SAFE, otherwise known as Saif Musaad or BANDO, is a 19-year-old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Toronto, Canada who is quickly emerging as the leader of the new wave of the Toronto hip-hop scene. SAFE was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE, however his family immigrated to Toronto at a very young age. By 15 years old, SAFE began writing song lyrics during his free time, devoting more of his time and energy towards music and starting his career as an artist.
SAFE met Oliver El-Khatib, co-founder of OVO Sound label, at a video shoot in Toronto, and the two quickly developed a rapport. Shortly after, Musaad was asked if he wanted to work steadily at the OVO retail store, bolstering his profile in the local scene. "He asked me if I wanted to work at the shop and of course I said yeah; I knew it would be a good experience for me," SAFE told Vice magazine in an interview. His time at the shop strengthened his relationship with El-Khatib throughout the year, allowing him to receive more exposure and multiple co-signs from Drake himself. In 2014, SAFE took a step back from working at the shop and kept a low profile, focusing on recording and putting out new music.
The release of the record "Feel," the video for which has garnered almost 2 million views on YouTube, affirmed SAFE's place in the new wave of artists breaking on the scene. "Using immensely haunting undertones, the young crooner fully embraces the sounds of his hometown -- a fact that is manifested both lyrically and musically in the two arrangements. SAFE is a musical persona that fits the gifted, eclectic mold within a new lineage, which comes as a direct result from his predecessors in Toronto," said Clarance Leung of HYPEBEAST.COM
SAFE is a member of two collectives, 176 and 878, representing the Esplanade and Regent Park areas in Downtown Toronto. With their contributions and support, he was able to release his first EP in 2015, Stay Down, which premiered via The Fader and was extremely well received by fans and music critics. In December 2015, SAFE sold out a 650-person show at Toronto's famous Mod Club venue. Since then, SAFE's EP and visuals have cracked well over a million views and plays. In addition, SAFE has played sold-out shows in Vancouver, and most recently opened for DJ Esco and Drake in April. Maintaining his relationship with industry heavyweights while gaining a rapid growing fan base, SAFE is on the rise to become an established artist and true force to reckon with.