Dancehall, Feature

Skillibeng Credits Vybz Kartel For His Career In Dancehall

Skillibeng says Vybz Kartel plays a pivotal role in his musical journey.

A little over a year ago, very few people knew the name Skillibeng, even though the talented artist had already shown how much promise he possessed. Fast forward to a year later and he’s become more than just a rising star in the genre but one that many believe will go on to have a long and profitable career. Even though Skillibeng, real name Emwah Warmington, had been on the scene since 2016, he gained true recognition with his anthem “Brik Pan Brik” in 2019. The deejay sat down with Winford Williams for an interview on On Stage on October 29. He shared about his journey in Dancehall so far and about where he would like to steer his career.

The artist, who is in his early 20s, said that he has worked hard on ensuring that his sound is unique. Something he added he worked on from his youthful days while listening to music when growing up. He said this is how he knows that he has a distinctive sound and why so many fans gravitate towards his style. “People like the difference that me give them and dem ah follow me,” he said. That’s why he always tries to ensure that his recordings are of good quality and added that he tries to include an element of surprise to keep his fans on their toes while impressing new fans to engage with his sound.

Unlike many other artists, the coronavirus has not slowed down his trajectory. He said while following the guidelines laid down by the Jamaican government he was still able to deliver new music. This is probably because as a younger artist he’s been able to keep his fans satiated through social media.

One of the major influences of his career and something that keeps him going is the mentorship that he has received from Vybz Kartel. Skillibeng said he believes that without the Worl’ Boss’ influence, he would not have been so successful in his career so far. He added that his intention has always been to add to the foundation of Dancehall and that Kartel showed him how to build his career by going back to the drawing board before entering the highly competitive genre.

“Big up to Kartel for make feel a star way, you know! Without him me wouldna really follow up music certain way.”

He revealed that his persistence has earned him some international collaborations, Young MA being the stand out one so far. He’s also been approached by other rising names in the industry like Jada Kingdom. The two put out “Shake Remix” and Skillibeng said he enjoyed working with her for the production because she made it easy. “It was easy, project never so fast. I mean quick and easy, less than 20 minutes,” he said.

For the fans wondering why he will not be making an appearance on the upcoming virtual Sumfest, it’s because of personal reasons. The main one being that he prefers to interact with his fans in person and doesn’t believe that a virtual show could give the same feeling he is after. He did say however that he would jump on the opportunity if the show goes back to the original format.

When asked about emerging artiste Ritikal and their similarity, Skillibeng simply suggested that fans listen to both artists to decide who they think is better. He also said that he was unfazed by the comparison and people who think that he stole Ritikal’s style. He added that he was the one who organised studio time for Ritikal and that he is part of the East Side camp.

His focus from this point on is just to keep delivering quality music. To do this he will keep developing his craft and said he is totally engrossed in producing good music and not getting stuck in a certain style. He takes pride in his music because his fans are from all over the world.

His unique ability is being able to critique his own music. It’s a gift that he believes will keep him on top of the game. He also used the forum to call for the freedom of Short Boss of Claims Records who he said were very critical to the building of his career. Skillibeng added that he hopes to combine all his skills to achieve international greatness.

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