Eora-based artist and producer Big Skeez has delivered his debut mixtape, Work Don’t Stop via NLV Records.
A release that is boldly personal with intent grounded in reality, Work Don’t Stop holds a defined sense of originality, all while enveloping a collective experience that is proudly from and for a community, whether it lies in Africa or in Dharawal Land / Western Sydney. Planting himself alongside global stars like Fireboy DML, J Hus, and Burna Boy, Big Skeez blends a variety of styles without hesitation, immersing himself in the sounds of Africa, pulling from the Amapiano, Afrobeat, Afro Swing, Rap and R&B that has been studied from his parents and “borrowed” from older siblings in between his years of consistent output.
In his most personal project yet, Big Skeez shares stories of returning to his African roots, learning lessons of patience through lived experience and the impact collaboration has in opening doors to new sounds, ideas and genres. Of the release, Big Skeez shares, “The mixtape is about my past trials and tribulations, my past life struggles and trying to accomplish my goals through tough situations. I'm talking about accomplishing goals and never quitting regardless of the situation. You keep moving and keep pushing. This mixtape pretty much tells my story from my teen days to my adulthood.”
Including the previously released ‘Hello’, ‘90’s Baby’ ‘Work Don’t Stop’, ‘Go Back Home’, ‘Up’, ‘Bang’, ‘Where Yuh From’ and ‘No Trace’, we’re introduced to new tracks ‘I Might Just’, ‘Flip The Script’, ‘Often’ and ‘Recognise’, all of which add to the mixtape’s central themes, a release that is in constant conversation with his roots, tracing back generations and running across continents. Leaning into the value of collaboration, the mixtape is has been written, produced and mixed by Swick (M.I.A, JLo, Tkay Maidza), Airieenati, OG Sterling, Leemix, Korky Buchek, Mykah, J. Stixx, Jxses, Graeye, BeatsByJoel and Isiah 22. ‘I Might Just’ is a sultry cut that flexes Big Skeez’ melodic flow, and ‘Flip The Script’ captures the spirit of community, which in Big Skeez’ words “is about me and my team taking over the city and running it, winning and doing what you love and succeeding in it”. ‘Often’ dives into the experience of individuality and choice, where he recounts “life changes and people I have left behind due to dramas and choosing to do my own thing and live my life”, and spotlighted today is ‘Recognise’, a track that explores the notion of “embracing yourself and letting people know that your that guy. No matter who puts you down, you still walk with your head up”.
Praised by tastemakers including triple j, triple j Unearthed, FBi Radio, NME Australia, Acclaim Magazine, Rolling Stone Australia, Pilerats and Take Flight for his unique point of difference that highlights the rich history and legacy of culture, this is Big Skeez at his most heartfelt and sincere. On the mixtape’s visuals, Big Skeez collaborated with photographer Richmond Kobla Dido, frequent collaborator Murli Dhir and creative director Basjia Almaan to bring together an all-Sudanese cast. Almaan shares, "It is imperative that black artists are seen, heard, and celebrated in this country. Black culture is at the centre of music and art. Mainstream trends are modelled off black people, the style, the steez, the hair, the WOMEN, are the blueprint and rarely do black people get credit or recognition. It was important that this art celebrated that, celebrated the culture and those who are a part of it and continue to create it".
In a mammoth career so far, Big Skeez has voiced and soundtracked the Western Sydney Wanderers A-League team with his song ‘Up’, toured with Allday, amassed over 10k Shazams for his Human Movement-collaboration ‘House Check’, and featured in campaigns for Vogue and GQ. Big Skeez has recently performed at SXSW Sydney and Promiseland, and will soon be hosting two mixtape launch events in Eora / Sydney and Naarm / Melbourne. Offering a different light to the surfeit of music that is currently emanating from his hometown, Work Don’t Stop lies in a clear-cut, melodically-driven lane of his own.
Work Don’t Stop is out now via NLV Records