Tell us a bit about your journey?
I got kicked out of my Mums house at a young age and I used music as a way to deal with the stuff I was going through. I was 17 living in a hostel and I wasn’t even in my ends… so I started writing songs… just privately for myself.
One of those Christian people who come to the hostel and tell you about God came over and was like ‘what you doing?’ I said, I’m writing an apology to my mum, she said ‘oh let me hear it’ as she was listening she started to cry which shocked me. Like… I cried when I was younger and got taken the piss out of, so to see the opposite happening I was like ‘rah ok cool’.
At this point music had been on my mind for a while and I took it from there, but I had the maddest hiatus, I went to Uni for a long time, it wasn’t for me. However the reason I started doing music again was… I was at uni and I showed an ex one of my songs, mad jarring, she showed her roomates, who showed the rest of the halls, so when I went to see her I’m hearing myself through the speakers… and I was like who the hell started playing this song? It was some corny, cringeworthy song, they were playing it full blast but they were like ‘yeah we love this don’t give up music’ kind of thing.
Then a friend of mine who was just recently released from jail was like ‘how do u wanna blow?’ Tinie Tempeh or Scorcher? You’re hood, you’re around them guys but don’t act that way, you could really take off! I was like ‘hmmmm’. Left uni went Bedford, that didn’t work, came back to the ends, tried to behave, that didn’t work, moved around, just trying to formulate a plan. Now I’m on the last legs of that plan.
Then out of the blue I got booked for a show in Atlanta. There was press, like when I walked into the main hotel, there was a sea of press, A&Rs, promoters and DJs, and I was like “fuck I’m out of my depth, AND I have no promotional shit!” Then I was walking out of the escalator and I bumped into Vick Mensah and I was like ‘mate do u know how big u are?!’.. All very surreal but eye opening.
Who were some of your earliest influences?
Nas & Tupac inspired me when I was younger because they were educated… but thugs. I was, very, very educated but not so much thug haha! I got my stomach tattooed because they both did, that’s how big of an impact they had. But as I got older, and the lines became dimmed I kinda slipped out of this “good boy” routine.
What do you think is happening with the London music scene right now?
I feel the uk scene is in a mad growth and its wonderful to see, the way people are amalgamating and building empires is so motivating. We have our own orbit right now and we don’t need places like the USA to boost our ego you know like that. You gotta give it to people like Stormzy and Skepta for putting us on a different platform.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Realistically in 10 years time I’ll be doing tours. Definitely going to have a family, be settled down. Being in this country though is a big ‘IF’. I probably won’t live in this country but I’ll bounce back and forth. I want to have a house in London, but live in Paris… only because I don’t stay in one place. What’s mad is in 10 years time I see myself more educated. Being educated is key to any of these said goals.
Tell us about your latest release?
My new track ‘OCCA$$ION’ goes live 17th November, you can download that from 20th, on all streaming platforoms. Going to be doing promo around Shoreditch and a few other places. There’s gonna be more consistency from $KINNY MALON£ now. With the issues we faced with YouTube taking down my entire page we have had to start from scratch but its been re-uploaded and you can check it out now on YouTube or via www.iamskinnymalone.com
What is the origin of your name?
So basically, while at uni an ex called me “Skinny Malinki” as like a passing joke, but I heard “Skinny Malone” and thought “f**k it, I’m gonna run with it” and the rest is history. The reason I changed it up ($KINNY MALON£), is cos everything starts and ends with money.
How would you describe your personal style?
I call it “hood couture”. I like to play the margin. You don’t have to be gangster, you don’t have to be hipster. I wear tracksuits with this Auntie May thing on my head that keeps my hair dry. I like letting people know that you don’t have to pick a side. Do as you do. That’s why I purposefully choose to talk about things that are outlandish. At the end of the day, we didn’t come into this game to be friends with anyone. It’s nice that I’ve got friends from music – but it’s how it is.
What is your dream gig?
Madison square gardens. Or in the UK – Hackney Empire.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
It sounds weird but in my spare time I like to go on walks, around the city or in nature. Tip for everyone reading this walking around London… look up! You will realize this city is actually a beautiful place. Obviously because I have adhd, it’s nice to be quiet and deal with it myself. I like to go places that couples go on my own and just see what people’s reactions are. What can I say I’m a cynic haha.
Best advice you have ever been given?
In life ‘‘Nothing else matters if you’re not happy’’, you can have all the money in the world but if you’re not happy it’s peak. Music wise – ‘‘you have to be the captain of your ship’’. Sometimes with life, people think things will happen to them not realizing you have to go and grab it yourself.