Skaiwater’s music is the sound of freedom

100%: The LA-via-Nottingham musician has won the respect of Lil Nas X and Lil Uzi Vert.

Skaiwater hails from Nottingham. But as a musician, they were raised on the internet.

When I was like, 15, I started out on Twitter, Kanye West forums, that kind of thing,” the 23-year-old says, calling in from their might-be-permanent home in Los Angeles. From there, I built up a list of mutuals in music, other producers from Florida, the Carolinas. I had friends from California and New York, too. Being around those other creatives, even on the internet, helped me get my music heard.”

True enough, Skai’s music is now on the radars of all the right people. In 2022, Lil Uzi Vert hopped on a remix of their viral track Miles, which appeared on Skai’s debut album Rave, a glorious medley of emo rap, ambient and jersey club. After connecting with Lil Nas X over Instagram, Skaiwater ended up producing Nas’s track Holiday and joining him on the Europe leg of his world tour in 2022. Nas recently returned the favour by rapping on Skaiwater’s single Light!, the first ever feature from the American rap star.

Today marks the release of Skaiwater’s second album Gigi, a project that’s rich in vulnerability and introspection. Lead single Bleach is an evocative tune about a situationship turned sour that’s boosted with crunched up bass. Another standout is wna torture me tn? featuring Atlanta rapper and Lil Yachty affiliate Karrahbooo. The R&B‑influenced track delivers explicit lyrics via languid delivery and smooth vocals: You won’t pull out the whips and chains cause your mother ashamed of you /​Bring the cuffs out, bring the strap out, bring the tail out”. Whew.

It feels good when something I make resonates with people,” Skai says. The freedom to create is what I love most about what I do. I’m still in that transition phase of becoming a professional’ musician, and I want to make sure I’m doing all I can to keep the pressure on.”

10% What kinds of emotions and experiences influence your work?

I would say I’m pretty dramatic, generally. Anger, happiness, sadness all play into it. It’s pretty basic. Community and love, too. I learn a lot from my interactions with other people.

20% Is there a piece of advice that changed your life?

When the universe shows you an opportunity, you can’t just let it sit there. You have to go and grab it, nurture it. Pay attention. I’ve heard that said to me in like five different ways, so it’s stuck with me.

30% If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?

I would try my hand at crème brûlée. I’m aiming high. The process itself, I feel, would be impressive. I don’t think it’ll go well, though.

40% What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?

I fall asleep when I order food a lot. I get very upset about it. It’s still there in the morning, usually, outside the house.

50% When’s the last time you did that?

Pizza! It’s a bad one – It was outside. I had no clue how long it had been out there, I couldn’t eat it… Truly my least favourite thing.

60% If you ruled the world for a day, what would go down?

I would kill everybody’s loads for that day. Everyone can start again, relax for a second.

70% What’s the best thing you can get in LA that you can’t get back home?

Chick-fil‑A. Whenever I come home, I miss it. Some people bring back the sauce, but it’s not enough. I need the full package. Honestly, though, I feel like LA and London are more similar than people think.

80% Love, like, hate?

I love my dog. I like living in LA. I hate allergy season.

90% Favourite song of all time?

It’s a bad time to say Drake, isn’t it? 30 Hours by Kanye West.

100% What do you think artists can do to help save the world?

Be yourself and be honest with yourself. Make what you wanna make and spread a message you truly believe in.

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