Streatham, South London-born grime artist Dave (aka Santan Dave) may only have been 16 when he entered the grime spotlight, but his conscious lyrical style made him sound well beyond his years.
Growing up, Dave 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 before finally settling on becoming a fully-fledged grime MC; unfortunately, his brothers would end 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 was six years later that Dave would make his first appearance, freestyling on an underground grime 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 drop 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. ~ Liam Martin, Rovi