SK Shlomo, formerly known as Shlomo, is the brainchild of London-born singer-songwriter, beatboxer, producer and live looping technologist Simon Shlomo Kahn.
Born into a Middle-Eastern immigrant family, SK Shlomo first found musical success while studying Astrophysics at Leeds University, though his focus on music – which included touring as part of international hip hop group Foreign Beggars – ultimately led to him abandoning his studies.
From the age of 8, SK Shlomo began studying drums, percussion and piano. After winning a music scholarship at 9 years old, he began performing internationally in youth orchestras, writing music, drumming in his father’s jazz quartet, singing in a close-harmony group and in his teens building a following on the local band circuit.
From an early age he used vocal percussion as a way to practise and compose music, and by the age of 20 he was considered an early pioneer of modern beatboxing. SK Shlomo’s electronic sound quickly expanded on the art form’s traditional hip hop roots by adopting looping technology and drawing on his diverse influences, including trip hop, Latin and jazz, soul, reggae, art-pop, alternative rock and rave culture.
SK Shlomo first reached an international audience through his 2004 collaboration with Iceland’s Bjork and a 2005 solo performance on BBC2’s Later With Jools Holland. From 2007 onwards, as Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre alongside regular appearances at Glastonbury Festival, he collaborated with artists as diverse as Damon Albarn, Martha Wainwright, The Specials, Basement Jaxx, Newton Faulkner, Ed Sheeran, Rudimental, Jarvis Cocker and Lily Allen.
SK Shlomo’s fascination with technology led him to become the first World Looping Champion in 2011. Frustrated with the limitations of commercial looping equipment, he taught himself software engineering and developed an innovative customised live looping instrument, unveiled at a TEDx Talk in 2016.
Inspired by the freedom of this new machine, SK Shlomo has unlocked a new approach to his solo production, singing and songwriting, with two EPs planned for release in 2017 followed by his debut studio album.
Photo Credit: Matthew Allen