No doubt, the music industry in the Turks and Caicos is very young with much to be explored. Even with the weak structure, Cino Slim has tapped into his rapping skills before and after exploring life in other countries.
The Florida based rapper who also calls himself a “Blue Hills baby” may be known to most as Vidhal or Adriano Smith. After a two year hiatus, Cino Slim has decided to make a return to music with a newfound hunger he hasn’t felt in years.
Slim launched his own music label called True Hustle Records, where he currently manages his fellow artist Ugly Willo. Alongside the passion he feels creating music, he also wants to nurture budding artists through his label in the future.
Well travelled, Slim has lived in the UK and now resides in the US. Taking advantage of these changes in scenery, he incorporates the lifestyle and local slang from his current city in his music for relatability. Even in all this, his need to connect with people back home remains at the forefront.
Today, he makes his official return with the debut single titled ‘Out the Dirt’ featuring Ugly Willo. On this track, Slim speaks on his disdain for violence, his zeal for new successes and of course — love.
We spoke with Slim to get to know what his plans are now as Turks’ musical Prodigal Son.
Q. What compelled you to take the hiatus?
Well, a lot of things really, bad business. I had a daughter. But mainly the crew that I was working with. You know, things just fell apart and that kind of slowed everything down and I kind of really just took that hiatus to, you know, take care of my daughter, really.
I really took the hiatus to just, you know, be a father because music took up a lot of my time. You know when the crew fell apart like I just used that time for me to be there for my daughter.
Q. So your crew, was it a music group?
No, I was more like the main face. And I had like three other people behind the scenes doing like the little things. Promotion and reaching out to different promoters and stuff like that.
Q. Prior to the hiatus, how many songs did you release or have in the artillery?
Oh well, I released a mixtape of 12 songs and then I released the EP. The EP was about four songs I think, but like I said, when everything fell apart with the crew I took all the music down. And Willo was telling me don’t do it but I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that kind of predicament before, where it’s like everything you did with a particular group of people is just like you’re not even proud of it anymore.
It’s like you know, cringe whenever you hear it. So I kind of took it down because I wanted to start fresh and I wanted to change everything. I felt like I was making music for them and not for me. I still have all of that music in my email and stuff and whenever I listen to it I just cringe because it’s like man that don’t even sound like me. So roughly I wanna say I had probably about 20 songs and I had a lot on my SoundCloud but I deleted those as well.
Q. Would you say the audience back home received you well in the past?
Oh yeah, yeah for sure. Great, actually.
Q. So with the great reception back then, what about now? Do you think they will sleep on your new music?
Yeah, because it’s been a long time and you know, I’ve been in this music business for quite a while. The way things are set up now is like if you’re not constantly in people’s faces they forget about you, but I don’t shy away from stuff like that, I love to work hard. So you know Willo is actually my cousin, so with me and him working together, it kind of helps. With his fanbase now booming, they can kinda tap into what I’m doing also and realise like OK, he’s not a newcomer. He’s been around. But I got a lot of music I’m about to drop so. It won’t be like that for long, like trust me, they’ll remember.
Also the age range is different now. But you know the people that were supporting me back then, they’re still waiting, but I kind of love like this new energy we have home right now.
Q. So you think it’s the perfect timing for you to jump back into the lion’s den?
Right right? I feel like it’s perfect timing. It’s just Willo. Willo has been on my case for like the past two years, but honestly, honestly, I was gonna give it up like cold turkey and just be his manager. But you know the more we spoke with each other I warmed up to it. When he was here I took him to the studio and yeah it just felt right. So I was like, yeah let’s do this.
Q. Now that you’ve rebranded and recouped yourself, who is Cino Slim in the rap game right now?
Cino Slim in music right now is super hungry. There’s so much people to follow this movement now. Honestly, I haven’t been this eager and passionate about music since I would say when I first moved to the UK. I moved to the UK in 2013 or 2014. The spirit that I had then, I definitely have it now and I could feel it in me. I would say yeah, I would definitely say Slim is definitely a passionate, hardworking person.
Q. If this is your intention, what impact do you aim to have on the music industry in Turks?
Man, I talk about it all the time. The first thing I told him [Willo] I said “You know, if you stay with me, I’m going to sign you” and he thought I was kidding. Because you know, coming from where we come from it’s like…when you say things like that, people just think it’s just like “Oh yes, it’s just a word of mouth thing”. I told him no when the time gets there I’m gonna get the paperwork and I want you to sign this with me and you will make money.
And as far as Turks, I wanna do that with as much artists from home. I want to put a studio down there. I want to have like a whole building where it’s multiple studio rooms…Studio A, Studio C. And I do security right now so I have knowledge of how I could set it up where people would come there to record and not have any extracurricular stuff going on. Because you know, back home, the violence is too much.
If I could be able to implement that back home, where young kids can be able to record music and do something different other than being out in the street having turf wars and stuff like that, that’s something. Before I left Turks, it wasn’t like that. Like shootouts and stuff like that, none of that stuff was going on as frequent as it is now. So I feel like if I could build a studio, where kids can come and record or learn music, then I’d walk away from the game happily. I don’t have to make millions or be famous. If I could do that for my country, I’d be happy.
Listen to ‘Out the Dirt’ on all streaming platforms here.