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PAUSE Meets: SK

PAUSE MEETS:

SK

Talks career, work ethic and future

Photographer: Meara Kallista Morse // @Mearakallista
Stylist: Joshua Meredith // @Joshuameredith
Interview: Johnson Gold // @Johnson_Gold
Editing: Sam Egginton// @sam_egginton
Featuring: SK // @iamskmusic

Not many can study law and build a music career at the same time.

SK isn’t your average artist, your average artist couldn’t develop a music career while studying law at university, playing shows on the weekend and turning up to lectures on the Monday. However, hard work pays off and it’s evidential as the young creative has already racked up millions of streams with some notable tracks such as Ose and Life is Gucci being irresistible dance songs. We caught up with him before he took to the stage at PAUSE Yard, here is what he had to say.

Nike x Patta at Mr Porter

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m based in South London and have just come out of uni, Canterbury Christ Church in Kent.

What did you study?

Law

How did you go from law to music?

Music has always been a part of me, the law aspect was just so I could have a good educational background to my name despite my upbringing. That’s it literally, I’m just going hard into music right now.

So when did you start the music?

The first day of college that was 2014/2015, then yeah I progressed from SFX, the college I went to in Clapham South, the fan base grew and people liked me there so I thought why not cause I liked the energy that everyone was showing me so I thought I’d take it to uni. I was recording in my dorms when I had spare time, I would go to the studio when I was in London and I was going to shows just still keeping up the appearances.

Top: Gucci @ Mr Porter, Trousers: Iceberg, Trainers: Puma, Jacket: Puma

So you were doing shows while you were at uni?

Yeah 100%, I was releasing songs at uni, and obviously, when you release songs you start getting the attention so I going to shows on the weekend and lectures on the Monday. I was just fighting and striving to keep going.

So how did you balance your music career in uni?

It was tough, but I just had to be strong-minded that’s all it was, I had to get my priorities straight as well, I knew I wanted an education but I also knew I wanted the music as well so it was just about staying hungry I’m working hard.

So how did you find getting studio time and pay for that?

Obviously, I have brothers around me, my management, my label, I was also working as well at certain periods of time. So I was just a hustler man, working hard.

So your music is mainly afrobeat but you were born in London, where did that music genre spark from?

When I was in primary school and going into secondary school that’s all I ever listened to, even going back to my dad’s cassettes with all these old school guys that basically formed who I am today. I was just listening to those back-to-back and I would get the sensation that I loved. So yeah, it was just me and my brother listening to this music in our room and we would use the last 15 seconds of a song to freestyle to it. I would always remember how I felt and I was like “yeah man I like this I’m down for this.” That’s when I recorded my first track and I actually liked doing it so I thought why not pursue it.

If there was one artist inspired you who do you say?

Ahhh, there so many.

Name like 5 then.

Terry G , Olu Maintain , Timaya, D’banj, Wande Coal, 2Face, there are so many names to remember, all those old school guys, but it doesn’t have to be Afrobeat, I would listen to Sisqó and I would look at the way he used his flow and his swag and it caught my eye and I liked it, man.

So how did you come up with your name SK?

It’s just my initials, I just ran with that, I didn’t want anything too complicated so people could find me through whatever platforms they use. that and I just thought that it’s a part of my name.

What’s your favourite SK track?

Out of the ones out at the moment, either Life is Gucci or Ose, probably Ose because when I was recording it I loved it, I knew is going to be a banger and it always gets the crowd bubbling.

Why do you have to say life is Gucci?

Well, it doesn’t really mean the brand Gucci, so if your life is going well or if there are good patterns happening then life is going Gucci. If you have good music coming out then life is going Gucci cause I’m making that progress and moving forward, so yeah that’s my definition of life is Gucci.

Top: Diesel, Jacket: Iceberg, Military Vest: Tourne De Tranmission, Trousers: Puma, Trainers: Puma

So talking about designers, if you had to pick one designer brand what would you go for?

I do like Fendi, but I would say Gucci just because of the connection I have due to the song ‘Life is Gucci.’ That and I’m loving the new seasons, the tracksuits, the shoes.

What kind of streetwear brands are you feeling at the moment?

Iceberg, and probably the usual Nike streetwear pieces.

What’s your favourite footwear brand right now?

I quite like the unknown stuff from abroad, from America or China, I actually just bought some from a brand called Loyalty & Faith that have like white platforms with a black upper all around. I also like Jordans, I don’t really like chunky shoes that much because I’m quite a tall slim guy, Axel Arigato – they’ve got some nice stuff, the new Versace track trainers are dope. Pumas as well because I still rock them to this day.

Describe your style in one word.

Elegant.

What do you think about Afrobeat music in the UK now that it’s growing fast and how does it feel to get so much love from your City?

I think it’s a big turn, it’s great to be an Afrobeat artist in the UK and I think it’s still growing and more and more artists are coming out. I just feel like the more push there are from artists, the more recognition we get. I think we should just keep going and just keep going hard because for me it’s like making Africa cool. When you were younger people often thought that they didn’t want to go to Africa, whereas now people are talking about the language, the food and the culture in a really positive way.

Trousers: Scotch and Soda, Jacket: GEYM, Top: GCDS, Trainers: Nike

What advice would you give to someone who was in your position now that you’re 21 and reaching success?

I think the number one rule is just to be yourself, someone asked me if they thought I was the best musician in the world and I was saying no I don’t say anything like that as I’m still growing. The best thing to do is to just be yourself because once you be yourself you can start collecting different energies because people start seeing you as unique from the outside world. Keep pushing and people will accept you for who you are, stay hungry because you’re never going to wake up and have it all, you need to stay patient, keep going and be yourself.

What’s next for SK?

Very soon we will be dropping my new EP, Sounds of Skiddy, which will be on all platforms. Make sure you check that out because it’s got mad production and some interesting features.

Check Out SK’s Latest EP

‘Sounds of S-Kiddy’