Pa Salieu is hungry. The British-Gambian rapper is at his first NME cover shoot in London, and it’s running a tad late. The final round of photos are unusable; Pa has a reflective prop trailing across his face, left over from a jacket he was styled in, and it’s catching the light.
Varying solutions are offered but each less successful than the last. The smell of hot chips and kebabs wafts through the air. Casually, among the anxious voices, Pa reaches out for the lint roller in the stylist’s hand and brushes it across the offending area. Our snapper, Zoe McConnell, takes a few quick shots of Pa’s shy, smiling face.
“I been in the studio late last night,” Pa tells NME after a late lunch and a fat spliff. “Mans look at me like I’m weird or crazy for not sleeping. You got one time being young. How many millions of years do I have to sleep? Right now is what matters. Life is very short.”