01:32PM, Thursday 07 January 2021
A Slough-born rapper has been named the winner of the BBC Music Sound of 2021.
Pa Salieu was selected by 160 industry experts and alumni artists including Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Wolf Alice and AJ Tracey.
Born in Slough, Salieu spent his formative years in The Gambia before moving to Coventry at the age of eight.
His new home later became the inspiration behind his breakout track Frontline and his debut mixtape Send Them To Coventry, which he dropped late in 2020 to widespread acclaim.
The 23-year-old said: “I was just really happy to even be included on the list alongside some amazing artists, a few of who I know personally. They’re all crazy talented, so to be the winner of something like this so early in my journey just feels mad."
He has performed live in session for Radio 1’s Future Sounds with Annie Mac, with his recent single My Family featuring BackRoad Gee making the longlist for Annie’s Hottest Record of the Year 2020. He has also picked up consistent Tune Of The Week support from Nick Grimshaw and Clara Amfo.
Annie Mac said: “I’m delighted for Pa Salieu winning the prestigious Sound of 2021. As a man whose childhood was split between The Gambia and Coventry he has a unique perspective on Britain. His songs are exquisitely produced, with enough restraint for Pa’s voice to shine through and have the space to tell the stories of his life. They are stories of friendship and family, of violence, exclusion and racism and they act as timeless evidence of British street life at the turn of new decade.”
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