…more and more people here are starting to
accept that I’m very serious about this.
Chaunce Hayden: Just how popular is rap music in
Max Skiba: For starters here in Ireland people record
themselves with their phones rapping and title their
It’s just a different style of rap that we have here in
Ireland. There’s Grime and there’s also Hip-Hop,
But it’s not as big as it is over in America. What I’m
trying to do is make it popular in Ireland by bringing
over the rap culture to Ireland.
Chaunce Hayden: You’re only 16 years old. What got
you interested in rap?
Max Skiba: I always liked listening to Tupac and Biggie
(Smalls). Not extensively, but some of their songs
are quite good.
Chaunce Hayden: We’re talking about the 90s. You
weren’t alive yet.
Max Skiba: My dad knew about them. And we had
quite a few conversations about them, But the main
thing that got me interested in rap was one song and
it was that one song that led me on this path.
Chaunce Hayden: Which was?
Max Skiba: Logic’s “Fade Away.” I heard that song and it got my mind thinking. He talked about wanting to
do something before “Fading Away” essentially doing
something great before death, And from then on I
knew I wanted more, I started to get interested in the
rest of his music and my first recording session was
actually a cover of that very song.
Chaunce Hayden: How is your music perceived by
the people here in Ireland?
Max Skiba: Emmm. They laugh at it sometimes. Clown
me a little bit, But more and more people here are
starting to accept that I’m very serious about this. With
time it will get better. Everybody has to start somewhere
and I do believe that, I wasn’t very good when
I first started out. It takes time and it takes effort to
become great. I’ve been putting in the time and I’ve
been working hard to improve myself as an artist and
a rapper. Now I see people here in Ireland starting to
enjoy the music more. I think people thought that it
was just a thing I would grow out of, but they are really
starting to enjoy the music.
Chaunce Hayden: What are the challenges a white
kid from Ireland has to overcome in the world of rap?
Max Skiba: At times I feel like the rap culture isn’t big enough here in Ireland for me to succeed. People
don’t have enough love for this type of music. Yes,
of course we have rap here. We listen to the very
popular American rappers just like you do in America.
But I feel like for me here in Monaghan is a lot harder
of a challenge for me. I have to promote myself and I
need to work very hard at that end of it to get noticed.
Although at the same time it’s also easier here for me
because there isn’t much rap here. I can stand out and
I can be very innovative with my music. So it’s a little
bit of a blessing and a curse simultaneously. However,
at the end of the day I’m a white guy in Monaghan,
Ireland trying to get my music heard. That alone can
be very challenging.
Chaunce Hayden: The world has become a small
place that’s to the power of social media. How important
is YouTube and other social media outlets in
regards to being heard?
Max Skiba: It’s very, very important. I recently established
a Facebook page and I have been using Twitter
for a while. Instagram has
also been very vital to me
as well. If someone comments
about my music on
any platform I make sure
to respond and give them
the time of day. They took
the time to check out my
music, so I want to return
the respect and show
them my appreciation.
Chaunce Hayden: Rappers
in America for the
most part write about
their lives growing up in a
country that can be racist
and unfair. Poverty and
rough streets full of crime
and gangs inspire much of
raps lyrics. What inspires
Max Skiba: Things that
I experience here in
Ireland are what I connect to of course. My first song
I released on YouTube is called “Be There.” I had
just broken up with my girlfriend of two years and I
was pretty messed up after it happened, It lit a fire
that fueled this passion and it inspired me. I needed
to express how it made me feel and I used my love
for rap to write the lyrics. The words came from the
heart. I can’t stop writing about the things I feel and I
just released my first project, an EP titled “Self Driven”.
The title track is about what makes me so hungry
for this game, what gives me the drive. I’m so driven
to write about the things I feel I have to overcome
here in Ireland. I live in Ireland but I’m Polish and I do
experience people not accepting me and telling me
I shouldn’t be doing this thing or the other. I normally
just brush it off when it happens because I’m so happy
because I’m being myself, but I also know that people
are different everywhere, no matter where you live.
Most people can relate to not being accepted and it doesn’t matter what your skin color is, what sexuality
you are or what religion you are. I for one believe you
should just be yourself and that is the happiest way
you can live your life.
Chaunce Hayden: Are there any Irish rappers who
have ever been successful that you can name?
Max Skiba: Currently, there’s MC Lynchy and MC Pat
Flynn. There’s an underground rap movement here
in Ireland called LDK that’s Grime rap which is a sub
culture of rap music. They aren’t extremely huge but
they have a following. And those guys are doing their
thing and that’s cool as hell.
Chaunce Hayden: How do you think your music will
go over by an American audience? Can a kid from
Ireland be respected as a rapper?
Max Skiba: I think it will be quite a challenge for me
because the music can be so different than American
Hip-Hop at times, but I feel at the same time it would
be accepted because it isn’t a huge deviation, this
only applies to my music, as the Grime movement is
in a completely different
Ball Park I know I’ve got
what it takes to make it,
I truly believe in myself
because of the drive I
have, I wake up everyday
and I wanna write the
next verse, produce the
next song. That’s not me
being cocky or anything,
but I wake up everyday
telling myself I can do
this. I have to believe in
myself because if I don’t
who will? You have to
believe that you already
are what you want to be.
If I tell myself I’m a rapper
I will be a rapper.
Chaunce Hayden: So
Max Skiba: I need to consider
my options. I have
a lot more music coming this year, and I’m already
writing a few scripts for my next music videos! I still
have 3 years left of school and during the time that I’m
here in Ireland I plan on expanding my brand as much
as I can. I want as many people to listen to my music
around the world as I can attract. I plan on doing live
shows at any venues or festivals that will allow me the
platform to perform.
Chaunce Hayden: Any plans to come to America and
Max Skiba: That goes through my mind all the time.
And some day, definitely, but honestly, I’m focusing
on Ireland and the rest of Europe. Right now I’m just
happy to be doing what I love.
Instagram & Snapchat: maxskiba69