Those that matter don’t mind. Those that mind don’t matter. Mind over matter.
The successful pursuit of artistic endeavour has afforded Skinny Pelembe some well-earned lie-in’s, but don’t confuse a late start with laziness. The singer-guitarist-producer has been burning the midnight oil working on music that has featured on 6 Music and Radio 1 Xtra. After recently finishing a UK tour supporting the release of his single ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Prisoner’, Doncaster-raised Skinny offers The Mind Map his varied insight into accepting personal loss, and how best to navigate the London Underground with musical equipment in tow.
What are you working on at the moment?
Album 1 tracks, beats for other folks, a choral arrangement, album 2 demos, ideas for a special super cool science project, and since painting the new EP cover I’m trying to get my brush game up again!
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
Honestly, just trying to keep it together since losing my old man (as in passing on, not like losing him in one of those mega Sainsburys stores that do bedding and stuff, too). I guess you don’t overcome, more accept, having music / art as an outlet is so massively underrated.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
I might have had the perfect day in Nottingham last weekend, the city that just gives! City centre paddling pool, fairground, artificial beach, a Universal Works store, we played a show at Rough Trade, Yazmin Lacey and the Running Circle crew came out to hang. The only thing more that I wanted was a 99 flake, and when I finally got one I think I felt my pancreas bend upwards to form a smile shape.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I’m very quickly becoming obsessed with Aldous Harding’s voice and singing faces, so I’m listening and watching her A LOT. Reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami again, the whole mood of the book just feels so familiar, it’s the comforting literary equivalent of pie and mash for me.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I’m most grateful that for at least most of my working week I don’t have to wake up before 9am anymore. That sounds lazy, but I’ll happily work till 4am, so get off my back, man!
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
…being the salmon that can swim upstream, and not necessarily make it up the river, but still smile as you push through the current.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
As little sugar and “bad” carbs as possible. Apart from the obnoxious amount of Rubicon passion fruit, and Maoam, and Nata cakes I consume.
I have the Juan Manuel Fangio of metabolisms, so until it slows down I’m just gonna continue to read loads about nutrition and be that wanker talks the talk but doesn’t walk it.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Running everywhere with my guitar, amp and pedals. I’m working with transport for London on a system that incorporates the kettlebell “functional movement” style into the “late musician lugging loads of gear around” routine, I think it’s just going to be a game changer…
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
SJC. Standing Jump Crew. A rag tag group of young, dedicated mavericks with one goal – to push the limits of the standing-start long jump. I left the game as Doncaster Metropolitan Borough’s under 12’s Long Jump champ. The group disbanded shortly after. I’d hit the wall. Literally.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Oh Yoko – John Lennon
Show Me What You Got – Busta Rhymes
Just One Second – London Elektricity
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
Those that matter don’t mind.
Those that mind don’t matter.
Mind over matter.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Paul McKenna’s Deep Relaxation Guided Hypnosis tape. Sounds ridiculous. Is ridiculous. But it works…
You can find Skinny Pelembe’s latest tour dates and releases here.