Dave Essentials

Dave Essentials

Straight out of Streatham, South London, Dave emerged in the mid-'10s to flip his region's trademark tough, hard-hitting grime sound and forge a more emotional aesthetic instead. He isn't afraid to bare his soul over stripped-back instrumentation that rings with deep poignancy (the lone piano of “How I Met My Ex,” which charts a crumbling relationship, and the empowerment-themed “Picture Me”), and he sounds right at home with sensitive rap star Drake on the delicate hi-hats and soft keys of “Wanna Know Remix.” But he can also jump on a banger, too—see his barbed flow over the murky synths of “Thiago Silva,” a team-up with AJ Tracey.

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