If you haven’t heard by now, Skizzy Mars dropped Phases on the 26th. After a string of singles that have received acclaim from everyone who is anyone, a few of those and some other tracks were compiled into this mixtape for your listening pleasure.
Skizzy Mars isn’t quite like any other rapper and he makes that clear in both his music and his general persona. He references indie artists as inspirations instead of Tupac, and his subject matter is way more varied than most any other artist going.
I had the chance to throw a few questions at Skizzy Mars and here’s what he had to say:
S: First off, educate the uneducated. What can folks expect when they hear Skizzy Mars rap?
Skizzy Mars: Something they’ve probably never heard anything like. I’m not your typical rap dude, and my music reflects that.
S: You’re me and you’re writing about Phases. What three tracks on the mixtape are guaranteed to put asses in seats for Skizzy Mars?
Skizzy Mars: Probably ‘Douchebag,’ ‘Sideways,’ and maybe ‘Cheer Up.’ It’s been out a day and I’ve already heard each track is someone’s favorite. Each song is amazing, I made sure of that.
S: “Insomniac” is my early favorite on Phases. It’s chill, and you seem to be rapping from a more vulnerable position than I would say most hip-hop artists are comfortable with. It has quite a different feel, particularly in comparison to a lot of the bigger singles folks have probably heard. What’s the story behind this cut?
Skizzy Mars: Just sort of a stream of consciousness type track. I’ve been doing quite a bit of introspection and that was one of the songs I made and really tried to portray a feeling, my feelings. Even my delivery on that track. I find it fascinating that if I wake up and something worrying is on my mind, I can’t sleep. The mind is powerful. Sometimes I write from a sane, rational point of view and sometimes I’m just frantic and feel like I’m going crazy. ‘Insomniac’ is just about how powerful my thoughts are really.
S: I’ve read in various places that there are two versions of “Sirens”. It’s my favorite Skizzy Mars track, not the least because it’s the name of my blog. I feel like the chorus of “Sirens” should play when folks read my “ABOUT” page. What exactly is this older version of “Sirens”?
Skizzy Mars: Just a track I recorded on my macbook when I was 16. Sort of a joke, something I wouldn’t want someone to listen to. A fan found it and uploaded it to youtube and it got a bunch of views so I remade it. Came out awesome so now I rock with it.
S: It’s fairly well known that you’re a bit of a connoisseur of indie music. What new artists have you bumped lately?
Skizzy Mars: Hmm, let’s see. Sweater Beats is fucking dope as hell. Trying to work with him on this next project. I’ve been bumping a lot of Disclosure and Cashmere Cat. So many dope new young artists. Travis $cott, Chance The Rapper. ASAP Ferg is unreal. Magic Man is dope.
S: You’ve said before you weren’t big on school, only sports and music. What sport(s) do you follow closest, and do you support any teams outside of New York?
Skizzy Mars: Nah, only New York teams. I support the Jets and Mets (I root for underdogs). Huge Knicks fan. Probably the biggest Knicks fan in the world. On some crazy emotional shit.
S: You’re one of a growing number of artists to come from typing out a few e-mails to music blogs to suddenly exploding and being able to tour the country. It all happened in a relatively short period of time. What put you on top of all those other names struggling for exposure?
Skizzy Mars: Better music.
S: Your given name is the same as my 2 ½ year old son. He’s just figuring out the world, running fast, being wild, and doing cool ass kid things that make parents like me type up goofy status updates on Facebook. You’re achieving your dreams at a young age. What would you tell a little fella like him who has the whole world in front of him?
Skizzy Mars: Take the world in. Enjoy life. And don’t be so hard on yourself. And try to learn from your mistakes even though nobody really learns that until they’re like 30.
If you’ve truly been living underground, Phases is right below for you to stream. Below that you’ll find the download for the mixtape – all you need to do is input your own e-mail address.