Chef Dee interviews the UK’s best kept secret ‘SkaiWater’
When the debate about which UK artist is likely to break the daunting US market names such as M Huncho,Lancey Foux, Octavian & D Block Europe are often brought up in conversation rarely would SkaiWater be mentioned. However despite this the name SkaiWater may be new to you now but you can expect him to become a household name in the next couple of years.
Chef Dee – “So where does the name ‘SkaiWater’ come from?”
SKAIWATER – “I have no idea, I dunno I’m not gonna lie people have been asking me for time. When I was younger, I used to drink water all the time so I think that’s where the water came from”
Chef Dee – Hahaha yeah I can see by the skin its glowing
SKAIWATER - “Yezzir, You know what I’m talking about!”
Chef Dee – So when did you first get into making music?
SKAIWATER – “I must’ve been like 17. So 2017 and I started taking it a lil’ bit more serious when I got a manager which was a year later…and then since then it’s been gradually building…You know what I’m saying?”
Chef Dee – When you first started out did you start with the intention to become a rapper or were you just making music for fun?
SKAIWATER – “The thing is yeah…My little brother has been rapping since I was about 11 and I used to just record him on my ipad and shit..So I was already recording from then..cus my dad taught me how to use FL Studio (Fruity Loops) from when I was around 8. He used to rap himself but I always used to just sing..but I never saw it as a thing where I can make it as a singer…I wanted to be a wrestler fam ahah.”
Chef Dee – A wrestler? Hahaha
SKAIWATER – “Yeah a wrestler ahah but one day my dad had just said to me that I should start singing cah you can actually sing innit! I used to just freestyle with him cuz them man always used to freestyle because my whole family is into music all rappin..I’d join in but I’d just always be singing and these lot would always tell me you need to get to this signing shit!
So from then I just bought all my own studio equipment for my birthday snd shit so from then I just learned how to record and engineer cuz I already used the programmes before I just started making stuff when people wanted me to sing…But I never thought I’d be a rapper tho!”
Chef Dee – You mentioned that you grew up with a musical family. What type of music were you hearing around the house growing up?
SKAIWATER – “My biggest influence is always Kanye….always…always bro..from 8 years old..I had my first ever flip phone and It had the ‘808 & Heart Breaks’ ahah it was the only album on there. But my Mum used to listen to all types of reggae people like Buju Banton & Chronixx and other people like Mary J Blidge, Keri Helson and shit like that… My Dad was on the same shit Kanye, P Diddy but It was never like none of that new school shit..He was always on that boom bap shit..you know what Im saying? He was always on the new wave shit..he put me onto drake and all them niggas?”
Chef Dee – How would you describe your music to someone who had never listened to music before?
SKAIWATER- “ I’ll just say you’ll like it innit, I feel like every song I put out has a different vibe. I don’t usually like when people say that because usually its’s not. But with mine It just feels like that I cant describe it because you’re gonna be pissed off when you hear my next track because they all sound so different”
Chef Dee – So when you’re writing songs whats the process? Some ive spoken to sometimes only write in the dark whats your process?
SKAIWATER – “I feel like because I started just recording at home and just picking shit up my method just changes all the time.. I started just doing it from my desk sitting down.. then switched to standing up and I did that for a couple years…Then when I went to New York I learned about punching
Chef Dee – What’s that?
SKAIWATER – “Punching in is when instead of rapping a line, you just do a quarter of each line instead. So like you say a quarter of it and then record over the line so it overlaps a lil’ bit you know what im saying?”
Chef Dee – Ooo So like Hood Rich Pablo Juan ?
SKAIWATER – “Yeah that kinda shit the DMV flow..the punching flow I learned that from my Elmont niggas innit. Then this year when I went to New York the label had me in the recording in the studio everyday so now I cant record without a proper studio”
Chef Dee – “So what was New York saying?
SkaiWater – “ Haha which time?”
Chef Dee “Both Times haha?
SkaiWater – “So yeah the first time I went it was mad I was with my old manager, He just put me around all these people you know what im saying? They were all rappers so It was just distractions and bad bitches hahaha so it was calm…Just seeing it the first time was crazy I’ve always wanted to go there..I was there for a Month!”
Chef Dee – How was it coming from a small city like Notts to stepping into a big fast paced city where it’s 24 hour everything?
SkaiWater – “It’s mad…. it feels like a movie sometimes bro its crazy it feels like you’re living a different life! You know on GTA when you switch characters? It feels like that you don’t..You don’t really think about it too much you’re just there and then you come its brazy.”
Chef Dee - You mentioned that you went to New York with your manager but how did you manage to get a manager 1000’s of miles away?
“He told me that he found me on soundcloud you know what Im saying ? and that was just after I put my first project out so..from just building my soundcloud..I’ve always tried to build my reach over there (The U.S.A) first I kinda just did that from making friends over there just on Twitter,Instagram shit like that just groups chats and shit..Then he messaged me saying fly over here and do your thing.”
Chef Dee - It’s crazy from Notts to New York its an amazing journey! How were you building relationships with people overseas?
SkaiWater – “It just depends what kind of relationship it is..My best friend is from San Jose and we just became friends from just making music. It wasn’t going that well but we just kept talking we just become best friends”
Chef Dee – You mentioned the importance of connecting with people and forming friendships with them online..how did you manage to build a relationship Lil Nas X before he blew up? I lsitened to the track "No Love" you guys made together it was cold!
SkaiWater – “That was the same ting just friendship innit..we were in a twitter group chat together because I used to fuck with Uzi (Lil Uzi Vert) heavy back then 2017/18 times..so yeah were in the group chat and I someone in the chat said “Yo you man should make some music together!” and we just went from there..”
Chef Dee – I remember seeing that you opened for Noah Cyrus when she came to the UK how was that?
SkaiWater – “That was mad hahah..It was my first ever live show there were like 800-1000 people there. It was MAD bro the feeling before you get on stage was the scariest shit ever! Like bare people didn’t know me”
Chef Dee – How did the crowd receive your music?
SkaiWater – “They were fucking with me..At first it was a lil’ bit awkward they were just looking at me like “Who is this person?” but they were fucking with me! First song I got a nice reaction from the crowd bare gyal were screaming and shit but na it was calm! I really apprciate Noah for giving me that opportunity and the fact that people were willing to stand there and not walk away when I was doing my thing is sign that Im on the right path!”
Chef Dee – Who are your favorite rappers right now?
SkaiWater – “ME! Hahah, Roddy Rich, Dominik Fike, NBA YoungBoy & Pop Smoke! RIP to Pop Smoke…I shoulda put him higher! "
Chef Dee – Yeah man RIP POP! How did you end up getting signed? I know for a lot of artists starting out that can be their main goal..How did you go about it?
SkaiWater – “With me it was lil bit of luck im not gonna lie and obviously the Nas ( Lil Nas X) co-sign as well that kind boosted me a lil bit more. But I feel like a good thing to have is a strong fan base..because labels will value that a lot. They look it like some of the work is already done..I feel like signing you should never sign too early..even now theres certain shit I gotta do which I never had to do before”
Chef Dee – What would say are the main differences between unsigned Skai and signed Skai?
SkaiWater – “Ite so..there positives as well! Like this next video I got coming for the track “50 Missed Calls” it’s a movie fam like its actually a movie! I wouldn’t be able to this without a label due to the budget and the connections.
But this next mixtape like there are songs I wanna put on there but I can’t because its gonna be too expensive to clear..becasue of samples or sometimes it’s just the beat but like theres just a lot of politics. I get a lot of producers hitting me up like you need to sign this or whatever..the difference is just that theres a lot of politics I have to go through to just drop shit.”
Chef Dee – Before this interview I had a look at your label Cinematic Music group and they’ve got a strong roster they got people like Cam’ron, Joey Bada$$ and so on..How is that for you I assume you listened those people growing up and now you’re on the same label as them how does it feel?
SkaiWater – “It’s mad bro…like it’s actually mad…Bro..You know bro its actually mad to think about..being from Notts as well..Like I don’t like to brag about this shit but its crazy I can’t believe that I’m actually in the driving seat.”
Chef Dee - I get what you mean but you should embrace that! I don’t feel like enough people know Nottingham to appreciate how difficult it do what you’re doing in a city like Notts..Like you’re basically starting from ground zero..to get to where you get it must be an amazing feeling!
SkaiWater – “Na it’s crazy bro..you don’t really take it in tho..Like when I woke up this morning it was cool but I got 4 more things to worry about now but looking at my label roster to see my name in the top 6 it was a great feeling but I still got a lot more work to do..it’s insane.”
Chef Dee – Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now? Like do you still see yourself dropping albums or would you wanna slow things down a bit?
SKAIWATER – “I dunno I hope I’m top 5 worldwide shit you know what I’m saying? I prolly have 4 albums out I wanna be solidified but from now I wanna put the best content possible..Because it 10 years time there will be some YG’s putting out some crazy shit and I don’t wanna be just forcing my music out..once they don’t want it no more..they don’t want it no more but aslong as I am set and respected for what I’ve done I don’t mind. Like theres whole load of other shit I wanna do like design clothes and shit.”
Chef Dee – Yeah man that’s true I can see by looking at your gram and when I’ve met you before that you’re into your fashion heavy! If you had to wear 3 brands for the rest of your life what would they be?
SkaiWater – “Shitt..thats hard bro..thats really hard! Ermm Im gonna say Ksubi for the denim…then Imma say Chanel for the accessories and then shit..hmm probably Felt..they make this under the label office they make furniture as well..that was a hard question”
Chef Dee – Good answer they’re some cold brands..! How did you get into fashion?
SkaiWater – “It must have be around year 3 I got introduced to Vivienne Westwood…because she had a project in the school where students would design and draw on the dresses and the dress I drew on was chosen to walk on one of her catwalks..like just deeping it designing for Vivienne Westwood at the age of 8 is mad..I was gonna get a tattoo of the logo”
Chef Dee – Yeah that is crazy designing for VW at age 8 haha crazy..speaking of tattoos I can see you have a power puff girls tattoo what other cartoons did you watch as a kid?
Skaiwater – “ Yeah that was my shit..Cartoon Network I used to love that shit it was basically my third parent hahaha! But na I used to love watching The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Johnny Bravo, Foster Home For Imaginary Friends, Dexters Lab, Kids Next Door my new favourites are shit like Regular Show and Adventure Time.”
Big thanks to SkaiWater for taking time out his day to be interviewed for the Lostboys Channel we wish him all the best in his music career you can find his socials below.