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U.K. rapper Dave is a spellbinding storyteller, using his lyrics to reflect on both social issues and deeply personal subject matter alike. Acknowledgment early in his career from Drake gave Dave immediate exposure for his 2016 debut EP, Six Paths, and both his profile and artistry grew with subsequent releases, like his 2019 debut studio album, Psychodrama, and its 2021 follow-up, We’re All Alone in This Together, both of which topped the charts in the U.K. Dave (aka Santan Dave) was born David Omoregie in the Brixton area of South London in 1998, later moving to Streatham. Growing up, he was inspired to pursue art in some form. Taking cues from his older brothers, he initially tried his hand at animation before moving on to piano and finally settling on becoming a fully fledged MC. Unfortunately, his brothers ended up serving lengthy prison sentences. To cope with the drastic alteration to their lives, Dave burrowed even deeper into his music, causing him to develop a socially aware form of wordplay that set him apart from his peers. Despite starting to write bars around the age of ten, it wasn’t until six years later that Dave would make his first appearance, freestyling on an underground U.K. rap channel, Bl@ckbox, in 2015. In January of the following year, Dave returned with his first music video/single “JKYL+HYD,” cementing his reputation for deep subject matter and ambitious lyrics. In the following months, Dave delivered two key freestyles on BBC Radio 1. The first was on Semtex’s 1Xtra show and the second on Charlie Sloth’s Fire in the Booth. A number of singles followed, including a standout collaboration with West London’s own rising star, AJ Tracey, on “Thiago Silva.” By September, Dave was ready to deliver his first EP, Six Paths. The release was a success in its own right but gained even more attention when Canadian rapper Drake remixed the single “Wanna Know,” bringing Dave‘s sound to an American audience. Game Over Second EP Game Over was released in 2017, and Dave toured in support of his growing body of work. By this time, the rapper had developed a significant buzz among both critics and fans, and in 2018, he had his first chart-topping hit with his Fredo-assisted single “Funky Friday.” In 2019, Dave released his debut studio album. Psychodrama, and it debuted at number one in the U.K. The album featured guest contributions from Burna Boy, J Hus, and Ruelle and won awards for its excellence along with achieving commercial success. In 2021, Dave returned with second studio album, We’re All Alone in This Together. Made up of both sharp social commentary and unvarnished reflection on his own experiences, the album once again debuted in the number one position on the U.K. albums chart. It featured guest contributions from Stormzy, James Blake, Wizkid, and others.

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