Source: Pexels by Barthy Bonhomme

Wise beyond his years and bursting with talent, South-London artist Dave first grabbed public attention after a series of intensely delivered Youtube freestyles in 2015. Since then, Dave has released a collection of singles, several EPs, and two award-winning albums. Known for his unrivalled ability to tell tales of real-life issues in his music, Dave has galvanised UK rap culture since he burst onto the scene at just sixteen years of age.

Dave’s first album Psychodrama won him album of the year: an ingenious piece following the narrative of the musician’s battle with the troubles of his life, the war on manic depression in his mind and his subsequent search for relief in psychodrama therapy. The musical masterpiece earnt him the highest of praises as a lyricist and activist; the album was also greeted with a wave of almost ironic controversy stirred by those who refuse to accept and respect his willingness to speak up about real-life matters.

Just over two years later, in July 2021, Dave released his second work of art; We’re all alone in this together. From his signature tracks brimming with genuine politically-charged righteousness, to his chart-favourite ‘club bangers’, Dave has proved once again why he is one of the most incredible talents to come out of the UK scene. Amongst drill-beat anthem Verdansk, Caribbean-style bop System and Stormzy-featured tune Clash, Dave is able to retain sight of his moral compass and utilise his public position to shine light on the modern social issues of the Windrush generation scandal, his experience with adultery & promiscuity, and the struggle his mother faced after immigrating to the UK. Tracks Three Rivers, Both Sides of a Smile, and Heart Attack all feature this intimate story-telling narrative of pain and suffering.

It is such story-telling ability and the intelligent intricacy of his lyricism that sets Dave apart from other rappers in the industry. In a period of rap and RnB where many artists are ranked on their tone of voice rather than the content and intelligence of their lyrics, Dave is a breath of fresh air.

With unnamed features Fredo, Meekz, Ghetts, and Giggs, 7-minute track In The Fire was a welcome surprise to fans listening to the album for the first time. We’re all alone in this together also boasts features from Stormzy, WizKid, Snoh Aalegra, and James Blake.

The album amassed over 74,000 sales in just its first week, granting Dave another well-deserved number one album – don’t be as naïve as to think that this is his last. At just twenty-three years old, Dave has a lifetime of potential to build on the phenomenal musical and political career that he has manifested from just age sixteen. With two masterful albums in two years, the future story of Dave’s career, which only time will tell, is a mouth-watering prospect.

If you are yet to hear of Dave or listen to his music, I will conclude with a free piece of advice for you: remove yourself from the rock you must be living under, grace your ears with the divine mastery of his diverse discography and grow to understand just why Dave deserves all the hype surrounding him, and then some more.

Published by Jack Anderson

Founder & Director of No Extra Source / Undergraduate student at University of Leeds

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