His music has been appreciated by notorious DJs in the UK (Sir David Rodigan, Mista Jam, Mary Anne Hobbs, Charlie Sloth, Toddla T and dBridge, among others). His collaboration with brilliant Austrian producers Camo & Krooked, that led to “The Lesson”, was among the top hits on Youtube after EA Sports featured it in FIFA Street 12. He signed many great releases and toured Europe with MCing, mainly playing grime and dubstep tunes. These are just some of the reasons explaining the praises he’s been gaining on the Manchurian scene. His funny war-moniker is Skittles. After listening to his recent “Bumba EP” release, ft.DRS, on Estate Recordings (click here to watch/listen to it), we had a chat with this nice lad! Let’s get to know him better.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi there! How are you?
Skittles: Sup man? PRETTY SHADOW!
Chain D.L.K.: The bass-driven Manchurian scene has been gaining more and more visibility recently…almost surpassing the one in London…what’s your opinion on this fulminant rise?
Skittles: I guess the scene in Manchester is a lot more organic and based around good music and partying, rather than good business and political parties. Everyone there has a disco waiting for me.
Chain D.L.K.: I know you suffer from “polymorphic creativity” and you don’t do anything to hide it…how do you boost your creativity? Brandy? Skittles? 🙂
Skittles: My creativity doesn’t need boosting! It’s when I stop thinking creatively and attempt to put the millions of mental ideas I have every minute into play; that’s when I need a boost.
Chain D.L.K.: How’s Bricktop?
Skittles: Good question!! Bricktop is better than ever! He’s a vital part of what we do. He has worked with me since we came out with “Time for a spiff” and played a massive part in my music. I owe a lot to him, musically speaking. He played the DOT2DOT piano riff. He played every instrument on THE PRE All live! The infamous PEGGY MITCHELL skit was his, performed live with the guitar. He has since played keys for (if I’m not mistaken) CALIBRE, DUB PHIZIX, MARCUS INTALEX, DRS, JENNA G, and CHIMPO. He also helps massively with my live show and aided me to put the band together. ‘8 gold rings’ have played countless acts over the past few years. His solo productions are also incredible and, Oh God!, he can rap!! And sing and play any instrument this side of the horizon! The original Salford John tune was his. He has played so many parts for me in so many tunes, we ourselves forget them and then sit there like “who played that?”
Skittles: “Sun and bass” was amazing. There was a proper family vibe there. But they didn’t book me last year so if they don’t book me this year, I’m going to start saying it was really cold and rainy. Rain and treble! Ha
Chain D.L.K.: Your first release came out on Virus Syndicate’s Contagious Recordings, in 2007. After that, you took a break and reappeared in 2012. What happened during those 5-6 years?
Skittles: Don’t know. I was shredded for most of the time; loads of crime and drugs and women and all that kind of stuff. That 07 thing was just all the old shit I wanted to get rid of so I could start fresh. I thought I’d cracked it around 2009, so I started planning for “Poor with £100 trainers” and it took a while!
Chain D.L.K.: You’re open to collaborations… is there any D’n’b name you’d like to collaborate with?
Skittles: Not really. It’s not really my scene. They just like me because I did a tune with George ha (DUB PHIZIX) saying that I have felt a lot of Calibre’s stuff ever since DRS first played me some tracks they were doing.
Chain D.L.K.: Which collaborator gave you more in terms of ideas and “Eureka!”-type moments?
Skittles: I think it’s the other way round. I give them a vocal. None of them really gave me much; just a beat. In most cases, I already had the vocal. I find most producers give u the beat they can’t finish, and they want you to make theirs OK tune sound good. If they made a beat that was so sick…they wouldn’t need me. Other non-D’n’b colleagues, like DUB PHIZIX for e.g., are really exciting producers and can properly get things popping’. I’ve created countless beats with him.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything to say about your last release?
Skittles: BUMBA is just a small installment of some of the new stuff I came up with, without giving away too much. You can grab it here www.skittlesuk.com
Chain D.L.K.: I know you started rapping when you were a teenager. Do you remember the very first rap song you tried to emulate?
Skittles: The Bosnians – The Manchester rap
Chain D.L.K.: And do you remember your very first live performance and audience?
Skittles: We put a proper hood night on in Kama bar, in Fallowfield, years ago, so we could showcase our shit. It was rammed! And shut down after two seconds!
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the most ridiculous and the most common definition of your style, according to people’s feedback?
Skittles: HIP HOP! Fuck off!
Chain D.L.K.: Any forthcoming collaborations or remixes?
Skittles: Me and icicle are currently working on some stuff which will surface in the form of an EP, if we can stop making tunes! I have a bag of beats from some top g’s, but I have yet decided which one will be used.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you prefer to be considered a musician or an artist?
Skittles: A musician is an artist. So I am both. But I am also an artist outside of music. ——-> Look! I made an arrow!
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s come back to your recent EP…what was the sparkle that made you come up with “If I Know Then”?
Skittles: Just growing up, I suppose. Adulthood!
Chain D.L.K.: Regarding your track on “Bumba”, Marijuana makes less victims than alcohol, mobile phones and even soy! But hemp was turned into a drug by men in the oil industry. Anything to add on that matter?
Artist Name: MD’s safer than alcohol and tobacco, but not falafel!
Chain D.L.K.: The amazing and mind-boggling “The Pre” has a sample which reminded me of something: J Dilla. What do you think of that?
Artist Name: Don’t be cheeky! About that sample: everything was recorded live! Every sound in that tune is bricktop! Apart from the intro “Cornet” which was by infamous Manchester promoter RICH REASON!
Visit Skittles online at: www.skittlesuk.com