More About the Author
Skiz Fernando is a man of 1000 faces.
As a writer his byline has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Vibe. After graduating from Harvard and the Columbia University School of Journalism, he began his career as a music journalist for The Source magazine. He parlayed his expertise in the field of hip-hop into the critically-acclaimed book,
The New Beats: Exploring the Music, Culture & Attitudes of Hip-Hop (Anchor/Doubleday, 1994), which has become an important document of the culture behind rap music.
After becoming familiar with the music industry through his work on the book, he borrowed $1000 from a friend, producer Bill Laswell, and started his own label, WordSound Recordings, in December 1994. A long time club and radio deejay, Fernando had, by this time, become deeply involved in music production. In an area that saw the dominance of major labels, he founded WordSound as an independent outlet for the music he and his friends were making. Over the last 18 years, WordSound has released 65 full-length albums and numerous EPs, singles, and remixes, running the gamut from dub and hip-hop to electronic and Middle Eastern music.
WordSound has created a very close-knit, creative community worldwide collaborating with such artists as Bill Laswell, Prince Paul, DJ Vadim, Kevin Martin (The Bug), Mick Harris (Scorn), Style Scott (Dub Syndicate), Scott Harding (New Kingdom), Anti-Pop Consortium, Umar Bin Hassan (Last Poets), DJ Rob Swift (X-ecutioners), and The Jungle Brothers, to name a few.
As a producer himself, Fernando has created 9 albums under his alter-ego, Spectre, The ILL Saint, 2 albums under the moniker Slotek, 2 albums as Scarab (co-produced with Professor Shehab), 2 albums as WordSound I-Powa, and 2 albums as Dubadelic.
As a director, Fernando has 3 feature films to his credit. Crooked, his first narrative feature, released in 2001, was also written and produced by him. The Greatest Thing You Never Heard (2003) is a dubumentary about the WordSound label. His latest film, Industria Brasileira (Made In Brasil) completed in 2010, is a documentary about the new music scene in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
Fernando's most recent output has tilted heavily towards food. In 2007, Fernando returned to his homeland of Sri Lanka to write a cookbook about the local cuisine. Rice & Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking (Hippocrene Books, 2011), was a New York Times notable cookbook, and also got Fernando a spot on the popular Travel Channel show, No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, where Fernando was the host's on camera guide in Sri Lanka. Fernando also started a blog called "Rice & Curry," dedicated to Sri Lankan food and all things spicy. He also started his own cooking show on YouTube called "Pan Asian," followed by two other food/travel shows called "Off The Eaten Path" and "Adventures in Dining."
He is currently about to release his ninth Spectre album, The True & Living (WSLP057) and is finishing up a documentary about new music in Ethiopia.