Review: Pa Salieu Champions His Culture In Vibrant ‘Send Them To Coventry’ Mixtape
13 Nov 2020
Championing his Gambian heritage, Pa Salieu is best known for his vibrant, flavoursome and cultured sound that has seen him fly to the forefront of the British music scene. Having been immersed in a culture enriched with farmland, his return to Gambia at a youthful age was the ultimate spiritual voyage and helped shape his sound today. Journeying back to the U.K. to the high-rising tower blocks of Hillfields in Coventry, a place he refers to as the ‘strip’, was where Pa Salieu began piecing the puzzle of his prosperous career together. Fast forward to 2018, it was from this point that he began taking music seriously; carrying a tough and self-willed drive to not end up like the people around him who got caught up in the streets, his passion for music was re-enforced when he was asked to attend a studio in Stoke-On-Trent, where he started laying down, what’s now his un-blemished and charismatic sound. Now entering the new decade with an almighty bang, Pa Salieu has accumulated a boast-worthy fan base over the last 2 years.
Today, the ascending star has unveiled his highly anticipated debut mixtape titled, ‘Send Them To Coventry’. Spread across 15 tracks with features from Birmingham’s newcomer M1llionz, BackRoad Gee, Mahalia, Boy Boy, Eight6Fly and fellow Coventry rappers Ni Santora, Lz Dinero, Stizee and Shakavellie, clocking in at just over *ADD TIME*…, this body of work puts Pa Salieu’s unblemished artistry on a shining pedestal.
Opening the mixtape with the energetic and up-beat rhythm of the pre-released single “Block Boy”, this Dancehall-inspired track enables Pa to boast his brazen wordsmith and infectious flows from start to finish. Serving as a flavorsome introductory to the rest of the project, we swiftly transition into the anthemic yet eerie vibrations of “No Warnin’” alongside rising Dancehall artist Boy Boy. Introducing the track with a dexterous flow and no-nonsense approach, the pair go back to back on the hook before Boy Boy layers the beat with a spirited verse.
It wouldn’t be a Pa Salieu mixtape without his break-out hit “Frontline”…right?! Pierced with siren-like synths, this track paints a vivid picture of the roads he was raised on; “They don’t know about the block life / Still doing mazza inna frontline / They ain’t on what I’m on right / Still doing mazza inna frontline”. Narrating the reality of living in Hillfields, this track acted a pivotal point in Pa’s prosperous career and flipped his career for the better! Transitioning into Honeywoodsix’s head-bopping production, “Flip, Repeat” is without a doubt a stand-out track for me. Enriched with an auto-tuned and melodic hook, the Gambian-native tales his reality, captivating the listener for just under 3 minutes straight.
Next up is a linkup that the nation has been patiently waiting for! Joining forces with Birmingham’s newcomer M1llionz, it was inevitable that this one would bang! Filled with a vigorous energy from the onset, “Informa” compliments the pairs distinct styles seamlessly. Delivering a cold verse with his signature flow M1llionz offloads nothing but heat! Flying through the anthemic vibrations of both “Over There” and “Betty”, these tracks embody his heritage to the fullest, filled with head-bopping and rhythmic drum patterns, his up-lifting and energetic hooks are bound to have you up and moving!
As we journey through the rest of the mixtape we stumble across the melodic and summer-infused cut titled, “More Paper” alongside Eight9Fly. Pushing those lockdown blues aside, this is another stand-out track for me. Pa’s abrupt and choppy flows contrast effortlessly against Eight9Fly’s smooth and butter-like vocals in the hook and verse; “My name is Pa and I’ve got a lot of enemies / N***a’s want me dead I wouldn’t blame them / Humble, it’s only right there hating on the energy, it’s only right they envy me / Did this sh*t the right way, I could never take threats”, he raps. Calling on his fellow rising Coventry rappers Ni Santora, Lz Dinero, Stizee and Shakaveille, “Active” is filled from start to finish with an energy-driven greaze. With each rapper bringing their own sauce to the mix, Pa Salieu covers the memorable hook whilst the rest display their artistry through each verse.
Closing out the tape with a slew of pre-released hits including “My Family” alongside BackRoad Gee and his more recent drop “B***K”, the atmospheric and ambient vibrations of “Energy” tie’s the knot perfectly. Featuring the UK’s very own songstress Mahalia, this track explores protecting your energy against all the bad vibes you may encounter. What better note to end a quality project on than this? A round of applause for Pa Salieu please!
Listen to ‘Send Them To Coventry’ below and on Apple Music here.