Skiifall: the Montreal rapper taking on the world
20-year-old rapper Skiifall is making his mark abroad
He's been a hit in England and recently became the first Montreal rapper to appear on the popular YouTube channel COLORS, a world reference in music emerging. But who is Skiifall, this young prodigy from NDG invading the international scene?
Since the breakthrough of his song Ting Tun Up on the scene drillBritish in 2020, everyone is tearing it up. He toured with the group BADBADNOTGOOD, his songs are shared on Instagram by artists like Jorja Smith, and one of them was selected by the late Virgil Abloh for a Louis Vuitton and NBA commercial.
View this post on Instagram
A sound that stands out
In the Quebec hip-hop landscape, Skiifall's music stands out. He himself finds it difficult to categorize it. He considers that no other rapper in Quebec has a sound like his.
Some call it reggae, dancehall or drill. What is certain is that his Caribbean roots are strongly heard through his accent, his patois, his music.
The rapper says he is greatly influenced by dub music, a musical style derived from Jamaican reggae, and has not been influenced by Quebec artists.
Born on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, Skiifall, real name Shemar Mckie, arrived in Montreal at the age of eight. He started music at Saint-Luc secondary school.
He then attended the Jeunesse 2000 community center on Décarie Boulevard, where he could record music for free, then the NBS Studio, another community space in NDG, where young people can develop their passion for music in an open and inclusive. He frequented these places throughout his adolescence and still today, at the age of 20, with all the success he knows, he continues to record his music at NBS Studio.
“There is a vibe there that allows me to create and be very productive,” says the rapper in English.
Not afraid to dream big
Even if he lives in the metropolis, Skiifall already considers himself more than a local artist.
“I know what I want, I know how to get it and I have an international team that, like me, is not afraid to dream big and can help me achieve my goals,” says the rapper.  ;
Skiifall believes that English-speaking artists are not supported in the same way as French-speaking artists in Quebec. He did not initially believe that his work here would earn him the attention it deserved. This is why he decided to go directly elsewhere, “indicating that he had no time to waste waiting for support”.
The young rapper has very big ambitions and a lot of projects on the table. New music is expected to be released this year, including songs recorded at NBS Studio with Toronto R&B singer Charlotte Day Wilson.
Encore rien seen
Many Quebec hip-hop fans are very proud to see a young man from here achieve such international success. However, the principal concerned does not yet see any reason to get carried away.
“In my opinion, I have not yet accomplished anything. It's very small what I did. It's nothing yet.”
If he's telling the truth, we can't wait to hear what's next. It promises!