Yes, there are a lot of Lil artists out there, but Lil Skies is one you should get to know. The 22-year-old Pennsylvanian, born Kimetrius Foose, started catching people's attention in 2017 when he released his first mixtape, Alone, off the back of a tour with Fetty Wap.
Today he drops his new album Unbothered, with features from both Wiz Khalifa and Lil Durk. It's an album that talks about how his critics don't get to him - because he's forging his own path. To celebrate the release of the album, we're catching you up to speed with 5 things to know about Lil Skies.
His dad was a big influence in his music career
Lil Skies' dad had a huge impact in getting Lil Skies into music, because he was a musician himself called Dark Skies. His father actually had a near-death experience at work (there was a chemical explosion) when Lil Skies was young, so when he got better Lil Skies decided he would never take life for granted. He dove straight into music, even creating a collaborative album with his father called Father-Son Talk.
He also tells Billboard that his first time in the studio was when he was four. "My dad used to do music and shit, so basically growing up, I used to just watch him. That’s all I used to just see. When I would see my dad, that’s what our relationship was. I ain’t see my pops like that, but when I did, we would be at the studio or some shit like that.
"I started freestyling and stuff, and he got me a boombox. One day he recorded me on his phone, and he was showing his friends like, “You gotta get him in the studio.” He took me to the studio when I was four. Ever since I recorded my first song, I was nervous, but I knew it was a crazy-ass feeling. It felt like something I couldn’t explain."
His tattoos serve to mark his commitment to music
Lil Skies knows that when you get face tats, it's tough to get an office job. That works to his benefit though - Lil Skies says he started getting heaps of ink to make sure he commits himself fully to a music career. "That shit’s like music. It’s just something that grows with me. I just be going with the flow," Lil Skies says. "I know for sure that when I get a new tat, it’s for life. I don’t got no regrets with any of my tats. I got tattoos that are really old looking, old feeling, but at the same time, I like it. It’s art to me." He's also been noted to say he'd love to master the art of tattooing one day.
His speedy rise is hard for him to believe
After he released Life Of A Dark Rose, it meant Lil Skies was suddenly getting noticed in public, had to work harder, had more and more achievements to fathom. As amazing as a quick ascent is, Lil Skies says the pressure has taken a toll.
"I feel hella pressure. I can’t lie. I’m human, you feel me? At times, I feel like I got the world on my shoulders. It’s unreal to me, a lot of this shit. Now I’m at a point where so much shit keeps happening. I keep achieving so much and it’s like -- if you achieve something and the next day you achieve something else, how do you have time to celebrate and enjoy what you’ve achieved? Now it’s like a whole bunch of achievements but it’s so much work."
He's all about natural collaborations
Unbothered only has 2 features on it, but that's the way he likes it. Speaking to Complex, he'd rather only include features that feel right, rather than trying to jump on any trends. "I just like to show that I'm my own artist, I'm my own person.
"I don't like to force no relationships... It gotta be mutual love. We gotta both wanna make that song together. If we don't, I'm not making that song with you."
His biggest musical influences are very relatable
Even successful rappers have musical influences like ours, and Lil Skies looks up to 50 Cent, Travis Scott and Lil Wayne. He says his music is super relatable too "because what [he's] going through is real" - the best part, he says, is the fact that he's inspiring others, which in turn inspires him.