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Baker's Dozen

“Yes It’s F*cking Political!”: Skin's Favourite Albums
Louise Brown , March 13th, 2019 10:52

Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin guides Louise Brown through 13 favourite records, from Holst to Nina Simone, Everything But The Girl, Sepultura and Amy Winehouse


Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life
Look, I'm going to go to a really fucking obvious one. I know everyone talks about it and there's a reason, because it's fucking phenomenal. My personal story about Songs In The Key Of Life is being a student at university. That album really helped me develop my voice because I remember being a student and I'd be cooking – cooking is when I play music and look, I cook a lot and I love to sing along – so, I was 19 and I'd grown up with this album, but then you reject it because it's your mum's music. When I was at a university I got back into this album and it was when I was starting to sing.

I'd been listening to this in the womb, but I was thinking, subconsciously, that I couldn't sing along because it was a man's voice. So, I sang harmony to it and now I can sing harmony to that whole album. Word for word. That album trained my voice because I learned how to sing a harmony, which is one of the best things I can do, it's like my vocal trick. I can harmonise to anything, anytime, any place, any where, but I learned it from Stevie Wonder.

And being at university, getting into lyrics, starting to understand the political, radical lyrics. I feel that album is very fundamental to my whole nature in terms of my childhood, my political teenage angst, and then my voice. So that album, of all albums, of all time, is probably the most important album in my life. And there's a reason why it's that fucking successful and means so much to everybody. It's the work of genius. It's a fucking Picasso of music. Anyone who doesn't really appreciate that album, they need to go listen again.