Local Rapper Sean Skiez Working on Steady Release Schedule

Story by Kris Ketonen, Photos by Crow Creations

The New Year marked a major shift for Sean Skiez.

While the Fort William First Nation artist has been in the local rap scene for about a decade—Skiez formerly performed under the name Apache, battling and playing various venues in Thunder Bay—it was around the beginning of this year that Skiez, as he himself puts it, began to take himself seriously, with an eye to building a career in hip hop.

That meant “using the proper resources, the proper recording equipment, finding the proper producer to outsource, obviously, the instrumental or the beat,” Skiez says. “Just doing everything in a professional way that I wouldn’t do before. Putting my time, my own money, investing it in myself.”

Granted, if one listens to Skiez talk about his love of music, particularly hip hop, this change doesn’t come as a big surprise. It’s certainly something he never took lightly. “I find the way you can express yourself through lyrics and through wordplay, it gets me a different feeling,” Skiez says. “It’s a cool way to express yourself, especially if you’re dealing with something like anxiety, or if you have some personal issues or something like that, I find that hip hop or just rap and music like that, it’s soothing. It helps when you’re able to write these things down, and just express yourself.”

The new approach has led Skiez to step up his efforts when it comes to releasing music, as well. In February, for example, Skiez released the song “Rough,” which was followed by
“Alright” in March. Another single is poised for release at the end of April, says Skiez, who counts The Kid LAROI, Drake, Ian Dior, Machine Gun Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Neil Young among his influences. “I want to focus more just on singles rather than albums for now,” he says. “I am aiming for a single each month, or every second month,” he continues, adding that he’s concentrating on “just kind of being focused on these singles just to have music out there right now.”

Sean Skiez will be performing at the International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards, which take place May 22 and 23. To learn more, visit https://www.indigenoushiphopawards.com/. To hear some of Skiez’s music, visit his SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/iamseanskiez.