SK Shlomo, formerly known as Shlomo, is the artist name of London-born singer-songwriter, beatboxer, producer and live looping technologist Simon Shlomo Kahn.
Born into a Middle-Eastern immigrant family, Kahn won a music scholarship at the age of nine and began performing internationally in youth orchestras, writing music, drumming in his father’s jazz quartet and singing in a close-harmony group. He built a following In his teens on the local band circuit, and was considered an early pioneer of modern beatboxing by the age of 20. Although he studied Astrophysics at Leeds University, his focus on music - which included touring as part of international hip hop group Foreign Beggars - ultimately led to him abandoning his studies, and instead expanding on hip hop’s traditional roots by adopting looping technology and drawing on diverse influences: trip hop, Latin and jazz, soul, reggae, art-pop, alternative rock and rave culture.
SK Shlomo found an international audience through his 2004 collaboration with Icelandic artist Björk and a 2005 solo performance on BBC2’s Later With Jools Holland. From 2007 onwards, as Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, he appeared at Glastonbury Festival and collaborated with 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 his TEDx Talk in 2016. Inspired by the freedom of this new machine, SK Shlomo has unlocked a new approach to solo production, singing and songwriting, with two EPs planned for release in 2017 followed by a debut studio album.
Photo: Matthew Allen