If like me you’re based in the UK and have even the slightest passing interest in modern pop music, then the increasing mass appeal of grime will be very much apparent to you. You might have even found yourself being slowly sucked in, listening to more and more of what it has to offer. What's particularly interesting about grime is that even with the genre's resurgence it has remained reasonably DIY, many of its leading artists preferring to work without labels and the traditional trappings of the music industry whilst achieving commercial success. With the likes of Skepta winning the Mercury prize and Stormzy drawing huge crowds at many of this year’s summer festivals, opportunity knocks for other new grime stars, to come through irrespective of if they are on a label or not.
Breaking More Waves rarely covers grime or hip-hop, with just the occasional foray into its world. However, I felt it would be churlish to completely ignore it in this Ones to Watch for 2017 list, given the excitement and energy it is currently bringing to the UK music scene. So my sixth choice in this list is an 18 year old from Streatham called Dave. Yep, just Dave. I think whatever genre he worked in I’d want him on this list, just for having such an unassuming pop star moniker. He does also go by the names of Santan Dave or Dave Santan, but mainly people just know him as good old fashioned Dave.
Dave’s doing rather well for himself. Thiago Silva has already clocked up over 1.5 million plays on Spotify, Drake has remixed and appeared on another one of his tracks (I Wanna Know) which narrowly edged into the UK top 75 singles charts and his Fire In The Booth and SBTV videos have been accumulating the hits with impressive force. He’s also recently been out on tour recently with Bugzy Malone.
What impresses me most about Dave is not his rising commercial success but his thoughtful words. His recent EP Six Paths, a must listen, conveys messages of defining your own future and repelling certain lifestyle choices “I was risking my freedom for what? 2-2 kicks and a name brand top. And now I think back was it worth it, all for a chain and a watch?”
Like all the best rappers, Dave draws on his young life and experiences and turns them into compelling stories. That is why he is Breaking More Waves sixth One to Watch for 2017.
Dave - Six Paths (Video)
Dave - JKYL + HYD