Mario Farrow, better known as SkyBlew, is not your typical rapper: His music doesn’t contain any curses. “I promised my grandmother before her passing that I wouldn’t curse in my music. I’ve stayed true to that, making music that is fun and entertaining but also positive and inspiring,” says the 20-year-old rapper.

Born and raised in Auburn, AL, Farrow turned to music at a young age when his life in foster homes got rough. “I went through a lot in my life so my only way of expressing myself was through music,” he explained, hinting at the autobiographical nature of his music. He cites Lupe Fiasco, Blu, Common, Blue Scholars and the late Amy Winehouse as influences, but he’s hesitant to draw too close a comparison to anyone. “People try to categorize my style as a young Kanye West/Lupe Fiasco but with my own flavor, but I try hard to differentiate myself from other artists. I always say that I don’t rap, I paint the sky… blew!”

That positive message alluded to in his pseudonym is ingrained in every aspect of his music, from his clean lyrics to the name of his latest album, Above The Stars Is My Landing. The album, which is the follow-up to 2010’s Earth Is Just My Airport, is simpler than its predecessor because Farrow wanted to make sure that his essence clearly came through on the tracks. “I want people who may be going through something at the time to listen to one of my songs and have it inspire them or make them smile. I almost wanna be a hero in a sense. Music has helped me through a lot so I’d love to be able to positively impact others with the music I make.”

At the heart of it, Farrow is just trying to make music that will do for others what music did for him. “Music was often literally all I had and I want to let people know that, no matter what you are going through, just hold on to your dreams and stay true to yourself and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Maybe my story can help someone else.”

For a better look at the man behind the music, watch the short documentary Painting The Sky: The Story Of SkyBlew:

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