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Sainté - A New Leicester Cinderella Story

Sainte's debut project, "Local MVP" presents him as a refreshing and unique young artist full of potential to be the next hot name that emerged from Great Britain.

By Dean Ace, in partnership with Ace-Coast.




Photographed by Ethan Bradshaw

These last years in the U.K rap scene were outstanding, the artists built their unique style with the Drill sound, and the scene presented the world talented rappers & superstars such as Dave, Slowthai, J-Hus, and many more. The rise of these musicians and their popularity allow more artists to take their chance at the journey for glory. Sainte, a native Leicester rapper, is amongst them. Earlier this year, he released his debut project called "Local MVP", which presents him as a refreshing and unique young artist full of potential to be the next hot name that emerged from Great Britain.

There must be something special in the Leicester City water. During the previous decade, East England's small city brought the world one of the most exciting and substantial international Cinderella stories. The local football team won the Premier League title against all the odds. This fantastic journey for glory may give some of the citizens an appetite to do the same and achieve their dreams, even if some of them seem unreal at the beginning. Hence it is hard to explain the enormous breakthrough of Sainte, The Leicester native rapper.

‏Sainte's rising is surprising in manners of where and how he started to make music. As a semi-professional basketball player who got a scholarship from a domestic university, none of the road signs in his life could clearly forecast he would rap one day. Seeing him rap so well is somehow a sensation & a very exciting occasion. He got his love for Rap from his brother and friends that used to freestyle; Yet, he still never looked at music as more than a hobby. But life had different plans for him, and after the success of his E.P., he realized that he doesn't have a real choice here, and making music is the path which was meant for him.

‏Sainte's music, in some way, takes advantage of two worlds. Admirably, he makes a fusion between the luxurious U.S rap scene and the signature sound of the U.K. scene. Although he obviously belongs to the U.K Scene, the deep connection to his origins and his heavy British accent conclude that Sainte has a set of skills that make him feel like a hybrid creature, a different artist in the rap landscape.

His rap style reminds us of some artists from the U.S.; his smooth flow and sharp delivery make him sound a bit like Freddie Gibbs, who, by the way, he literally mentioned as a strong musical inspiration. Like Gibbs, Sainte's rap is accurate, tight, and seems to come to him without any particular effort; it feels like he is cruising on a beat, spitting his bars automatically on timing. Listening to his breakout single, "Champagne Shots", a track that was written spontaneously while hanging out with his buds, allows an understanding of how well-rounded Sainte is. The track demonstrates Sainte's abilities and character, and presents him positively as a humble artist, with lyrics that reflect his day-to-day reality as a young man.  

‏Another quality aspect of his music is related to the productions; Sainte almost regularly works with the LA-based producer Parker Jazz Keegan. This special connection that began with a humble online chat continues to work fantastically to this day, and this collaboration flatters both sides. Parker productions are identified with the west coast's sound and strongly influenced by jazz and R&B, helping Sainte in his mission to blend the two scenes (US & UK) in his music. There’s no doubt that Sainte's catchy flow takes only the best from Parker's wavy beats.

Nowadays, after gaining recognition with his incredible debut and his relocation to London, the expectations from him are at their prime. Sainte has to raise the bar in order to be more than just a one-hit-wonder. He’s got so much more to offer. He needs to add new qualities to his music, manipulate his delivery and flow, improve his lyrical ability, explore new sounds, and strive to develop himself as a more versatile artist. Should all that was mentioned above would really happen, who knows, maybe Leicester will introduce another huge sensation to the world.

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