I blame it on my brother. I was happy with my music choices at the time. Me and Billy Bragg, The Smiths, The Housemartins, The Cure – we had this special thing going on. Then one day he (let’s not forget prior to this he had bought things by Bon Jovi and Europe) suddenly came home with Run – DMC – Raising Hell, and as much as I tried not to like it, in much the same way as I hadn’t liked the stuff he had bought before, I did. That led onto many more discoveries: Easy Moe Bee, King Bee, Big Daddy Kane, N.W.A, De La Soul…and from there I discovered that here in the UK we made some pretty decent stuff too, with the Ruthless Rap Assassins, Derek B, London Posse and the like…..and so it started. Fast forward to now, and I still like UK Hip-Hop (as well as the rest of the world) and so it was brilliant to manage to catch up with Skillit, whose album ‘Skillit Bang’ was one of the best hip-hop records of recent months.
What’s a normal day in the life of a hip-hop artist?Is it all girls, cars and money? That’s what I’d like to imagine……
Well I can’t speak for all hip hop artists but for this particular artist (as in me lol) I would say my life is fun, with hard work, a constant struggle with the need to persevere. It’s not all girls, cars and money even tho I say I love women – I do have a special lady of my own and I can’t drive – well not legally anyway lol
I used to live near Walthamstow, and there seemed to be an unusual amount of cars that were able to play unfeasibly loud music as they drove around….would one of those people have been you?
Not me driving but definitely me in the passenger seat encouraging loud sounds, so yes.
So what got you into hip-hop growing up? Was there an album or track in particular?
umm, I would say I was a fan of single records as a kid – remember listening to Kriss Kross jump as a kid! So the So Def crew probably got me in to rap when I was a shortie, but as I listened more I was influenced to Biggie, Nas, and defiantly Busta Rhymes – I remember being in year 5 listening to ‘The Coming’ on cassette – tape good times.
And your parents are both musical – your Dad a well-known Calypso singer? What did they make of your leanings towards hip-hop? And now? Can you do a Calypso turn when required?
Well my dad was a Calypso singer by the name of De Alberto look him up he had mega hits like Rambo, Macho Belly & Pan Woman, so we always had music around the house. When we moved to London from Trinidad and Tobago my brothers discovered Hip-Hop and the rest is history. I don’t think I’m great at doing Calypso, a parody version maybe coz I am a fan of calypso music – but to make one that sounded good, I don’t think so.
Skillit – Do you really want this?
Your lyrics and videos have lots of elements of humour….were you the class clown? And is it important to inject that humour into your music?
Well, I think its important to be yourself with music and that’s all I’m doing – showing the different sides of my personality; charismatic, funny and sometimes serious and sentimental.
as [for] me being the class clown – yes lol.
Tell us about Skillit Bang? It’s a funny, smart cool album (or so we reckon here, anyway) What were you aiming for? Is there a track that sums it up for you?
Well, I wanted to show people that I was very serious about this music, show that I can make a great album and surprise people. I believe I’ve done that. It’s a true love and passion I have for music, and I believe and I have reached my aim of releasing my album independently by myself. My songs/ Not afraid & I.O.U kinda puts this whole achievement in to words.
How long were you working on it? And who did you work with during the recording?
Working on this album was mainly with Loudmouth Melvin (@loudmouthmelvin). I was basically living in his studio throughout the whole process. Did work with Smasher, Bobby Tank, S.Chu, Fuzzy Phase, the Last Skeptic & K-Nite13 as well, but I gotta give Loudmouth a lot of credit for the time he invested in helping make this masterpiece.
I have been working on this album for 4 years – never liked the album when I first initially recorded it, so kept chaining song after song till i got my right 17.
Skillit – Amazing Rhymes
I always imagine it must be slightly nerve-wracking releasing any album, particularly a debut album. How nervous were you? Or not at all…..? Have you been pleased with the reaction?
Very pleased with the reaction – the launch was a huge success, that’s landed me back in to acting roles and comedy. I was very nervous releasing the album because I took so long making it. I was nervous how people may receive it, but hey, I’m happy that I’ve finally don’t it and can work on new goals
‘Comin atcha from straight owta Sheffield / We don’t care bout no gross economic Yeald….. you reckon we have what it takes? Do you work hard on your rhymes (presumably harder than that, anyway….) or does it come quite naturally/easy to you?
Nah, doesn’t come easy. I think it’s a emotional thing with me, I have to feel it before I write. People can sit down and write till they hands fall off. I’m more of a mood person, listen to the beat relax and let me brain do all the wiring of how I’m feeling at that time.
…..and you have what it takes that gross economic bar was award!. [Ed: Word!]
You’ve already moved into acting with ‘No hats, no trainers’. You reckon you could take Ice-T off Law and Order in an ‘act-off’? Can you cry on demand?
Ice T bring it – I’ll show you how we do in the STOW! lap!!!! lol, I’m an awful person to cry on demand, I’m not that good of an actor – but hey, give me a few years and I’ll be crying harder than Gazza on demand.
You’ve played with hip-hop royalty around the place – any stories that would make our toes curl up…?
LOL, well i did a show with DJ Premier who was giving me compliments on my song ‘ready to light’, which I was very happy to hear because i am the biggest Premier geek you’ll find in Walthamstow lol – then asked lets collab sometime too ….silence LOL
And plans for the rest of the year?
Working on my new album and planning to work on my own online show
Finally, the best record I’ve heard this year is…….
K-nite 13 -Chris Benoit produced by the last skeptik search for it on soundcloud 🙂