Skizzy Mars is coming up with the quickness. When we listened to him for the first time, it was “Douchebag,” and before that, we’d never even heard the name Skizzy Mars. Things are different now. With his meticulous delivery and knack for extremely catchy, non-traditional hip-hop, his sound is catching on. He draws comparisons to Drake, Wiz, and sometimes Kanye, but he’s unlike all these guys in too many ways to list. One of the most obvious is that he’s young—dangerously young. If at 18 years old, Skizzy is already this polished, and gaining this much momentum, it’s hard to imagine him being anything but successful.
First off, how old are you, and where do you come from?
I’m 18. Born and raised in Manhattan, New York.
Are you currently in school? Have you ever had a job besides rapper?
I went to school upstate for ten weeks and dropped out to do this full time. And nah, I was never really into actual work. I wrote for this Knicks website because I used to be into the sports media world. But guys on SportsCenter don’t get groupies.
When I first posted you at P&P, I remember I just got a random email with your track and I posted it without knowing anything about you. After that, it seemed like your music started popping up everywhere. How did you start getting noticed by all the blogs?
For “Douchebag” and “Profound,” my first two songs, I sent out descriptive e-mails to a bunch of websites I read and wanted my shit on. After those two were successful, I just started posting my music and everything grew on the internet organically.
I know you’ve been putting in some work with artist like G-Eazy and Dj Carnage. Who else have you been working with?
For the mixtape, Jhameel is the only artist I’ve reached out to so far. I’m just trying to tell some of my story before I try to help other artists tell theirs. I just came across Jhameel’s work and thought he had a great voice, and the shit he’s doing melodically and lyrically is genius. So we reached out to him. “All I Could Do” was one of my first features and I listen to that track a lot and just laugh at how off I went. When I first heard that beat and G-Eazy sampling “Dance Yrself Clean,” I knew we were on the same page. Oncue is another guy I’m talking to. Dope as fuck. Production wise I’m fucking with people that I think are the future. Slow Magic, RJ Ferguson, Moss of Aura. We’re trying to make revolutionary music.
How’d you get linked in with the other artists?
My managers and I just reach out to people I think are dope. We’re always on the lookout. They’re A&Rs and I’m just always listening to different shit so we find what’s dope. I’m skeptical about associating with too many people or not the right people, so if I reach out to someone I really fuck with them and their movement.
You’ve definitely got a different sound. It doesn’t really fall in line with a lot of the mainstream hip-hop, but at the same time it’s extremely catchy and accessible. Where do you see yourself fitting in? Do you consider yourself part of the college rap scene?
I don’t associate with college rap at all. I’m not in college, I’ve done maybe four college shows. I fuck with college. I went for a term and had the time of my life, but most of those kids listen to shitty music. And most of these “college rappers” aren’t diverse or unique. I just think the type of stuff I’m making is way more avant-garde and thoughtful. That goes for G-Eazy and all these guys. I don’t want to limit myself to this one-sided genre. I’m 18, I’m growing.
Seems like your managers know what they’re doing. Are they from a major label?
Yeah, they work at Atlantic.
If you got offerred a deal with a major label right now, would you take it?
Haha. I can’t say.
“Can’t Say” like you’re not sure if you would or not, or “can’t Say” like you’re legally not allowed to give that information?
If it was the right deal/label, then yeah I would be open to it.
Who’s your favorite rapper right now?
Right now, Asap or Honey Cocaine. Of all time, Yeezy hands down.
You sample some indie stuff in your music. Do you listen to a lot of music besides hip-hop?
Yeah, I grew up on Simple Plan and Good Charlotte in like middle school. Punk rock I guess. In 9th grade a friend of mine sent me a folder with Animal Collective “Feels,” Beirut “Gulag Orkestar” and “The Flying Club Cup,” and a lot of Death Cab shit. I just started listening to a lot of more indie shit and got into folk. My biggest two influences are probably The Killers and Death Cab melody wise. Ben Gibbard and Brandon Flowers taught me how to write vocal melodies. I listen to a lot of house now too. Really into the new Chairlift album, and the Lana Del Rey record. But rap is dope too. Meek MillI and and French Montana are dope. I fucked with Rich Forever heavy.
Do you do all your own production?
None of it so far. Trying to learn. I feel like if you can produce your own shit too, it’s just completely your story. Your self-expression. That’s why I think G is so dope.
Got any Valentine’s Day plans?
Why’d you break up with your last girlfriend?
I’ve never had a girlfriend.
What’s the last book you read?
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
A lion! King of the jungle but also tamed and collective.
When’s the last time you smoked weed?
In 15 minutes.
Does your mom like your music?
Yeah, huge fan.
Fuck, chuck, marry: Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna
Miley Cyrus’ teeth have always bothered me. Gotta have better teeth. I would definitely fuck Lindsay Lohan. Childhood thing. Marry Rihanna—she’s perfect.
Pigeons or Planes? And why?
Planes, man. I’m going on tour soon!