Skinny came from a world where music’s taboo—so he created his own world. Surrounded by smoke, covered in tattoos, and rocking three-foot dreads, the Saudi Arabia-born and Los Angeles-based rapper, producer, and visual artist invites listeners into this space with his 2017 EP, Late Night BLVD. His artful amalgam of airy instrumentation, lush production, and hazy rhymes has already earned praise from The Fader, Noisey, LA Weekly, Vibe, and many more as well as millions of plays across YouTube and Soundcloud.
“Music is pretty much against the religion,” he sighs. “There’s no such thing as growing up and being a rapper. It’s not even a dream. That made me want this more than anything else.” Summer visits to Los Angeles as a kid introduced him to influences ranging from Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G. and Kanye West to Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson, and Sade. Relocating to Southern California in 2005, his mom bought him a iMac, and he taught himself how to play keyboard and record with Logic. He started turning heads, landing a session with Timbaland and a publishing deal with Warner Chappell. Thousands of hours grinding in the studio later (and more than a few blunts burned in the process), he fashioned this enigmatic style.
“My music sounds like watching old school criminal movies on the moon,” he grins. “I’m creating the soundtrack to my life by putting all of these different influences on the spaceship. It’s more than songs; it’s an experience.”