Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 4th 2010 9:00AM by Sydnie Taylor
How did you choose your name?
It was nickname given to me by my parents. My mother loved the Skyy Disco group from Brooklyn. She used to sing me their song 'Skyzoo' like a lullaby because my middle name is Skyler. No one in my family ever called me Skyler or my first name Gregory, they called me Skyzoo, and it stuck. When I started with my music, I ran with it. Skyzoo.
How would you describe your sound?
My style and sound is reality. Everything I talk about I have been through so I can speak about it with authority, and I stand behind it. If it is about a relationship with a female, I have been through that relationship word for word. If I'm talking about clubbing, I've been to that club and in the space I am speaking of. My sound is New York rooted, but goes everywhere and everyone can dig it because it is reality. It is universal.
What are your musical influences?
Overall it is the people and things around me and it is everywhere. It is the neighborhoods and schools I grew up in, watching kids at play, my family, friends, and my peers. Jay Z, Big E, the list goes on and on. I was nine years old when I started rhyming. I saw Chi Ali and that was it! I picked up a microphone, started writing and never looked back.
What's in your festival survival kit?
This is my first SXSW experience so I don't really have one. I am excited about having so many music genres [at] the same place. I think it is dope when you can bring all that together. When you get all of those artists together everyone can feed off each other. I already have relationships with some of the groups that will be there and I am looking forward to seeing them. I am ready to tear down! I have three shows planned.
What kind of mischief do you usually get into on the road?
None really. Most of my performances are spot dates. Like I fly into Detroit, do a show, and fly back home the next day. There just is not enough time to get into any real trouble.
Do you have any vices?
I don't have too many, I'm the guy who doesn't smoke or drink in the studio or when doing an interview. I take my craft very seriously and would never let a vice get in the way of it. If loving the music too much is a vice, then that would be one. Oh, the female fans. Yes, the female fans are definitely a vice.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Jazz all day. There are times I don't even want to hear hip-hop, I just want to listen to jazz musicians that existed before my parents time. '40s to '60s. All the legacy musicians, I have a large collection of jazz vinyls--there is no sound like it.
The Beatles or the Stones?
Who was your first celebrity crush?
What's the craziest thing you've experienced on tour?
I would say that was in China. I had already done a couple shows in Beijing and I was on stage performing to a full house. There were wall to wall people. I was into the second song of a set part where I was standing still and one of the girls from the audience reached up onto the stage and very slowly started pulling my shoe lace. While looking up and smiling at me she untied my shoe. I was in the middle of my show so I wasn't going to bend down and tie it. She kept smiling and then moved over to the other shoe and did the same thing to my other shoe. She kept on smiling and winking at me. All of a sudden security was all over her and pulled her away from the stage. I figured she was flirting with me Beijing style. I will always remember her when I think about Beijing.
Will you be performing any new songs at SXSW?
I will be performing 'Metal Hearts' at SXSW. While it is on the 'Salvation' album, it will be the first time I have performed it on stage.
Sydnie Taylor is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.