Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Featuring: Skittles

He's done a lot since first featuring on the classic Virus Syndicate release 'Contagious Vol. 1', but is now more directly following up from his 2007 album 'Two Pints Of Brandy And A Packet Of Skittles', Manchester rapper Skittles is preparing for the release of his second offering entitled 'Poor With £100 Trainers' (due for release on Estate Records in Autumn 2010). Riding bass-heavy beats with a casual yet incisive flow, and lacing his lyrics with a wry wit and poignant tone, Skittles has an undoubtedly unique sound. We caught up with him for a quick interview, and you can grab a free sampler of his second album below.

H: Firstly, what's your name, where do you hail from and how would you describe your sound?

S: Liam Kelly AKA Skittles, from the place of the champagne supernova. I sound like me; all my tunes sound different from each other, but I spit on most of ‘em!

H: Would you say you were from a particularly musical background, or was it something you found yourself drawn to naturally?

S: My dad’s a DJ, and I learnt to read music and play guitar a little as a kid, but I guess it’s something I've grown to understand.

H: When did you start to make music, and what were your early influences?

S: I can remember writing songs at a young age, but I started recording/producing music at around 16. I came in through the garage/grime era, and I took a lot from that, but was always more influenced by soul, Motown, reggae, Michael Jackson etcetera, and just people in general: people are jokes, man [laughs].

H: Would you say you still bear these early influences strongly, or has your musical taste, influences and the direction of your music changed as you've developed as an artist?

S: Yes and no: the more I learn about people the better I get at what I do. Music is emotional, I’m not arsed if I just invented it or not!

H: Both your wordplay and flow seem to fit very well with the Estate sound; how did you get involved with the label?

S: Why, thankyou. I’ve known [Manchester Hip-Hop collective] Broke’n’£nglish for time and this album is a lot more hip-hoppy, so it only seems right (and because they got Carhartt sponsorship and I thought I might get some free jeans).

H: Manchester has always been a city known for its music, but not so often for UK Hip-Hop in particular: what's your take on this?

S: This is true. There is no ‘scene’ out here, just nuff guys that make tunes. At home [laughs].

H: Does the city's Hip-Hop scene deserve more of a limelight, or is it justified that it is overshadowed by other genres?

S: Maybe; I know a lot of guys that deserve more light, but I know very few that work hard at music in Manchester, so I think they get what they deserve: work together and stop being stupid, innit!

H: What does the future hold for Skittles in terms of releases, live outings or collaborations with other Manchester Hip-Hop artists (such as your label bosses, for example)?

S: DRS and Strats [of Broke’n’£nglish, who run Estate] are on the album tracks ‘Dot 2 Dot’ and ‘Sick Tune’ but yeah, hopefully more. Next release after this album should be the live band stuff we've been working on: fucking sick, shouts to the band! Keep your eye out for shows.

H: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add?

S: Ya man, thanks. What do you call a man with no shins? Tony. Grab the album: don't be a whoppa.

Download: Skittles - prE.P.


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