Pa Salieu has secured the top spot (Picture: BBC Music)
Coventry rapper Pa Salieu has been named as the BBC Music Sound of 2021 winner.
The star, who released his breakout track Frontline in January last year, follows in the footsteps of some music legends, including past winners Adele, Sam Smith, and Ellie Goulding.
Meanwhile, Celeste scored last year’s top spot.
‘I was just really happy to even be included on the list alongside some amazing artists, a few of who I know personally,’ Pa said after his win.
‘They’re all crazy talented, so to be the winner of something like this so early in my journey just feels mad.’
BBC presenter Annie Mac said: ‘I’m delighted for Pa Salieu winning the prestigious Sound of 2021. As a man whose childhood was split between The Gambia and Coventry, he has a unique perspective on Britain.
‘His songs are exquisitely produced, with enough restraint for Pa’s voice to shine through and have the space to tell the stories of his life.
‘They are stories of friendship and family, of violence, exclusion and racism and they act as timeless evidence of British street life at the turn of a new decade.’
Celeste was the last winner (Picture: Getty Images)
Pa has also opened up about his life after moving to Coventry from The Gambia at the age of eight.
He told the BBC: ‘People get killed every day for no reason where I’m from,’ and has recounted his terrifying experience of being shot in the head.
With his music, he said he wants to be a voice for those who haven’t survived, including two of his best friends.
Pa’s most recent single, My Family featuring BackRoad Gee, was released in September last year.
Following Pa on the list, singer Holly Humberstone came second, while rapper Berwyn came third.
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