She may be young, but she is on her way to stardom. At only 16, Skyler is creating powerful pop hits that are way beyond her years. Her sound is inspired by a range of artists from Christina Aguilera and Beyonce to bands like The 1975. Her music is so dynamic that her first collaboration was with none other than Snoop Dogg. Hollywood teen pop artist, Skyler talks about her debut single “Fire” ft. Snoop Dogg, her experience so far, and how she juggles both her teen life and her career.
Cliché: So how did you and Snoop Dog end up working together?
Skyler: Originally, “Fire” was recorded as a solo urban/dance mix. It was written for me by my great music producers and writers, Mike Gonsolin and Nick Nittoli at Trend Def Studios, who had worked with Snoop Dogg on a previous project. When the recording was finished, we were all so amazed how it turned out that they thought my voice and attitude would be a perfect fit for a collaboration with Snoop Dogg, so they sent my recording to him. Snoop Dogg really loved the track and offered to write his own verse/lyrics to be mixed into the song and to personally feature in the video, and “Fire” is the amazing result.
What was the experience like for you to work with him for your first track?
From start to finish, the entire collaboration was such a humbling and incredible experience. To work with a living legend such as Snoop Dogg on my debut track is a dream come true. We were on set for more than 12 hours shooting the video, and Snoop Dogg and his team were so nice and friendly and professional. When the cameras weren’t rolling or when we were on a break, he sat with me and gave me great tips on the industry and great advice for my career. You couldn’t ask for a better mentor than someone who has been so successful and around as long as he has.
How would you describe your sound?
I like to think of myself as edgy, strong-willed, and motivated, and I think my sound reflects that. I love all genres of music, but if I had to describe my sound, I would have to say edgy, new, and somewhat geared towards alternative/punk with a little pop mixed in. My favorite bands to listen to and some of my inspirations are Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Blink-182, The 1975, and All Time Low. Also, Snoop and Pharrell have influenced my love of rap music and are people I look at as established singers, writers, producers, and icons in the music industry.
Do you have more music in the works for 2016?
Absolutely! I have three more tracks already recorded and produced, and I’m trying to decide which track to put out next, which is so hard as I love all three of them. I am also in meetings with my producers and video company to decide and draft a treatment for the next video. I am currently in the process of writing a ballad, which will hopefully show off my vocal range and be a great addition to the four faster tracks I have already.
What does music mean to you?
In one simple word: life. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t singing. It has always been my passion and I am so thankful that I have a chance to chase my dream. I am really grateful to my mum, who has supported me the entire time. All my allowance is spent on downloading music and buying old vinyl records, which I collect and hang on my wall.
When you’re not making music, what do you enjoy doing?
Unfortunately, not school work, as whenever I have a book and pen in front of me, my mind wanders into the music world and I find my math book full of lyrics. I absolutely love the beach, and if I can find time, I want to learn to surf this year.
I also spend a lot of time at the beach with my two rescued dogs, Mouse and Garth Brooks. My mum manages animal shelters and nonprofit veterinary clinics, so I have always been brought up around animals and spend some of my free time volunteering. But I am really just an average 16-year-old girl who loves nothing more than hanging with my friends and going to the mall.
We hear you’re a sports fan. What type of sports do you like?
English Soccer. I am a crazy, die-hard Arsenal fan, often getting up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning to watch them play, as the time difference from the UK is 8 hours. My mum is English and I have dual citizenship, so we go back and forth between the US and England a lot and I try to catch as many games as I can at the Emirates stadium when in the UK. My stuffed bear that sits on my pillow is named “Gunner” and adorns the Arsenal kit. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Brooklyn Beckham joined their youth division, if you know what I mean!
Do you play any sports, yourself?
Yes. I am a blue belt at Extreme Martial Arts and trained at XMA World Headquarters in Hollywood under the amazing Michael Chaturantabut, who has also trained people such as Taylor Lautner and Leo Howard. Before moving to California, I also did gymnastics and played youth soccer.
With being so young, yet so successful and busy, how do you balance work, family, and friends?
I am homeschooled, so that makes my schedule more flexible to allow me to go to the studio when needed and work on my music while also getting a good education. Although I am only 16 and am really busy juggling everything, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so motivated and passionate about my music; I want to spend every minute performing, writing, recording, or just listening to my favorite bands.
As for spending time with my family and friends, my mum supports me entirely and drives me everywhere and helps with my schoolwork, so I spend a lot of time with her, and my friends understand that I am busy and love my music and I try to spend a lot of time with them. In fact, in my music video for “Fire,” we didn’t hire any professional back up dancers/actors. Everyone you see in the video are my personal friends who were excited to be in a video with Snoop Dogg and gave me extra time with them.
As for being successful, I really need to thank my fans for that. Without them watching the video and listening to my songs on iTunes, I couldn’t do what I love so much, so thank you.
What advice do you have for any other aspiring young artists?
Be kind, true, and stay you. Work hard and don’t let anyone say you can’t do it. Live your dream and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Follow Skyler on Twitter and Instagram @Skylersmusic for updates
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Pop Artist Skyler talks about her debut single “Fire” ft. Snoop Dogg: Photographed by Michael Round