Formed in 2017, SKOLES is the moniker adopted by songwriter-producer Jack Edwards.
"The name comes from a case of unsung heroism," SKOLES explains. In his World Cup winning prime, soccer player Zinedine Zidane was asked by a journalist what it felt like to be the "best midfielder in the world." He calmly answered, "Ask Scholes."
Scholes was an unassuming, camera-shy English anti-hero, who played a silent but fundamental part in the most successful team of a generation. "You never heard from him in the press like you did with his team-mates. He just got on with it. Zero bullsh*t. I took that to heart."
Much like his name-sake, SKOLES lets his songs speak for him.
His artful hybrid of alternative, electronic and pop soundscapes were born in a quiet and patient grind through an unconventional background. Hailing from a no-traffic-light town in south-east England, where, "You go from school to the Power Station," SKOLES learned guitar by ear as a kid.
By college, he had caught the attention of management and was invited to open for Christina Perri at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire -- his first ever gig of his own music. Soon, he found himself living in his manager's office in Los Angeles for months at a time, and despite the "terrifying bus trips from Hollywood to Tarzana for sessions," he landed placements for artists such as Charlie Puth as a songwriter.
It felt short-lived when he returned to the UK. He took a job as a high school janitor four days a week. "It was a reverse 'Good Will Hunting' -- which is a sh*t film backwards," he sighs, "I was unblocking toilets for rich-kids so that I could get to writing sessions in London on a Friday. I realized pretty quickly that no-one was going to rescue me, so I started learning how to record myself."
After a time in the group Wild Wild Horses, Edwards began composing music alone, crafting a vision that is inspired by Yeezus as much as it is by Tame Impala's Currents. The result is an unusual combination of spacey instrumental subversion, soulful vocals and entrancing energy; think 'The Weeknd on acid,' and you're halfway there.
Colliding analogue synths, syncopated drum programming and bold hooks, SKOLES admits proudly, "They're pop songs hidden in plain sight. This is how I hear music. I'm always trying to find the edges of that."
The 2018 single 'Am I Going Too Crazy?' ushers this signature style into focus. Fueled by glitchy polyrhythmic drums, neon production and a choir-size echo chamber, the track slips into a towering falsetto over driving modular synths, as he asks 'If I call tonight, would you think I'm crazy?'
"It's a break-up song, but it's not about what everyone thinks it's about. I like that. Hidden right there the whole time," SKOLES explains.
It's just one side to SKOLES. He's hiding a lot more in plain sight.
"I want people to be able to hear themselves right there when they listen to something I wrote" SKOLES insists, "Even if it's uncomfortable, at least it's honest."