They say diamonds are made under pressure and British-Grenadian artist Sågaboi is that diamond in the rough ready to put the North East of England on the map.
The rapper/singer-songwriter has been a prominent face in his city of Newcastle Upon Tyne for years now, turning heads with his unique sound that mixes infectious melodies with eye-opening bars and real northern grit.
Såga’s fearlessly experimental take on modern rap and anti-establishment attitude draws comparisons to the likes of Slowthai, Kanye West and The Weeknd. He’s impossible to put in a box and always sonically subverts your expectations.
After co-founding an independent record label in late 2019 and bringing regular live hip-hop events to his city with the hugely popular ‘Flex Fridays’, Såga went on to have a huge 2020 despite the odds. He dropped five incredibly diverse singles and really announced his arrival on the UK scene with a bang; collaborating with producer Xaatu and grabbing Spotify playlist placement with the wavy war-cry that is “Fountain” whilst also earning heavy BBC Introducing backing for “Save Me”, “Been There”, “Brightside” and “Dubai” ft. NE-O.
The Sågaboi train hasn’t stopped rolling in 2021. He kicked off the year with 4-track EP ‘“Twisted” from which the lead single “Frenemies” ft. Shoshin Noel got extensive rotation on Amazing Radio both in the UK and the US. Såga has been constantly cooking up in the studio since, building a back catalogue that’ll take listeners old and new by storm.
Sågaboi is without doubt one of the most unique artists the U.K. has ever produced. The time beckons that he makes the leap from local hero to national treasure.
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(Words by Johno Ramsay of RIDE Music)
Talking about his residency at Sage Gateshead, Såga says:
It’s a great honour to be chosen as Artist in Residence at Sage Gateshead for 2021/22. I view it as a huge compliment to my work so far and also a welcome responsibility to show North-East Rap as deserving of recognition and credibility amongst the region’s incredible music and arts scene. I will be using my tenure here as a writing retreat to complete my debut studio album and use the Sage’s resources and creative personnel to produce a very special live show upon it’s completion.
I’ve been sculpting my own sound since I started out as Sågaboi in 2016, taking influence equally from my tropical Afro, Dancehall and Soca side as much as my Northern Soul, Jarrow-Crusader heritage. Having grown up very much as an ethnic minority in my locality in the 2000s, I’ve always put myself out there as much as I could to learn about and be amongst Music of Black Origin within the UK. I spent some years in London after cementing myself as a mainstay in the North-East music community, and have garnered a level of merit and professionalism that has allowed me to collaborate with artists and producers from other parts of the UK and the world.
I mean to develop these connections, improve and explore my own sound further during this residency and come out of the other side a polished, well-equipped industry-ready musician, primed to take strides in my own career and raise the North-East rap scene to new heights.
I believe we have both the talent and the capacity in our region to stand shoulder to shoulder with the heavyweights of the UK, and I want to use this opportunity to enrich my skills, master my craft and learn to navigate the industry, so as to strengthen my ability to help our burgeoning rap scene become a known entity nationwide and beyond.