Pa Salieu

Pa Salieu

 

Rising rapidly to fame on the back of 2020's "Frontline," Coventry's Pa Salieu flew the flag for his hometown as one of the U.K. rap scene's most acclaimed new voices. Born in Slough, England, musician Pa Salieu (born Pa Salieu Gaye) spent his early years in Gambia, living with his grandparents on his family's farm. Moving to Coventry, England, at the age of seven or eight, Gaye spent his teenage years in Hillfields, an area that he later referred to as the "Frontline" due to its high levels of deprivation. With early influences including Vybz Kartel, Youssou N'Dour, and 2Pac, Pa Salieu started making music at his local youth club (Positive Youth Foundation), releasing debut single "Never Had" in September 2018. With wide-ranging flows across both rapping and singing, he quickly became a banner artist for his hometown, building further hype with "Say So," "Dem a Lie," and an appearance on Mixtape Madness' freestyle show Next Up. In early 2020, the rapper made his first major breakthrough: the single "Frontline," with its guttural, swinging instrumental and harsh vocals, soon landed millions of views online. Rallied by this success, Gaye continued to release throughout the early stages of the year, teaming up with SL for the gothic "Hit the Block" and Meekz, Teeway, and M1llionz for the drill anthem "Year of the Real." The rollout for Pa Salieu's debut tape began with a string of singles -- "Betty/Back Out," "My Family," "B***K, and "Block Boy" -- before the project's release in November 2020. Titled Send Them to Coventry (after an old English phrase meaning "to cut someone off/ostracize someone"), the set offered an inventive portfolio of experimental U.K. styles. ~ David Crone

NOMINATED FOR ...

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

BackRoad Gee

My Family (Directed by Femi Ladi)

 

SONG OF THE YEAR

BackRoad Gee

My Family