20 Questions: Slikback
Nairobi native Slikback came to the world’s attention as part of influential dancefloor collective Nyege Nyege.
His raw and energising style has many reference points, from Congolese rhythms and East African hip-hop to US trap and footwork, but it’s the dexterity with which he brings them together that has made Slikback a rising underground star. We tracked him down to ask him a set of quick-fire questions.
What’s your biggest fear?
The void. Large, dark empty spaces freak me out.
Who do you look up to the most?
My mum. She managed to deal with so much shit and still gave me a great life, even without much.
What’s the weirdest DM you’ve ever received?
A satanic mantra.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To see crowd-pleasing as secondary.
What makes you feel nostalgic?
A great melody, even if it’s the first time I’m hearing it.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Picking between music and school. I didn’t know how music was going to turn out and at the time I had nothing to fall back on. It was a life decision with major consequences.
What’s the weirdest party you’ve ever been to?
All the parties I play at are pretty weird in their own way – full of amazing people with different perspectives, considered weirdos by society.
What’s the biggest realisation you’ve had in the past year?
If I don’t feel comfortable doing something then it’s definitely not worth doing.
Proudest moment of your life?
Playing in the desert in Sharjah. The concert was in an excavated ancient palace. It was a dream of mine to play in a space like that.
What’s your worst habit?
Getting stuck in my own thoughts and failing to get out of that spiral.
Best piece of advice you’d give a budding DJ?
Have fun and slow down when it stops being fun.
Your favourite food of all time?
Who’s inspiring you right now?
My friends in Kampala making ends meet, despite everything happening right now.
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Watching an old TV show called Beast Wars early in the morning and seeing transforming shapes.
Favourite city in the world and why?
Tokyo. I found some extremely warm people who showed me around, ate incredible food and went to an amazing fashion district.
Weirdest thing you’ve seen in the club?
Probably finding a sex dungeon.
What would you want written on your tombstone?
“Lived the life he wanted.”
What’s your favourite lyric of all time?
“I know I’m not the only one smoking hemp!” from Sybyr’s track Hemp. It’s hilarious how aggressively it kicks off the track.
What piece of advice would you give young Slikback?
Keep a clear mind through whatever ends up happening.
What instantly cheers you up?
Slikback appears on Alterity released via Houndstooth on 28 August. Become a Crack Magazine Supporter today to read the full issue.