Track Selection: “Your Own Skin” by Winnie Churchill (Prod. GXLD ERV)

You might know Winnie Churchill simply as Irwin. Irwin has been a fixture in the live setting of the St. John’s, NL hip hop scene over the last few years, and the sheer energy he omits onstage has been a driving force behind a diverse array of acts, artists and sets in the city. Winnie C, as Irwin, has notably collaborated with Dope Piece, MAK11 and their associative Fogtown @tlanti$ crew, just to name a few, but as we’ve watched him command the stage in his supportive and synergetic efforts, we’ve all been waiting patiently for a look into what Irwin has been creatively concocting behind closed doors.

At the crack of the 2017, donning the new Winnie Churchill moniker, a new track entitled “Your Own Skin” emerged, and suddenly delivered the peak behind the curtain that we’ve been wanting.

“It’s been a minute since I showed you what I’ve been working on musically,” Winnie writes in a Soundcloud blurb accompanying the track. “Personally, I wanted to develop my own sound and find a way to share my perspective without limiting myself or the people who will listen.”

With tactful production by GXLD ERV, “My Own Skin” puts all of Winnie Churchill in the forefront. No energy is exhausted playing hype man or sidekick on this one, as this track zeroes in on inimitable character, style and nonpareil delivery orchestrated from scratch by Winnie C.

Over a warm, drawling and headstoned beat, Winnie Churchill indulges in flow gymnastics to showcase his diverse paths in rhythm and rhyme that lead to the same corner of soulful ambition. Though this track twists and turns in apparent direction and delivery, the exploration of surrogate R&B territory holds common ground. Suitably, the subject matter of the song creates a bit of a conundrum that can leave you scratching your chin in curiosity. Making you think isn’t just a constructive side effect, it seems to be a big part of Winnie Churchill’s intention.

“The song is about feeling like you have a role that you don’t want, whether it’s at work, at home, wherever,” Churchill goes on describe in the accompanying entry. “And how we have to be able to happily sacrifice whatever it is for the things we love.”

“My Own Skin” offers up a carefully crafted delineation free of any affected miming of local trend. This four minute joint makes it confidently clear that Irwin has been hard at work honing a vehicle that will never blend or bleed into the traffic of hungry musicians that surround him. That vehicle is called Winnie Churchill, and though he is a positive and supportive force in a peer movement of a new brand of eastern Canadian hip hop, there are musical statements being made to assert that his specific approach will continue to be peerless.

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