Rolling Stone Australia


Future Is Now: The Skins


Future Is Now: The Skins

For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.

SOUNDS LIKE: "Paper Planes" soaring over "Whole Lotta Love"; R&B and hip-hop hooks with a rock knockout punch.

FOR FANS OF: Janelle Monáe, Miguel, the Internet

WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Though all only aged 17 to 24, this Brooklyn crew of New York School of Rock classmates are already signed to Republic. "We're at SXSW in 2013, we're playing a little show," remembers vocalist Bay Li. "About a week later, we got an e-mail with some plane tickets to go to Malibu to hang out with Rick [Rubin]. We performed for him and he signed us."

Since then, the Skins have written (and mostly discarded) 150 songs, tearing away from a vintage rock and blues foundation and falling in with an ultramodern hip-hop aesthetic. Their Still Sleep EP features funk, soul and Neptunes-style trunk thumping, as well as a popping collab with D.R.A.M. for the lead single, the Daytrip-produced "Bury Me".

THEY SAY: "The [School of Rock] does a David Bowie show," says guitarist Daisy Spencer. "You are not only covering the song, you have to get in dress-up mode and play the part. It is studying, like method acting almost. You're watching live videos and learning how to cover all these different standards. Everything is studying. We took it upon ourselves to study intensely what we were learning. If we were playing Prince, we were learning everything about him."

HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Bury Me" showcases Bay Li's swagger on the mic and the band's live effervescence.


Topics: Future Is Now   The Skins


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