You may not have heard of the name, but you’ll no doubt have heard his work whilst grinding in a dirty rave or on a night out in Shoreditch – for though the face behind SkimoBeats remains blissfully anonymous, his music is already making ripples in the UK Bass scene. It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for the London based producer, and after quietly pioneering a new sound he calls ‘Future Garage’ for the last few years, his exploits have finally been thrust into the limelight…
Planet Notion: So you’ve just won K Mag’s Best Unsigned Artist award; has it sparked much interest?
SkimoBeats: Definitely, things have gone a bit crazy in the last couple of weeks! I’ve now got two record deals from Demon Records and 10Dollar Records, which means that I can release my first single ‘Jump’ backed with ‘In My System’ on 2nd Jan. There’s also been a lot of interest on SoundCloud, so hopefully a few more people are hearing of my stuff. It’s quite different to everything else that’s out there at the moment.
PN: So what kind of music do you make?
SB: It’s a bit of a new genre that people are calling UK Bass or Future Garage. It’s a derivative of Dubstep, but whereas people normally take the House route into this kind of music, I make mine much more dubby with a bit of a D&B feel. There’s a lot of reggae influences in there too, which makes it pretty unique. I’ve never followed anyone else, and I never sample – I’ve always made this kind of music, I just never realised it was so different until I started showing people and they told me they’d not heard anything like it before.
PN: Does having such a niche sound make it easier to promote?
SB: If anything it makes it harder! Pioneering a new sound is always hard, but once people become aware of it, it’ll catch on. There’s a group of us trying to work the sound into the market, though I don’t know them all yet.
PN: Have you worked with any of them?
SB: Yeah, I’m currently working with Warsnare, who takes a bit more of an intellectual approach to the genre, whereas I try and focus on what’s good to DJ. There are a lot of people I’d love to work with though, mainly Roska and A1 Bassline. I like working with collaborators, I think you get a lot more influence on the music than when you work alone.
PN: What inspires your music?
SB: Probably living in Peckham. I moved here from Zimbabwe when I was three, and have loved it ever since. The music scene is so diverse, with a lot of reggae which is where that element of my music comes from. The Bussey Building is great for music, and I’d love to play there again!
PN: Do you prefer, DJing or producing?
SB: Definitely DJing, I only got into producing so I could DJ my own work. I’m not a fan of playing what everyone else is playing, I like to make things unique. It’s not really hard to translate the music I produce to live anyway as it’s not groundbreaking stuff. I think the philosophy of good dance music is to keep it simple. Though I normally start making music by whistling the melody, which I suppose wouldn’t go down quite so well in a club scene!
PN: What are your plans for the future?
SB: Just see how it goes really. Lots of exciting stuff is happening so I’ll just take it as it comes. I’ve got a gig with Hobsons Choice which is an Art Collective that showcases new art and music on the 16th December, and I’m also flying out to Gibralta for a gig in January. I’m looking to become more international, and I’ve had quite a lot of interest from Spain already. I’ve also got 4 new tracks, 2 that I’m hopefully getting signed soon, and the one that is released in January. I’m a big fan of the anonymity of Skimobeats though, and whatever happens I’d love to keep an element of that. We’ll see what the future brings!