“I think we need a more artist-driven industry. Take the artist from the industry, the industry falls. Take the industry from the artist, and you still have an artist.”-Jerome Jones, a.k.a. Skopos

Philadelphia’s own Poet and US Veteran, SKOPOS ‘s verbal and musical artistry illustrates social awareness and lyrical consciousnesshttp:/

So tell us a little bit about yourself?

My real name is Jerome Jones I was born in Philadelphia PA, away been a slim guy with a big heart, very open-minded and adventurist.
At what age did you decide to become an artist?

I started writing poetry for my ex girl friend at 17 she broke up with me and i just kept at it. When i was 22 someone asked me to record one of my poems as a song and it turn up as a track named closed eyes and truth, after performing both song i felt i had a new way of expressing my message.

Describe the content and style of your music.

It’s would be hard to say my music is one style I use rock, hip hop, techno, house Dubstep, pop , R&B… I like to keep people guessing.

What is the message behind your music?

Positivity and also awareness of history and how we repeatably make the same mistakes if we don’t educate  ourselves.

What do you think is missing in the industry, and how would you fill in that gap?

Positivity no doubt but more importantly creativity, now all you need is a nice beat with a lot of bass to drown out the simplicity of what the artist is saying. With my music that I bring to the industry is creativity and meaning, but what’s mostly liked about me is that I can use all types of music.

Who are your musical influences and why?

Jimmy Hendrix to name one he was a paratrooper in the army like myself, Mos Def, Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef, Nas and new rappers hands down Lupe the only artist to have fans protest to have his album released.

What are your favorite songs from those and why?

Lupe Fiasco’s track ‘American Terrorist’ I could go on and on with different artist and song but this made me like hip hop again. This song was the muse for some of my poetry and a lot of my music the song portrays history in a cool way.

I think we need a more artist-driven industry. Take the artist from the industry, the industry falls. Take the industry from the artist, and you still have an artist.

What’s behind the name SKOPOS?

Skopos came from a book, ‘Purpose Driven Life’ -Greek for look out or look into, an observer, a watchman.

After reading the book it became a muse for a poem called Skopos, at the time I used the name Composition, but the crowd only could here me say the title of the poem thinking it was my name, and I was coined Skopos.

What part of Philly are you from?

I spent more time up North Philly but my mother moved us all over Philly. I didn’t stay in one place for more the 3 years the last place we lived was in east Lansdowne 4 to five miles from West Philly.

How has the military experience influenced your music?

I have seen a lot of death, and been close to dying myself. Life means more to me and I look at things more profoundly.

Which of your songs were inspired from your experience in the Army?

People are still waiting for me to make a song talking about my experience I am still getting use to the things I have done. I will say this, the Army made me braver with my work I am not afraid to be outspoken, but something is on the way.

So you also DJ? Tell us a little about that experience.

Thats funny it’s like singing in the shower it’s only for my ears it’s just a hobby. Now will it become more? I really don’t know DJ Skopos sounds nice.

What message would you give to your fans and the aspiring artists?

Not to trap yourself in a box stay open-minded, and don’t be afraid to be yourself never sell out to be something other than yourself.

Do you have any upcoming shows or projects that we should know about?

I just got out the Army on 19 Nov so right now I am planning to work with a few artist nothing in stone yet.

What do you think about the music industry right now?

It’s a market where the industry just cares about just getting money not making good music if it sells. I think we need a more artist-driven industry. Take the artist from the industry, the industry falls. Take the industry from the artist, and you still have an artist.

Which were the most influential lyrics that you’ve heard growing up that further inspired you to pursue music? 

From Lupe Fiasco’s, ‘American Terrorist’

“It’s like don’t give the black man food, give red man liquorred man fool, black man nigga give yellow man tool, make him railroad builder also give him pan, make him pull gold from river give black man crack, glocks and things, give red mancraps, slot machines”(Lupe Fiasco).

Lupe made me look at the past in a deeper way this was very poetic and attractive to the ear. This came out when Hip Hop wasn’t saying much to me.

If you could work with three artists in the industry dead/alive, who would they be and why?

Lupe Fiasco. I like what he stands for and the fact that you can’t put Lupe in the same box as many artists. Nas and Mos Def two outstanding poets.

Three words to describe yourself.

Creative, Open-minded, Energetic.


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