Watch Pa Salieu Make His US TV Debut With An Extremely Cool Fallon Performance
In October of 2019, the UK rapper Pa Salieu survived a shotgun blast to the head. Two months later, after making a full recovery, Salieu released “Frontline,” the single that would become his breakout. “Frontline” is a stark, confrontational track, made with a whole lot of confidence and with a sly sense of melody. Last night, Salieu performed it on The Tonight Show, making his American TV debut. That’s a hell of a fast rise.
In November, Salieu released his debut album Send Them To Coventry, a layered and thoughtful record that’s earned him a ton of critical acclaim. Recently, the BBC named Salieu the winner of its Sound Of 2021 poll — an honor that’s gone to stars like 50 Cent, Adele, and Sam Smith in past years. So that Tonight Show performance seems like one more notch for a rising star. The performance also confirms the faith that a lot of people are putting in Salieu. It’s a really cool performance.
On Fallon, Salieu did an elaborate, theatrical version of “Frontline” on a soundstage. The performance involved a live band, a set made up to look like a corner store, and a few well-behaved pitbulls. In my favorite bit, Salieu rapped in front of a dancer in what appeared to be a Koosh-ball costume. (Maybe the costume has some sort of cultural significance that I don’t understand. Maybe it just looks cool.) Watch the performance below.
Send Them To Coventry is out now on Warner Music.