It started with winning Jagermeister’s Back The Artist, then followed with working with Die Antwoord’s DJ Hi Tek. Next up he dropped Get Right with Sketchy Bongo, which charted at number 1 for ten weeks on 5fm and number 3 on the Trace Urban SA Hip Hop charts, and trended on MTV BASE. Today he counts Kwesta, Tellaman and Big Star as some of his collabos and have we mentioned he has been nominated for a SAMA?
Sheen Skaiz is on fire! Here is everything you need to know
Words: Bianca Agenbag
The Wire: Who is Sheen Skaiz?
Sheen Skaiz: Sheen Skaiz is a Rapper, Songwriter, Producer and Visual artist from Durban, South Africa. The name “Skaiz” pronounced “Skies” is the result of my curiosity with the unknown; whether it be something spiritual, beautiful, alien, god-like or something we don’t understand. There will always be a curiosity with “the skies”. It’s self-reflective. So the name “Sheen Skaiz” represents infinite possibilities, mystery and a curiosity within my self.
How did growing up in Durban influence your sound?
Growing up in Durban definitely had a huge impact on who I am as an artist. I believe in originality, and being as true to myself as possible. In Durban, we have a unique sense of culture, our own lingo and slang terms that you won’t hear anywhere in the world. I grew up in a multicultural neighbourhood where we mix slang in with our every day conversations. My influencers were everyone. I take pride in the surrounding’s of my up bringing, because this is what moulded my environment. In songs of mine like “031” (Durban’s dialling code), “Get Right” and “Towers” you will hear me flip into my hometown’s lingo, including Zulu and Afrikaans. This is how I was raised, and I am proud to be culturally fluid.
How would you define your sound and who are your musical influences?
At the moment, there is no true definition of my sound – I’m still working on defining my sound. I’ve been playing around with more commercial sounds lately. Right now, my sound is a mix of Future Bass/Trap/Hip Hop/RnB/Dance Hall, but I’m influenced by people like Jaimie XX, Nabil, Wes Anderson, Childish Gambino, Prince, Clipping, Harmony Korine, Asap, and Metro Boomin.
“I would love to work with Spoek Mathambo, Petite Noir and Okmalumkoolkat”
Your opinion on SA’s hip-hop industry?
SA’s music industry is banging at the moment. I see unfairness here and there, but I also see artists and people starting to speak out, which is what Hip Hop is originally about. Artists in South Africa are really pushing out some high quality music. Big up to them! The only thing is…We need more diversity, and we need an avenue for alternative artists to flourish. These days, if the music is “too artistic” or “too different”, the media will over look it.
If we opened the platform to the “music misfits” in South Africa, it would be a doorway to a different side of South African music. There are a lot of us who want to be recognized for pushing the levels of creativity and not just commercial appeal.
The song do you wish you wrote:
Cara Cara by K.O. This track goes in anytime.
Natalie Becker and Ayanda Thabethe.
If your life was a song what would the title be?
Spitting Out The Demons, its actually the title of a Gorillaz track, but this title is quite fitting to all the ups and downs in life.
5 things you can’t live without?
Interesting people, great design, the internet, humour, and music.
Tell us something no one knows about you 🙂
I design the artwork for my singles, and I’m the man behind the ideas and creative direction for my music videos. So, if anybody needs gems, hit me up. I also used to be a skateboarder growing up.
Who would you like to come back as?
I would come back as a guru or monk and heal people in need with energy.
Most marked characteristic:
Being real and honest.
Any wild fantasies?
Probably to own an island, where people can come through for 2 weeks and experience the worlds best music acts, every day a different genre, every day different visuals, no cell phones, just people immersed in music.
What word / phrase do you overuse?
I say “Vibes” and “Weh Mameh” a lot!
What’s next for Sheen Skaiz?
Right now, I’m focusing on releasing more music, I have just released a new single titled “Real Ones” check it out on Sound Cloud, You Tube and in all Digital stores. I might drop an EP of about six or seven tracks, but for now you can expect a lot of visuals and singles. I’ll also be working on tracks for my debut album. I do have a few non-music related projects I’m working on, but I’ll reveal that at a later stage. For now y’all can just expect more vibes.
If you would like to check out more from Sheen Skaiz, Check out the following links: