Santan Dave beat eleven other talented artists to win the 2019 £25k Mercury Prize for his first official album – Psychodrama.
The Hyundai Mercury Prize is given each year along with a cash prize for Best British album of the last year, to artists whose album deserves an accolade.
Dave, 21, has long been perfecting his lyrical craft since at least 2015 following years of family and psychological drama.
It is these commotions reflected poetically in the winning album and many of his other musics that has given Dave the recognition.
Since there is more talent to come from Dave, let’s get acquainted with five facts.
1. A brief bio
Santan Dave is British Nigerian aka David Orobosa Omoregie born to Edo immigrants Frank and Juliet Doris Omoregie in Streatham, London on 5th June 1998. He is the last of three boys.
His middle name Orobosa is a traditional Bini name of the people of Benin City, Edo State which means everything is in God’s hands.
2. Family palava
Just four months after he was born, Dave’s dad, Pastor Frank was deported having entered the UK with his then wife, Juliet Doris in 1989.
Contrary to popular belief, Dave’s dad currently resides in Nigeria – he’s not dead.
Twelve years later, his older middle brother, Christopher was jailed for life for the murder of Sofyen Belamouadden. The stress of it all resulted in the death of their grandmother.
Barely two years after that, his eldest brother, Benjamin robbed two women at gun point, went to jail and was re-jailed again after committing bank fraud at Lloyds.
Benjamin was released in 2018 while Christopher remains in jail for at least another 7 years.
Dave looked up to his brothers – idolising Chris in particular – when growing up. His brothers’ crime impacted on him, his mother and entire family so severely, Dave needed intervention and therapy.
It is from here he began translating the pain and hurt into lyrics.
Meanwhile, mum grew a property empire with at least 5 houses to her name having worked as a nurse and cleaner over the years.
3. Does he have a girlfriend?
Santan Dave has a long-term girlfriend who he prefers to remain in the anonymous. His girlfriend’s mother went along with his mother to support him at the Mercury Prize event.
4. Who for goodness sake is Juss
In almost every other song, Dave often mentions Juss – and Rapz, and all the other boys.
For instance in Location, he raps “Juss to the Right, Rapz to the left”, in How I met my ex: “I am calling Josh, Jack and Juss who am I ringing first?”, in Thiago Silva: “But if you see Juss in the cut..” and many other songs.
Turns out Juss is his best mate from school along with 3 other boys who have since remained Dave’s inner circle confidante and entourage ever since.
Along with Juss, the other boys are Juss twin brother Rapz, RJ and Cee – they regularly fea, all of whom regularly feature in his music videos.
5. What Psychodrama and other songs reveal
Psychodrama won the Mercury Prize award for best album because of its poetic nature drawn from personal life experiences. His other tracks and that how most of Sa but so has most of his previous tracks which draws on his life experience. Just a few are:
On life growing up: track 19th birthday
All I wanna do is make my loved ones proud
In this year alone we made three hundred thousand
But my mum won’t smile becuase her son’s on trial
On growing without a father: track Screwface capital
I ain’t got a memory of when dad was around
Still a child when I turned man of the house
Tell me what you know about a bag full of bills
And your mom crying out, saying, “Son, I can’t take it”
And then staring in the mirror for an hour
With a tear in your eye like, “I gotta go make it”
On mother’s struggles: track Question Time
The letters in our car said my mum was overdraft
But somehow I still had dinner money in my pocket
And even the little things like ordering pizza
Were probably the reason for overtime in the evening
Five till ten, six hours of sleeping
For 22 years my mum was doing the cleaning
Dreaming that her kids would have a better life
Go in bed at night, struggling with getting by
That’s the reality for millions of people in a nation
On David Cameron opening Brexit can: track Question Time
Look, I’ve got a message for our old prime minister
I mean you fucked us, resigned, then sneaked out the firing line
I wanna know how you managed it – question time
On Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership: track Question Time
I’ve got a question for the leader of the Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn, where do you wanna take the country to?
Honestly, I wanna put my trust in you
But you can understand why if I’ve got trust issues
Do you really have the faith of your party?
Do you really have faith in the party that will come with you?
On his brother Christopher’s murder trial: track Blackbox freestyle
And Wale was a witness
Put their shanks in my brother’s bag, how’s that fair?
Gave Scalez 16, and bruv he wasn’t even there
Case was all banter ’til junior got cancer
And mums got sick, and tales got told
And then the paint wore off, and true colors got shown
And certain man go free, and all the real niggas don’t- blackbox freestyle
On earning his 1st grand: track 71 end credits
16, I saw my first grand
And then I went Prada and I lost it
It’s like I cremated Moses
Cause man was just burning profit
Then I spend one five in a heartbeat
I didn’t know about taking losses
On mother’s hustle to owning 4 houses in the UK: track 71 end credits
And my mum, I love you so so much
You got so much heart
Single mum with 4 houses and 3 grown sons
Mum you’re so so smart
And you love me, cause you let me drop uni
Even though it broke your heart
Mum you know it broke my heart
Cause I know you want the best for us
Christopher talking, heaping praise on Santan Dave: track Drama
Like man was saying, bruv
Many nights man prayed, bruv
Somewhere someone’s gonna help me through this, man
Someone is gonna help bring me out of this shit, y’know?
Time, it took a while for man to recognise, boy, who you were gonna send
And you know what? Mans, I’m very proud
I’m very happy to see it’s one of my own init, y’know?
And boy, I know none of this is easy, y’know?
I’m just proud to be, to be witnessing what’s going on, man, y’know?
On growing up with two elder brothers: track Drama
Reason with a criminal that needs to eat a dinner
Is it survival of the fittest or is he a killer?
Losing dad was big, losing you was even bigger
Never had a father and I needed you to be the figure
We’re forgetting that we had a brother that was even bigger
We were figures just tryna figure out who could be a figure
My brothers never spoke to each other when I was growing up
I remember tryna to build a bridge, I wasn’t old enough
On mother’s hustle to owning 4 houses in the UK: track 71 end credits
‘Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”
So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he’s tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him, we will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features
And then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him, he’s the one.”‘
Bro, you know what that means?
Say no more man