The sleek, hip-hop sounds of Boston based Skaa’s palette can’t be limited to simple nostalgia because they aren’t shackled to time; the interconnectivity of urban music threads through the decades. Revisiting the soulful grooves isn’t just a matter of retread and reverence, but expansion and potential. That’s why Skaa’s songs work: They renew touchstones without robbing them of their Pavlovian lure. Innovation begets innovation, and odes become twinkling anthems. Skaa’s latest track, “Calling” (Prod. SoundHeightz), makes the argument for slow-burning inter-generational rhythms and complex interpersonal relationships.
His saturated synths and indelible rhymes are his signatures, so it’s no surprise those qualities shimmer throughout this track. “Calling” isn’t Skaa shaking his fist in a quest for artistic merit. This project exhales confidence that unfurls with the sheen of artisanal marmalade.
It sets the template for a sound that balances neon warmth with lusty urgency. It submerges a cooing voice within aquatic textures for an excellent set of verses, and the thump-and-glisten of its soundscape.
“Calling” will go down as one of the year’s most infectious downtempo beats. Skaa is also just fine by himself, he doesn’t need guest appearances, and the song doesn’t only work because of how it flips its vocals and beat into a head-nodding soiree — it’s emboldened by personality.
But “Calling” is a success because Skaa fosters an environment where every element shines. Keyboard pastels and recurring elastic bass lines at times bolster the track with added singularities. It’s a beautiful thing when such a diverse range of elements run free in one space — and creating that space is harder than you’d think.
Skaa shows a unique flexibility and verve, a glowing life that drips, melts, and molds around the beat, providing the precise support and frame that the song needs. He never competes with the track’s elements for attention, but it’s always clear that he absolutely can if he wants, no matter their standing or legacy.
That is a further sign of the artist’s confidence. “Calling” (Prod. SoundHeightz) is a quintessentially modern record not just in terms of its sound, but in terms of its attitude. That makes the song sonically interesting, but it’s Skaa’s smooth vocal and rhyme scheme performance that sells it.
As evidenced by his Soundcloud profile, the guy’s a workaholic — it’s because he wants to improve himself, constantly. And even though this track is another massive achievement, it’s hard not to feel like he might just top himself next time around.