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“Everytime I go there everyone shows me mad love. It’s like being at home,” says Skiifall. “Our upbringings are not exactly the same but we relate through our stories — we lived fucked up lives, but we want to change our lives.”
Within months of “Ting Tun Up'' turning the heads of tastemakers, Skiifall landed a co-sign from hip-hop’s ultimate influencer, the late Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh, who chose his song “Lost Angeles” to feature in a campaign for the luxury brand. “That was my biggest accomplishment,” says Skiifall. The track was released in the summer of 2021 on Skiifall’s debut three-track EP WOIIYOIE TAPES VOL. 1. He went on to collaborate with Toronto band BADBADNOTGOOD on the single “Break of Dawn,” and British producer Lil Silva in 2022.
“I was working at Toys R Us while I was blowing up,” Skiifall says. “I heard people say my growth is too fast, but I’ve been making music every single day since I was 12-years-old.” Now Skii, who learned how to make music through a high school alternative education program and neighborhood youth centers, is gearing up to release his second EP, WOIIYOIE TAPES VOL. 2.
Recorded between Montreal, Los Angeles, and London, the project features producer DJ Dahi (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Big Sean), singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin, Skii’s long-time producer and collaborator YAMA//SATO, as well as his mentor Master Zibbs. “He’s a poet and he’s from Saint Vincent as well,” says Skiifall. “Zibbs gave me a chance to make music, but we never made music together until about a year ago. If you hear these crazy ass adlibs, that’s him!”
The project is an accumulation of stories and experiences chronicling Skii’s life to date, including, he shyly admits, a “super cool” love song. But the theme that’s most prescient is of the violent relationship between Black communities and law enforcement. “It’s always been important for me to talk about because I get stopped all the time,” Skiifall says. “It’s so scary, that moment when you’re surrounded by these cops and you don’t know what they are going to do.”
On Christmas Day 2022, Skii’s friend Nicous D’Andre Spring died in custody after being assaulted by guards. “I didn’t want to post a picture of him or anything. I want to talk about it in my music because millions of people are going to listen to it,” says Skiifall. “I didn’t choose to take part in this narrative — it was given to me by the government and the schools they send us to, the rules they give us. They keep us on a path where it’s difficult to succeed.”
In this context, Skiifall’s boundlessness is the sound of a young person’s world being opened up beyond the parameters set upon his social context as a Black man and migrant. He has become deeply inspired by ’70s photography, and the sounds of the Caribbean and its diasporic offshoots — reggae, dancehall, and lover’s rock. “The world hasn’t gotten a chance to hear music from all of these artists. ‘Ting Tun Up’ opened this new door for me, of all the things I could do with my music.”