Watch Pa Salieu Make His US TV Debut With An Extremely Cool Fallon Performance

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.

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