Reared in the Midwest in northern St. Louis, MO, Smino was born with creativity coursing through his veins. His grandfather, father and mother were all musicians, and they encouraged his early curiosity. After first learning to play the drums in his family church as a child, Smi continued to pursue those musical aspirations into adulthood.
Now, after releasing his 2017 album, BLKSWN, the St. Louis native is reopening the gates for the Gateway to the West. His path toward that goal has been paved with both commercial success—he’s sold out shows in New York, Chicago and L.A.—as well as critical praise: Pitchfork lauded Smino’s “melodic vocal style…stretching and warping this vocals to form a new vocabulary,” while Pidgeons & Planes marveled at his “totally unforced confidence” and versatility. Grammy-nominated producer Stefan Ponce (Vic Mensa, Childish Gambino) spoke prophetically of the creative partnership between Smino and Booker, saying that it would one day rival that of DJ Premier and Guru, or Drake’s close knit partnership with Noah “40” Shebib.
“It’s like I got a clone of myself,” Smi told Pidgeons & Planes, adding “It’s the most comfortable feeling in the world having Shaq dunk the ball for me. And as I”m going, he’s going. As he’s growing, I’m growing. I’m talking numbers wise, talent wise, everything.”
To end 2017, Smino performed on T-Pain’s acoustic tour, released a mix to “Anita” with the pop legend and performed on 30+ tour dates in direct support of SZA on her Ctrl Tour.
Heading into 2018 having truly made his mark within some of the most talented of circles, both young and old, Smi looks to continue building his Zero Fatigue collective, the likes of which are comprised by he and the aforementioned Booker, as well as fellow rhymers in the form of Bari and Jay2. Having already spread his wings on his debut LP, the eclectic performer now sets his sights on soaring.