Valdomore rebrands as 1Skimask
Artiste 1Skimask is making serious inroads as a newcomer to the dancehall music landscape. He says his has been a journey with ups and downs, and some of his pain has heavily inspired the song Darkniss.
Produced by Tru Ambassador Next Generation, the song is arguably one of the hottest and trending songs at present.
Darkniss has racked up more than 1.3 million views on YouTube since its release two weeks ago.
The song’s success has breathed new life into the career of social media comedian and actor Valdomore, who has rebranded as dancehall artiste 1Skimask.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday at the recording studio of Tru Ambassador — a label which has spawned several hits over the past few years — 1Skimask spoke about making the transition from acting to music.
“I just like acting from when I was younger, but there wasn’t a big platform for acting, so I used social media to display my talent. Moving into music as 1Skimask was just me being creative. The everyday dancehall artiste life we just see, and the new wave and how dem do tings, and we just a be creative inna we skits dem. Mi just work wid da idea deh and it just tek off,” 1Skimask reasoned.
The song Darkniss has opened up a new chapter for him career-wise. Opportunities to perform overseas have been coming and the artiste has been embracing every opportunity.
“Performing overseas has helped to put di ting pon a different level. It’s a different fan base and di ting out deh fi real. Just do yuh owna ting and be creative. It’s a whole different level of exposure,” said 1Skimask.
He admits that he did not express this level of success so soon for Darkniss.
“I was surprised at first. We have been performing the song long before it was released, so mi did know say di power did deh inna di ting, and wi did know say, yow, we a work and one day it ago pay off. But wi just never know how soon and how fast. The only surprise was that everything did a start from scratch, so mi say it ago tek a time to build up,” he told the Observer.
1Skimask, whose real name is Rivaldo Lyle, hails from a small community in Manchester called Victoria Town. He attended Vere Technical High School in Clarendon, where he studied engineering.
“Growing up, my dream was to become an actor,” he said.
The pain and darkness along his life’s journey that he talks about in his music are relatable.
“Wi lose all wi madda. So, all a wi can relate to pain and pain hurt yuh. More while, when yuh get hurt by certain tings, it put yuh inna a dark zone weh is you alone waa deh desso. All a dem ting deh weh did happen a people weh did hurt wi,” he explained.
The artiste shared that his relationship with his mother was a close one.
“Shi grow we from wi a yute same way. We were very close. She deh roun mi neck, so she nuh lef mi [he pointed to a pendant with a photo of her around his neck]. A just life same way, mi just wish she coulda see waa tek place right now,” he said.
“Darkniss is the 2023 version of artistes,” said 1Skimask, “A jus di new era of dancehall. Mi jus study the game and see wah gwaan.
“As a entertainer and creative yuh have to know wah gwaan, and weh di people dem waa si. Haffi try new tings. Is a risk mi tek.”
Having participated as a cast member of the reality series 876 Roommates, he spoke about the experience.
“The experience was cool, authentic, and Jamaican. It give mi a platform as well and put all a wi as social media comedians and actors pon a pedestal. It give di whole ting a boost,” he disclosed.
His follow-up single, Ski, a collaboration with comedian and actor turned deejay, Deno Crazy, was released on Wednesday.
Up to Thursday morning the video trended at number 13 on local YouTube Trending Chart, racking up more than 114,000 views. The song is produced by Tru Ambassador Next Generation.