Ware & Sampha Unite For This Delicate Duet "Valentine" (2011)

HERITAGE: Jessie Ware & Sampha Unite For This Delicate Duet "Valentine" (2011)

January 10, 2023

All the way back in 2011, Sampha and Jessie Ware released a special Valentine's Day single they'd recorded the year before. Appropriately titled "Valentine", it was released via Young Turks on heart-shaped vinyl and came with a video directed by Marcus Soderland.

The track was the central feature on an exclusive mixtape the pair put together for FADER, who also tapped them to play agony aunt and uncle for their readers. At the time, both Jessie and Sampha were known for being into a pretty broad spread of artists and genres and the tape reflected that by putting Snoop, Aaliyah and N.E.R.D. right alongside 4Hero, Björk, and Röyksopp.

Around that time, they also performed the track live (along with a cover of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love", which also featured on the mixtape) as part of Jamie xx and Yasmin's Young Turks Boiler Room set. That video's a little harder to track down, but Soderland's visual can still be viewed below.

Next to the best of Jamie xx and SBTRKT's output of that era, this might be one of the most emblematic songs of the period. With Sampha's minimal but highly polished beats, Jessie's delicate, cloud-grazing vocals, and the echoes of dubstep's eerie and spacious atmospherics, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more potent and evocative time capsule.