What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Playing two cassettes at the same time and hearing a flange effect from that was probably the first cool thing about taking control over music, but it wasn’t until after a few years of getting bored with mixing records on turntables that I decided I didn’t just want to play other people’s music and felt the absolute need to make my own projects. Throughout the years technology has improved greatly and the gap between printing thoughts to tape has greatly reduced, so if you have an idea it can be laid down and brought to finalization faster than ever before. For years I have been blending beats with orchestral arrangements reclusively, just experimenting with styles and arrangements privately, but only recently did I feel as if I’d reached a point where I could release a project with a style I’d be willing to stand behind publicly. That’s how Skekz came to be.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
The new Highgate EP pulls inspiration from lengthy trips to Highgate cemetery in north London. I would go to Highgate for photography and it would always leave me with some wicked thoughts and some very dark yet creative ideas musically. The album artwork was captured there. Highgate is also a direct follow-up to my recent full length album titled Sleeper which was released May 3rd.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Portishead, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Jacaszec, Shlohmo to name a few major influences.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
There aren’t many that blend cinematic orchestral elements with minimal jazz-infused downtempo beats without overpowering vocals, so that might be what sets me apart. Not limiting myself to just one set of instruments or effects is what I believe will keep my music unique and everchanging as the catalog builds over time. The content will always reside in the triphop genre, but it will touch edges of other genres as it keeps an eye on home.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Critically my favorite album picks are “Riceboy Sleeps” by Jonsi+Alex, “Screws” by Nils Frahm, and “Summer Make Good” by múm.
My top favorite movie picks are There will be Blood, Clockwork Orange, Children of Men. On a desert island I’d probably pick something on the happier side, though.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I prefer studio because I also prefer hearing studio albums when exploring other artists’ work as opposed to their live performances. I’m still deciding how to transform my music into a live set, but for the near term my intention is to spend more time in the studio making decent music.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
When promoting my music I often run into situations where I’m made to feel bad about not wanting to run ads on facebook or that I should be reaching for top 40 status on the billboard charts, and the awkwardness from that can sometimes make for good comedy. Another thing is the obsession over quality and mastering techniques. It’s a lot of worry that means nothing if the content isn’t interesting to begin with, so I guess it’s kind of funny to see people go in circles about that but then never release any music because of all the worry around that.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Unwritten” is unique to me because it’s the most successful song I’ve made however also the track I spent the least amount of time producing.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
After the Highgate EP is released on June 28th, I plan to begin work on another full length Skekz album to be released later this year. There will be at least one single that is released in the interim to help bridge the gap. I also make music as Minismus, and with that I released an album titled “FILM” on June 21st and the followup to that is set for release later this year. Additionally, I run the independent label Kwai Music and there are always a lot of interesting developments going on over there.
What’s behind the drive to make instrumental tracks as opposed to vocal-led tracks with your projects?
With instrumental or score music there’s a chance on every listen to have a different thought go through your head, whereas lyrics can lock down a song to where it circles back to what the words are about which can be limiting. Instrumentals seem to have ability to travel further, for me. It comes down to taste, though, and I’m understanding about everyone being different on that front.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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