The break presents: Pa Salieu


Life experiences and places shape and inspire the art of a rapper. So what about a young man born in England with folk singers in his family, who has spent time between the UK and his home country, The Gambia? The end product is Pa Salieu, a rapper who bends the genre signed to Warner Music UK who raps, sings, sings and does a mix of hip-hop with the sounds of the house.

Pa Salieu was born in Slough, a town outside of London, to Gambian parents who moved to the area when they were young. Her mother would send money to her family in The Gambia, and that evolved into sending her to live there with her elders until she was 10 years old. through song and other mediums. He loved music, but had no interest in creating it on his own until four years ago, when he noticed a studio with Audacity audio software in a friend’s house and asked to use it.

This chance discovery led Pa Salieu to book two-day stays at a different studio while returning home to Coventry to fight. In reality, Salieu becoming an artist felt preordained; he wrote notes after his grandparents passed away, shortly after graduating from high school. Music became his saving grace, a place where he could express whatever he needed to share.

Even though he had some difficult times, like being shot in the head and having 20 shotgun pellets withdrawn due to a drive-by shootout in 2019, then arrested and charged in April for violent unrest, intentional injury and possession of an offensive weapon, in connection with the 2018 fatal stabbing of Fidel Glasgow, someone Dad considers a friend, he stayed true to the music. Salieu was one of 10 people indicted in the incident, but no murder charges were brought against them. “I am engaging with the justice system but I want to make it clear that I have not been accused of harming my friend AP in any way,” the rhymer wrote in a statement posted on Twitter in April. “Please be sensitive to the fact that a real family like yours has lost a loved one. RIP AP.”

After dropping his single “Frontline” in January 2020, a vivid explanation of the streets of his Coventry neighborhood, the buzz of Pa Salieu started to mount. “Frontline” has over 4 million views on YouTube and over 5 million Spotify streams, and its “My Family” follow track with BackRoad Gee has over 3 million views on YouTube and over 4 million Spotify streams . The release of his first mixtape well received, Send them to Coventry, last November, opportunities such as performances on Tonight’s Show with Jimmy Fallon last January, being nominated for a BRIT Rising Star Award 2021, winner The BBC sound of 2021.

Now, as his name and feeds continue to grow both overseas and in the United States, Pa Salieu’s momentum has made him a strong candidate for XXLIt’s The Break this week.

Age: 23

Hometown: Slough, England

I grew up listening to: “We had CDs. When I first came back we listened OutKast, Tupac [Shakur], Vybz Kartel, Biggie, Stevie Wonder. I just listen to music. I never grew up listening to albums. I haven’t had the chance to be exposed to that. The only kind of music I had before 13 was back home in The Gambia [in West Africa]. My aunt was a folk singer. And for us, music means documentation of the past. It’s the only piece of history we have at home, music. Music has the story of my ancestors. “

My style has been compared to: “They say J Hus. They say Bounty Killer. It was early most of the time, but I don’t … I don’t watch anything. When I say I am not looking at anything, I am not looking at anything. When I say I don’t care, I only care what the music is. I say I don’t have a gender because I’m stubborn to the bone. Freedom is deep for me. You know I’m not gonna be put in an alley. Come on man. It’s music for freedom, and all those comparisons, I don’t care. “

I will explode because: “I feel good. I just feel like it works. I’m into education; trust me when I say it. Everything I say is deep. I don’t punchline. It’s work. . I am far from being in the prime of life, I am far away. I have just entered real life. I am building. “

My records to date have been: “I would say” Flip, Repeat “,” Betty “,” My Family “and” Frontline ” [featuring BackRoad Gee]. I would say ‘energy’ [featuring Mahalia] too much. Protect your energy. Someone gives in, some get by. There are two sides. There is a yin and a yang. Some people are weak, some people are strong. “

My highlights so far have been: “For me every moment has been special. I don’t think I’ve had the great moment yet.”

Most people don’t know: “I’ve been painting, since I was 17, a few years now. When it comes to painting, it’s the same feeling I had with music, exactly the same feeling.”

I’ll be next: “Fela Kuti, the rebirth of Fela Kuti.”

Follow Pa Salieu on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Stand out:


“My Family” with BackRoad Gee

“Energy” with Mahalia

Send them to Coventry

Check out 20 ways rappers taught us about life

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