Pa Salieu portrait Dazed 100
Pa SalieuCourtesy of Pa Salieu
“The grant would allow me to buy the land in Gambia where I want to build a school

Pa Salieu

Age - 22
 Coventry, United Kingdom
@pa_salieu
Pa Salieu
“The grant would allow me to buy the land in Gambia where I want to build a school

“King Salieu, call me sire.” Pa Salieu has stories to tell, and he’s just getting started. Dropped in the first month of the new decade, the stirring slurred sirens of “Frontline” propelled him to the forefront of the internet, acting as a warning sound for us all to sit up and take notice. And we did: the track exploded across social media, its sharp visuals racking up more than a million views in its first month with many quick to draw parallels between him and fellow “Gambian brudda” J Hus

Despite the co-sign and shared militérian spirit though, Salieu is very much on his own trajectory – one that was set to take him across a summer full of festival debuts from Lovebox to Afronation, before Covid-19 cancellations hit. 

The music itself has always been the main focus though, and 2020 will still be his year, with a new mixtape set to drop in summer. “I want people to hear everything about me,” he says of the purpose behind his music. “They don’t know about the block life,” might be the accusatory hook of “Frontline” but Pa Salieu is here to show usthis the life that we live”, in no uncertain terms. That is, to set an example by changing his own narrative with music, and pay tribute to the people and places who helped him get there: his mum, his grandparents, Coventry, and Gambia.

How did you start doing the work you do, and what inspires it?

Pa Salieu: I stole my cousin’s MP3 player and it had one Vybez Kartel MP3. I listened to it every day at school until it broke. Then I used to listen to a lot of beats and started freestyling in my own time. I then began going to Stoke-on-Trent every Friday to one of the first studios I ever went in, my boy Phil’s place. Everything in my life has been a part of a story that I want to tell.

“Everything in my life has been a part of a story that I want to tell” – Pa Salieu

How do you want to influence the future? 

Pa Salieu:  I want people to be able to take influence from my journey, and see that it’s possible to leave a certain past behind and follow something you’re passionate about. I want to teach that self-discipline is all you need. 

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

Pa Salieu: The grant would allow me to buy the land in Gambia where I want to build a school, to allow the kids there to get their education. It’s my generation’s responsibility. I really believe that. You know like that!

Vanessa Hsieh

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