Today SoundCloud has released a deeply personal documentary from emerging British-Gambian artist Pa Salieu. Produced in collaboration with Pa Salieu as part of the “First on SoundCloud” program and directed by Tayo Yussef, “The Return of an Afrikan Rebel” captures the artist as he travels back to Gambia for the first time since the age of 7. As a child, Salieu lived with his grandmother and elderly relatives in the West African country, describing that period as the most important time of his life, and the place where he gained his most profound musical influences.
Now 18 years later at the age of 24, SoundCloud has embarked on a visual coming-of-age journey alongside the British star as he reconnects with his culture and humble beginnings following critical acclaim for his EP Afrikan Rebel and a UK tour. The documentary showcases musical collaborations with local talent including ST Da Gambian Dream, a memorable live solo performance to over 30,000 fans, and powerful moments of connection in the country whose fabric shaped so much of his creative identity.
“I will forever be grateful to my SoundCloud family for helping make this trip happen. For reasons beyond my control I’ve been unable to return to The Gambia since I came back to the UK as a child,” says Pa Salieu. “This trip provided a chance to reconnect with family I haven’t seen for years, visit the burial site of my grandparents for the first time, collaborate with incredible local talent and perform in front of over 30,000 people. A moment I will never ever forget. I’m so proud of my country and culture and hope this film gives a small insight into the beauty and soul of The Gambia.”
The documentary is part of a series of milestone events within the “First on SoundCloud” artist program, where each artist collaborates with SoundCloud to co-produce a memorable, career-defining project – such as an artist’s first live show, mind-bending music video, or dream collaboration.