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Embark on a captivating journey through the innovative world of SKVWALKER as he challenges conventions and reshapes the landscape of rap music in our exclusive interview.

Photography by Caleb Foster | Words by Raya Biasca | Styled by Trey Wilson | Grooming by Obie “Mizzay” Cuts
Photography by Caleb Foster

In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of rap music, there are artists who captivate us with their raw talent, storytelling prowess, and unique perspectives. In this exclusive interview with Skvwalker, we have the privilege of diving deep into the mind and artistry of an emerging rap artist who brings a fresh perspective to the genre, pushing boundaries and challenging conventional norms.

The 24-year-old rapper says he got into rap music during his freshman year of college, when he started freestyling over beats.

“I was so good at it that my friend eventually said, ‘Yo! You should just record!’ He thought I was so talented that I should record a verse. I was like ‘Alright!’ and ever since I recorded, I never stopped.”

Skvwalker says his personal musical influences span across a wide range of artists. “One of the most influential figures for me is Kanye West, who I consider to be one of the most impactful performing artists of my time, particularly with his album ‘Yeezus.’ And J. Cole, for sure,” he stated.

Photography by Caleb Foster

When asked about his creative process in writing a song, Skvwalker described a spontaneous and intuitive approach. He mentioned that it usually begins with melodies popping into his head while he’s out and about, casually walking around. With a unique ability to intertwine words and melodies effortlessly in his mind, he finds himself freestyling and rapping continuously for hours on end. In fact, he’s so in the zone that he could potentially churn out ten songs in a single day. Once he steps into the recording studio and listens to various beats, he wastes no time and dives right into the process, ready to lay down the entire song in one go. For him, creativity flows naturally, and the magic of his songwriting lies in capturing those spontaneous and inspired moments to create music that resonates with his audience.

When asked about his song ‘Wanna B,’ the artist shared some interesting insights into the recording process. He recalled that during the initial recording, the melody felt completely off, making it a challenging experience. As he and his team listened to the first take, they were taken aback by how different it sounded from what they had envisioned. However, the turning point came when he collaborated with a producer in Los Angeles. The producer introduced him to a tool that allowed him to explore different melodies, leading to a significant breakthrough. The producer’s expertise and guidance helped him reshape the melody, and he was thrilled with the transformation. The song eventually evolved into what it is now, thanks to the producer’s valuable input, enabling him to discover new ways of altering his singing style and ultimately creating the version of ‘Wanna B’ that resonates with his audience today.

Talking about his song ‘Explosion Kid,’ Skvwalker highlighted the collaborative effort behind its creation. He worked closely with his friends Brian and Jordan, who played crucial roles in bringing the project to life. Jordan, in particular, took charge of shooting and piecing together the video, with Skvwalker also contributing to the editing process. Brian, on the other hand, lent his expertise in visual effects, adding elements like shadows from the anime series Naruto and people disappearing to enhance the video’s visual impact. As for the explosions seen in the video, the artist personally handled those, going above and beyond to make the scenes as dynamic as possible. “So yeah, a couple of passions, a couple of love, a couple of tears, a couple of arguments, and now it’s here,” Skvwalker added.

He is also the founder of Vod Havok, an artist collective that is more than just an artist collective; it’s a tight-knit group of friends who have been by each other’s sides since their high school days at the creative performing arts high school in Philadelphia.

These friendships have been a tremendous source of inspiration for Skvwalker, who has grown and evolved alongside these talented individuals.

From their high school days to college and beyond, each member of Vod Havok has made a name for themselves in their respective fields. The artist cherishes the creative projects they have worked on together, and the bond they share keeps them connected and driven to continue collaborating.

As life moves forward and everyone gets older, the artist remains excited about the future, hinting at some exciting endeavors in the works.

The artist’s primary goal is to create music that leaves a positive impact on listeners and the industry as a whole. Reflecting on a conversation with a mentor, he realized the significance of his role in providing something meaningful for his generation.

Photography by Caleb Foster

This realization inspired him to start a movement through his music, one that challenges the norms and stereotypes often prevalent in the industry. He aims to break away from themes like misogyny, gang culture, and the obsession with money, instead choosing to spread uplifting vibes and relatable imagery.

Through his music, Skvwalker strives to be a voice that uplifts, resonates, and brings a sense of unity among his listeners, ultimately making a difference in the world of music and beyond.

The artist also acknowledges that rap stands apart from other genres due to its origins and the lack of recognition given to the pioneers who laid its foundation.

As for the best thing about being a rapper, for the artist, it’s the power of their words resonating with others. “People listening to what I say. People taking the time to listen,” he said.

For Skvwalker, the dream collaboration lies with none other than Kanye West.

“I’m out for this man. He’s a big inspiration to my art, and his whole Yeezy tour was unlike any other, and I’m trying to recreate something like that,” he explained.

Photography by Caleb Foster

As someone with diverse talents in editing and music-making, he has faced various opinions about the best approach to success. While many appreciate his ability to handle multiple aspects, some advise him to focus on one area to achieve greater heights. “Despite how talented I am, I know I am, I’ve definitely learned to build a laser-focus on one thing, and that’s music for sure.”

His advice to aspiring artists in the rap industry is to remain true to themselves and not seek validation from others.

“You do not need any validation. Don’t try to build a team so fast. Don’t be moving too fast. What you need to do is grab a peace of mind, and once you do that, fight for it and get in the studio and record as much as you can. Record forever and don’t stop recording!”

Skvwalker’s musical journey is a testament to the power of staying true to one’s vision, using creativity to challenge conventions, and making a positive impact in the world of rap and beyond. As he continues to push boundaries and inspire others, we eagerly anticipate the brilliance he will undoubtedly bring to the rap music landscape.

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