Mad About… SK-47

Harvey Marwood

By Harvey Marwood

Harvey Marwood

3 May 2023

With more than 260k monthly listeners on Spotify, SK-47 is no stranger to the UK rap scene, and with almost 10 million streams across Spotify alone, as in artist who has being reaching levels in recent time. Championed for broadcasting his distinguishable vocal and silky flow with such ease and commonly known for his iconic orange and black mask, the talent is definitely someone who deserves more traction and recognition. Hailing from Lewisham in South East London, SK-47 is an artist we that is exciting many up and down the country, as well as around the globe. We had a little chat with him to find out a bit more about him, and here’s how it unfolded.

Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?

I’m from Lewisham, Southeast London. My dad died when I was 3 years of age. I grew up with my mum, younger brother and older sister. My mum is Sierra Leonean, so I had a very traditional African upbringing. She was strict but I still did what I needed to do to get by. I played football growing up at amateur and Semi-professional level and I have supported Arsenal all my life. I left home at 15 and never looked back.

What inspired you to make music?

I started rapping in the playground at school when I was 15, back then it was grime we would get the speaker and rap in the basketball cage. I would always have one sick bar that I would always say. I saw a lot of rappers from my area doing rap. I have taken many L’s and many W’s and been through so much I
thought it was time to share my story and once I realised how much money there was to be made, I became really inspired.

What music did you grow up on when you were younger?

A lot of the music was what my mum would play in the car, Destiny Child, R&B, Nelly. My mum took me to a destiny child concert when I was 9 years old, and it was sick. My uncle had loads of casette tapes and when I went round, we used to listen to a lot of grime music such as Skepta, JME, P Money, Dizzee, Wretch 32…

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

I was speaking to my manager about this question and we both agreed it’s difficult to answer. I would say my music brings energy and motivation to anyone that listens, I always get fans saying they bang my music in the gym as it helps them workout. If you don’t already listen to my music, it’s worth the listen.

How has the reception been to the music you have released this far this year?

The reception so far has been good, the fans have shown a lot of love and support so far this year. My socials have consistently grown in following and continue to grow every day.

What is your vision going forward? Do you have plans for live shows and another EP/Mixtape down the line?

Hopefully I will be opening on some tours, I cannot say too much yet, but we are in talks. I have been booked for a festival in Prague which is sick, and I have already performed in Paris at the start of this year. I have a lot of music coming with some big French features so be sure to catch me shutting down
Paris again this year.

It seems so far this year you’ve found some newly inspired fast momentum – has anything inspired this and kept you motivated and grounded to pursue consistency?

Last year my original Instagram account got shadow banned, it took a toll on me mentally because I worked hard to build the network and connections, I had on IG not being able to touch my fan base with my new music was hard. So, this year I knew I had to rebuild from the ground up. I have a solid team
around me that always make sure things are done right which certainly helps take the pressure off allowing me to focus on just writing and releasing music.

‘Streets in South’ blew up on Spotify as such and now sits on more than 6 and a half million streams – did you expect it to do so well?

I mean I never expected it to gain the traction it has, for me 6 million was never a number I expected to hit. Streets In South was my first song that hit 1 million and I was gassed, for it to now be on 6 million plus streams on Spotify is crazy to me. I never thought I could hit those numbers as an artist of my
calibre, but now it has only made me hungrier to continue to succeed and reach new hights in this music game.

The newest EP instalment SK24/7 came out at the start of this year – what was the creative process like for that and has the creation of that project influenced your most recent music for the better?

Originally this was meant to be a small throw away project, most of the songs were recorded in 2021 except for Live my life, as my sound was developing I knew I needed to release these songs and if I didn’t release them now I knew it would be too late and It would look like I was taking a step back in my abilities as an artist.

Are there any artists you would love to collaborate with?

I would love to work with Billie Eilish, she has such an incredible voice, together we could create some great music. I grew up listening to Skepta as the pioneer of grime music. He’s also someone on my list I would love to work with. Nines for me has been carrying the rap scene for years now he’s the hardest in the UK.

What is your reasoning for wearing a mask?

Various reasons but my main was I wanted people to take in my music before judging me for how I looked.

Why should people be adding SK-47 tracks to their playlists?

A lot of people that bang my tunes always like to listen to them while they are working out, if you are looking to get pumped and find that energy, whether you need a pick me up and you are sad add SK-47 to your playlist.

If SK-47 isn’t already on your radar, get to know him! It’s safe to say that the only way is up for the Lewisham talent, so make sure to jump on the train sooner rather than later…

Watch the visuals to SK-47’s latest single “Liar Liar” :