Home Team • Smino

Photo by Rene Marban

Age: 23  •  Neighborhood: Humboldt Park •  Follow: Twitter // SoundCloud

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Chris Smith aka 23-year-old Smino came up in a family of five children. Smino and his siblings were products of a religious family that played their part in the church. In fact, once Smino discovered music through influences from his older sister and cousin, he began playing drums during Sunday service sparked his current career as a producer and emcee. Living a simpler country life as a church drummer while in St. Louis, Smino found himself involved in a local collective called YDOC. Although this group created a significant buzz locally, St. Louis’ music scene is much smaller than Chicago's, and also remains very divided. Unlike Chicago where there seems to be a lot of collaboration among artists across genres, St. Louis does not share this idea of unity.

Following high school, Smino made the trip up to Chicago to produce for a period of time, but returned to St. Louis before being drawn back north in 2014 after observing the success of his cousin Drea Smith. Once back in Chicago, Smino was referred to Classick Studios to continue working on his production and recording his own music. It was at Classick where Smino was introduced to producer Monte Booker during one of his sessions. Booker offered some unsolicited assistance on a track Smino was working on, and the results were so strong that Smino and Booker instantly bonded; they continue to work with one another to this day.

As with many other artists before them, the creative space that is Classick Studios sparked a collaborative situation that introduced Smino and Booker to Chicago native Jay2 and up-and-coming songstress Ravyn Lenae. With a little over a year of work under their belt, the foursome now known as Zero Fatigue is currently prepping their debut project in addition to all of their solo efforts. While Smino’s career as a solo artist in Chicago is just getting under way, his creative spirit has been alive and well for years. Get to know Smino’s existing catalog now and expect his name to be mentioned in more and more Chicago hip-hop conversations in the near future.