Skull: Changing Faces

Just by taking a glance at Skull, you would never think that he is a serious, focused, and in-tune Reggae artist. Born and raised in Korea, Skull has broken yet another barrier in the music world and is coming to a hood near you to prove his worth in the game. But can he survive the frequent shallow waters of the young consumer and reach the depths of their souls? Stamped by Mariah Carey’s brother, Morgan Carey, Skull’s modesty and spiritualism may be able to keep him afloat in this “waiting” pool of one hit wonders and veterans all trying to find their spot in line for next up.Skull talks about being a Korean Reggae artist, and how his Asian counterparts perceive his emergence out of a typically proud and reserved culture, and his public embrace of the Rastafarian way of life. He reveals his experience thus far with America and sheds light on what keeps him level-headed and rational through these beginning stages of what some believe is stardom. Alternatives: You're a Korean born, roots-reggae artist. How did that come to be? Was there something from Korean culture that encouraged Rasta culture for you in particular?Skull: Reggae music is pretty unknown in Korea. When I was young, I heard aBob Marley bootleg record and was hooked. After that, I hunted down all the Reggae music I could find, which is not easy where I come from.AHHA: How do other Koreans and Asians in general respond to you?Skull: I think some Koreans think I am not proud to be Korean, because I loveRastafarian culture and reggae music, but that is not true. I love my country very much. Many Koreans write me that it makes them feel good to see a fellow Korean being popular in the States. They don't feel so left out of the American Dream.AHHA: How has America responded to you thus far?Skull: In the beginning it would be like, "Hey Chink, get off the stage" or "@#$!* where you from?" But after I sing a few bars, they are cool with me, all love. Now more people know about me, but before they would look at me and form an opinion then they would trip like," is that really his voice?" Music is universal, but sometimes people forget that.AHHA: Who is the audience you feel your music reaches?Skull: Music comes from deep inside of me, and I think people who have felt and experienced life deeply and very real recognize that in me.AHHA: Which of the reggae legends do you feel have most inspired your career?Skull: Bob Marley, definitely. I really admire Buju Banton very much too.AHHA: Have you ever experienced the vibe of Jamaica and the West Indies? What was it like for you as an artist?Skull: A few years ago I made a video in Jamaica, the people were so good to me. It was very great, and I met an old man there who changed my life. He told me we’re brothers and gave me an amulet of the lion of Judah in the shape of Africa. It is tattooed on my chest now.AHHA: What would you say to those who negatively judge your career as a reggae artist?Skull: I always strive to humbly judge myself before judging someone else. I hope I can encourage others to follow this path.AHHA: Is it just the music you love or are you inspired by the culture and traditions carried on in Jamaican/West Indian lifestyle that propelled you towards reggae?Skull: I am so moved by the entire experience – the music, culture, levity, history, and humanity. This is completely beautiful for me and touches my heart.AHHA: How did you start working with Mariah Carey's brother, Morgan Carey?Skull: Morgan was in Korea for a wedding and met YG who is the boss of my label. YG wanted him to work with another artist on label that is very famous in Asia, but he said he would like to work with me, that he saw something special in me… I was very surprised and grateful.AHHA: What type of deal have you secured with him?Skull: I have a deal with YG in Korea. Morgan is partners with YG for my music outside of Korea in English. He guides and manages my career in the States.AHHA: Is Mariah co-signing you as well?Skull: No. We are just friends; she was very nice to me when we first met. She treated me very kindly, made me laugh and feel so comfortable.AHHA: That's huge to be recognized by them. What are your plans together?Skull: I think we will be in this movie together that her brother Morgan is co-producing, and maybe work on some music together.AHHA: What's the first single you're pushing in the States? And is there a particular reason for it?Skull: “Boom Di Boom di,” it's a summer party record, and we did an animated 3D video, which is getting love in the States, UK, and Jamaica. It's a feel good record and video. I went out and bought a Billboard magazine today, it's already #10 on the Hip Hop/R&B Singles Sales Chart in its second week!AHHA: What type of production will be behind you?Skull: I produced “Boom Di Boom di,” and have worked with Mike Cip and Solitair and Kardinal Offishal on some of my other riddims. I am looking forward to working with other producers too.AHHA: Reggae has run side by side with Hip-Hop in terms of easily being able to crossover from one genre to the other. Will you be focusing more on the roots-reggae side collaborating with alternative artists more often, or will you focus on more Hip-Hop driven collaborations?Skull: I am a reggae artist and am most interested in making reggae music. I love Hip-Hop and am open to any interesting collaborations, but my first love will always be reggae music.AHHA: You've been all over the world. What is your favorite place to perform or where do they welcome you especially gracefully?Skull: So far, I have to say that in Tampa, Florida when I opened for Buju Banton the audience showed me so much love. AHHA: Do you feel like you will be able to stand the test of time and last with your sound and style through the ever-changing tides of music?Skull: I am making music because it's what I love, it's deeply personal and I am not doing this for fame or to get rich. If just one person enjoys or is moved by my music, I am so happy.AHHA: Is there something that your fans should know about you and your project?Skull: Please check my site for news I hope you will like my music. My album will have some great feel good party songs, inspirational anthems, and deeply personal messages. I make music because it's what I love. I am just a humble human being, there are many much more important things going on in the world, in Africa, Iraq, and all over the planet. We can never forget how small we are compared to the greatness of God.