Pa Salieu Kicks Off New Year With BBC Sounds of 2021 Win

The Convetry-based rapper is making noise in the UK music scene.

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Rap newcomer Pa Salieu has been announced as the BBC Sounds of 2021 winner, nabbing the title with Holly Humberstone coming second and Berwyn, Greentea Peng, and Gruff filling out the top five spots.

Salieu, who is based in Coventry, England, is 23-years-old of Gambian heritage and has been on a sharp rise as of late. In 2020, the rapper debuted his first mixtape Send Them to Coventry which featured hits such as “Informa,” “Energy” and “My Family,” each of which has well over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify (and counting).

Speaking on the win, Salieu 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.” His win was decided by a panel of judges comprising industry figures and the likes of Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Wolf Alice, AJ Tracey, Yungblud, Foals, and Charli XCX, who combined have now placed the emerging UK rapper in a winners list that features Adele, Michael Kiwanuka and more.

Pa Salieu is yet to feature on the UK charts, however, with a win such as this, the odds are now in his favor. His tracks often speak on the realities of living in Coventry and the UK, telling the BBC that he is “the voice of the voiceless,” delivering tracks with incredibly poignant meanings that represent the reality of his surroundings. You can listen to his mixtape on Spotify or Apple Music now.

In other news, here are the music projects you missed this week.

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