Growing up in rural Wisconsin, how did you first get introduced to rap music? What inspired you to start making your own music?

sKitz Kraven: Music has always been a big part of my life since I was a young child. My family introduced me to playing the piano at age four and from then on I started playing percussion instruments until my late teens. As for hip hop, the first hip hop album I ever owned was the “8 Mile Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” when I was in 4th grade. My mother made me get the edited version from Walmart. From then on, rap became my favorite genre.

What inspired me to start making my own music was the fact that it was therapy for my mental illness. I could write down all of my pain, excitement, anger, etc. all on a piece of paper and after doing so, I would feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders…I felt free. I turned my diary into poetry and then into songs. 

What also inspired me to start making my own music was that I was never fully satisfied with what rappers were talking about in their music. I wanted to hear songs that I wanted to listen to, so what better way to do that then to start making your own music.

You are quite open and comfortable talking about your struggles dealing with mental illness and drug addiction, has music helped you gain that confidence? How have these issues influenced your music?

sKitz Kraven: Music has changed my entire life for the better. Who I am today is a completely different person than who I was five years ago. I have always had confidence in doing the things that I love, but music has given me the confidence to overcome my demons. Music has given me a voice, a passion, and better yet, a way out of this mental trap. Although I still struggle everyday with mental roadblocks and temptations, I just zone back into my music and my career and suddenly my mind and thought process is back on track.

You’ve previously performed on shows with some respected artists in the genre including Juicy J, Waka Flocka Flame, Ice Cube, Yelawolf, Future, and Mickey Avalon and played at notable venues across Southern California like The Whisky A-Go-Go, House of Blues and The Novo. What makes your live performance stand out and what can fans expect to experience at a sKitz Kraven gig?

sKitz Kraven: As soon as I step on stage, people can feel my energy. I’m a lunatic that is throwing the hottest party in town. That party is my show. There is nothing I hate more than seeing an artist standing still on a stage. If my audience and I are not drenched in sweat by the end of my show, then my fans deserve a refund. I treat my show like a Broadway play, just like I treat my songs like a box office movie. The whole room will get exactly what they came to see.

At one point you were releasing a new track every week, which ended up compiled across two full-length releases, #NewMusicMondays (The Collection) Volume 1 & 2, did you feel the need to release those tracks in such a manner due to the diversity of your music which caters to multiple genres (Horrorcore, R&B, Rap/Hip-Hop)?

sKitz Kraven: I’m a studio rat. I love being in the booth. I am constantly creating, brainstorming, and executing day in and day out. It’s impossible for me to go a month without making at least one song. Being able to keep my audience on their toes with each new release is what is so fun about being such a versatile artist. I could drop a horrorcore song one week, and the next week I could drop the most romantic love song. They will never be able to say my music all sounds the same…ever.

My biggest problem is that I want to constantly spoil my fans and give them new music on a regular basis. I’m a fan of music first and foremost, so I know the amazing feeling I get when my favorite artist drops a new song. I want my fans to feel that same excitement. 

What’s in store for sKitz Kraven for the rest of 2019?

sKitz Kraven: A lot…you’ll just have to listen.