Tom Skinner (1954-2015)
London based drummer, composer and producer Tom Skinner has been a vital and central figure in the burgeoning underground music scene in London throughout the last 20 years. From his early days in Tomorrows Warriors, forming the band Jade Fox with school friends Tom Herbert and Dave Okumu, through to touring and recording with Zero 7, Matthew Herbert, Floating Points, Eska and Mulatu Astatke, Tom is constantly evolving across a broad spectrum of music, ever pushing his musical limits in different directions, always on the hunt for new sounds inspired by the music, people and places he’s found along the way.
In 2012, Tom released his debut self-titled solo record under the alias Hello Skinny to critical acclaim, MOJO Magazine describing it as “…existing in that fertile zone where jazz, dub, techno and avant-pop deliquesce into an exhilarating free-for-all.” The second Hello Skinny album Watermelon Sun, released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label in 2017, featured a collaboration with acclaimed veteran New York composer and trombonist Peter Zummo.
Tom is an original member of award winning band Sons Of Kemet alongside band-leader and frequent collaborator Shabaka Hutchings. Their third album Your Queen Is A Reptile [Impulse! 2018] garnered worldwide critical acclaim including a Mercury Prize 2018 nomination. Their latest album Black To The Future [Impulse! 2021] has been met with rave reviews, NME giving it 5 stars, claiming the album to be the band at their “most dynamic and urgent”.
Tom works regularly with legendary grime MC Kano, featuring on his 2016 Mercury Prize nominated album Made In The Manor and forming an integral part of Kano’s live band. He is also a third of London jazz trio Wildflower, alongside bassist Leon Brichard and saxophonist Idris Rahman as well as a founding member of the Owiny Sigoma Band, an inter-continental collaboration between musicians from London and Kenya’s Luo tribe.
In addition to his illustrious career in creating and performing music, Tom has curated his own bi-monthly live music night at The Pickle Factory in East London and hosts a monthly radio show on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM.
Tom has performed and recorded with many notable musicians such as Jonny Greenwood, Graham Coxon, Grace Jones, Jarvis Cocker, Joy Crookes, Melt Yourself Down, Matthew Herbert, Zero 7, Floating Points, Beth Orton, Eska, Mulatu Astatke, The Invisible, John Surman, Batida, Alexander Hawkins, Byron Wallen, Steve Beresford, Toshio Matsuura and many more.