Winner of this year’s Merseyrail Soundstation, Blue Saint’s theatrical blend of vivid alternative rap is something both utterly audacious and truly enchanting, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke gets the lowdown on the worthiest of winners.
Perhaps the best thing about Blue Saint, the stage name of up-and-coming alt-rapper Daniel Sebuyange and this year’s Merseyrail Soundstation winner, is his unswerving loyalty to the dramatic, the hyper-ambitious leaning for a scope of undeniably leviathan proportions.
It’s an embryonic form of the offbeat yet entirely engrossing sense of character that underpinned Kendrick Lamar‘s recent rise, with a smattering of the grandiose conceptual surrealism that lends such strength to Janelle Monae‘s Arch-Android project, and works to utterly refreshing effect.
Part of Writing on the Wall’s Liverpool Young Writers at age twelve, winner of the Poetry Society’s Slambassadors Award at fourteen and a MOBO nominee a year later , age was evidently never an object for the Congolese-born Liverpudlian MC, and his debut EP Enter Mynd, Part 1 is, regardless of age, a thing of youthful magnificence.
A filmic, introductory title-track soon gives way to Welcome, where a juttering, masterful flow recoils against a leaping instrumental of string-laced beats, before Frankenstein reveals a sinister flipside of glitchy electronics and an unhinged, distorted vocal.
It’s a stylistic diversity that only unfurls across the rest of the release, from the sumptuous injection of mellow psychedelia on Conscientia to the swaggering yet tender boom-bap of the record’s highlight Lamith Tramell he inhabits an infinity of personas.
What ties it all together is that without fail these roles feel filled with utter conviction, Sebuyange proving himself almost as accomplished a musical actor as his aforementioned predecessors like Monae and Lamar. He’s an artist of incredible potential, and worth every ounce of what’s sure to be just the beginning of some unbridled acclaim.
Merseyrail Soundstation 2014: Pictures by Getintothis‘ Antonio Franco (www.antoniofranco.net)