Born in Johannesburg and raised in Doncaster, UK, Skinny Pelembe poses a quadruple threat – he produces, plays the guitar, sings and MCs, tapping into a unique, influence-weaving sound.
Skinny Pelembe is a multi-talented wonder who crafts patchworks of personal and musical touchstones. First debuting in 2017, he has honed a distinctive musical style. He celebrates flawed, post-recession Britain, exalting the UK in all of its imperfect, contradictory realities.
Growing up in Doncaster, his varied approach to his influences started at an early age. His two older brothers were heavily into Hip-Hop, while he would also absorb the West Coast folk and Country music played by his father. His family has always influenced the way he thinks about his lyrics.
His music has spurred new connections and garnered him attention from artists he has long admired, such as legendary producer and label owner James Lavelle (Mo’Wax), who once contacted him to open for UNKLE at the Royal Festival Hall.
He threw himself into the pockets of creativity he could find in his Yorkshire hometown, such as the Higher Rhythm studio (where some of his music was recorded), where he would start going to record music from when he was 16. Its owner, Steven Mundin, would give Skinny and his friends’ free recording time and put them onto music.
The references for the artwork for his “Dreaming Is Dead Now” album speaks to the diverse palette of influences which have always under laid his approach, nodding to two of his favourite albums, Alice Coltrane’s “Journey to Satchidananda” and The White Stripes’ “White Blood Cells”. The album sees all of these different markers melded into something altogether new.
On “Dreaming Is Dead Now”, he underscores his distinctive position as an artist. It’s a rare kind of record – the kind where the messy, in-between musical spaces are given moments to shine.
Listen to Skinny Pelembe’s music on The Global Experience hosted by Just Mo every Sunday, 2PM-6PM.
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Make sure to tune into tune into YFM on 99.2 or via streaming on www.yfm.co.za, the YFM app or DStv channel 859.
Written by: Y