At the age of 14, SK8 (pronounced Skate) was a big fan of sports. He excelled at playing basketball and had dreams of making it to the NBA. In addition to sports, listening to hip-hop music was one of his favorite hobbies. The teenager formerly known as Nathan Maloley would receive the opportunity to attend a music event that changed the course of his life. He attended a sold-out Wiz Khalifa concert and he thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance. The concert was entertaining, exciting, and inspirational. SK8 went home after the concert and started writing lyrics to popular beats off of Youtube. This marked his first official step towards starting his journey as a rap artist.
A product of Omaha, Nebraska, SK8’s one night of inspiration transitioned to a career as a rapper. After the fire was lit, SK8 continued making music. He went to Best Buy and bought some blank CDs. He transferred the songs he created to the CD’s, and started selling them at the high school he attended. SK8 was making moves with the music, and scoring major points on the basketball court. During his senior year of high school, he helped lead his team to the state championship game, but unfortunately, they fell short of winning the title. His achievements on the court provided him the opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship to play basketball for a Division II college which was located approximately two hours away from Omaha. SK8 was facing the dilemma of playing basketball or pursuing a career in music. He decided to do both.
A gateway to his music career developed when he found his niche. If an industry artist such as Big Sean came to perform at his college, SK8 would be the opening act. His career was trending in the right direction when he made the decision to put basketball to the side and placed all his energy into his music career.
He would return to Omaha and continue his musical journey. SK8 gained a lot of traction courtesy of the social networking service ‘Vine.’ He also gained a lot of notoriety by performing as the opening act on a House of Blues Tour. SK8 was gaining a lot of momentum and he felt a change of scenery was necessary as he relocated to Los Angeles. The move paid dividends as SK8 was flying to different cities and opening for artists such as Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and Rae Sremmurd.
As an independent artist, SK8 was booking shows via social media. He experienced success as an artist and he was ready to try his hand with the business side of the music industry. He started his label Alignment Records and he did a joint venture with Atlantic Records. SK8 made another business move when he linked up with one of his favorite rappers. He signed a management deal with Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang. One of SK8’s current hits, ‘Girl Next Door,’ is a laid-back track featuring Wiz Khalifa and DVBBS.
Sports/Entertainment Journalist Vince D’Writer went one one one with the multi-talented artist SK8.
Vince: Describe your Swagher. What makes SK8, SK8?
SK8: I’m about living in the present. Not thinking about the future or the past. Just living in the moment and sticking with that.
VInce: How did you come up with the name SK8?
SK8: My real name is actually Nathan. When I was younger my mother used to call me Skate. I played basketball in middle school and in high school. I also played a year in college. My college coach just randomly started calling me Skate because of the way I was moving around the court. I had a couple of names before SK8, but SK8 kind of stuck with me.
Vince: Describe the SK8 sound?
SK8: The SK8 sound has always been rooted in hip-hop. That’s always been my interest. The hip-hop culture and music have been my main driver. As I evolve now to my new project, we’re using real live instruments. Real live bass guitars, real live drums, but still using hip-hop melodies over the top of those beats.
Vince: Can you recall the first time you felt like a bonafide artist?
SK8: I haven’t felt like I’ve gotten there yet. I’m a competitor. I’m always trying to beat myself every day. I don’t know if I’ll get there because I’m always trying to better myself.
Vince: Talk to me about the new single.
SK8: The new song ‘Pages’ is the first song I dropped with Rook. I’ve been friends with him for a couple of years now. He’s a really talented musician and artist. We started getting in the studio and really transforming my new sound. In the new single he’s playing the drums and the guitar. The new song ‘Pages’ is really dope. We shot the video on my birthday last year while we were in Florida. I really like the video because it’s run and gun and authentic.
Vince: What does the future hold for SK8?
SK8: Just dropping more music that I enjoy listening back to. As an artist by the time I put the music out I already listened to the song so many times. Artists have a little bit of a thing where they love the music and then they’re on to the next one because we make so many songs. But yeah… just to enjoy the songs and enjoy the present. To be grateful and happy for the come-up, and not to look too far ahead. Seizing the moment is most important for me. I would love to play arenas one day and help people through my music if I can. Through the lyrics, if they can feel something that I feel it makes us more connected, and we can all connect through the music.