Pa Salieu – ‘Afrikan Rebel’ EP review: a dazzling talent proudly shows off his heritage

Trying out new African genres such alté and Amapiano, the Coventry rapper delivers a knockout three-track EP

Pa Salieu is one of the most exciting new voices in the UK, utilising his culture, upbringing and naturally gifted voice to deliver a refreshing sound to his fans across the UK and beyond. Making headway within the British music scene with his debut mixtape, 2020’s ‘Send Them To Coventry’, he has created a loyal fanbase that has fallen in love with his gruff vocal and versatile approach to rap. And ‘Afrikan Rebel’ is a fun hint at what’s next, sonically, for the 24-year-old.

On this EP, he offers three truly different tunes that explore the current emerging sounds of the African music scene; be it the new wave of South African Amapiano, Nigerian alté or Ghanaian drill. Starting with groovy afropop tune ‘Shining’, the Coventry rapper enlists smooth crooner Tay Iwar and Burna Boy collaborator Zlatan.

Iwar’s ethereal tones are perfect over ‘Shining’’s violin section, as this upbeat song is a great track to do all the fancy footwork to at a party. Simply reciting lyrics that balance between his anger at the system (“Pain in my chest so I give it to dem / All the anger I just give it to dem”) and his hustler mindset (“She says my energy, energising ‘uh / I’m a real-life hustler”), ‘Shining’ could become a fan favourites because it gives that grit we all love from Pa Salieu without drifting into commercial gimmicks.


‘Style & Fashion’ is truly the star of the EP, however, tapping into the rising popular African’s subgenre of Amapiano – or South African house music. Nigerian star Obongjayar join him on this party track, this song should be added to all Amapiano playlists, and be played at all the Amapiano raves around the world.

The EP finishes off with ‘Lit’, a short-and-sweet drill-style track that utilises Ghana’s popular harmonious vocal delivery on his chorus. It’s still a high-octane track without as funky bassline as ‘Style & Fashion’ or ‘Shining’; instead, it has a high-speed, trappy bassline.

Pa Salieu is forever championing his heritage as a proud fan and contributor to Africa’s growing subgenres all over the continent. He might be known here in the UK as an alternative grime ground-breaker, but he is truly more than that when he dabbles in making music with his fellow Africans. Taking his rebellious nature in his stride, ‘Afrikan Rebel’ is a great EP to tide us over for his debut album proper.


pa salieuRelease date: September 15

Record Label: Pa Salieu/Warner Records

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