In Conversation With: Skylar Stecker
LA-based songstress Skylar Stecker has been making waves in the R&B scene since her commercial debut in 2015. A seasoned songwriter once signed to a major label, she’s collaborated with several organizations and networks over the past few years. Now, as an independent artist with a cult-like following, Stecker has undoubtedly propelled into popularity as one of the most sought-after R&B artists of the new age.
A self-taught multi-instrumentist, Skylar is one of the youngest artists to top the Billboard Dance Charts and saw early success from pop ballads such as “How Did We” and “Only Want You.” The rising artist is becoming widely loved for her honey-drenched vocals and occasional song covers. Her 2019 project Redemption was well-received and served as her first full-length release as an independent musician. Songs like “Let It Pour,” “Don’t Test Me,” and the title track rose as fan-favorites from the project.
Earlier this year, Stecker unveiled her EP aptly titled Earth Signs, a 7-track offering with a lone feature from Lucien Parker that the trials and triumphs of navigating a new relationship and learning about how to deal with feelings that she had never experienced up until that point in her life. Fast forward to now, Skylar is working on her next EP slated to arrive during the summer of 2022 with more content to follow. Keep your eyes peeled for the young promising songstresses as she carves out her own space in pop-infused R&B.
We spoke with Skylar Stecker about being an independent artist, new music, relationships, and much more! Check it out below.
I know that you’re originally from Florida but moved to Los Angeles to pursue music. How did the different cultures on top of being so laser-focused on music affect who you are today?
I feel like it helped me to adjust and not be too attached to things. The number one thing I take away from it is being able to live in the moment because I’m a forward thinker, but at the same time, I have to reel myself back in and really live in the present. Where I’ve lived, all these places have given me perspective and stories to tell in my music.
Prior to being an independent artist, you were signed to Cherrytree Records in a joint venture with Interscope at a fairly young age. Is there anything liberating about putting out music on your own now?
I think before, I didn’t feel as attached to certain things or songs because I didn’t 100% write them or they didn’t reflect how I felt for other political reasons. There’s always a sense of disconnect from not having full ownership. Now, with the music release, it’s definitely a bit more nerve-wracking because I can’t put that weight on other people’s shoulders. Obviously, I have a team around me, but the responsibility lies within me but it’s also really exciting because I get to create my own story.
Considering you decided to be more vulnerable on Earth Signs, how long did it take to perfect this EP? Did it feel any different compared to your previous works?
I was going through my first real serious relationship and basically “Superman” was the first song I wrote on that project. After that, everything just came so easy to me and I knew I wanted to use that as the blueprint for the rest of the EP. I created stories around my life experience and also that person that I was experiencing these things with. It’s funny I named it Earth Signs because I’m actually an Earth sign and I got into that stuff during quarantine as well.
Can you walk us through what your songwriting process is like?
It really varies, I definitely keep a tight circle of music creators. I really love to try to lock in with people and do as much as I can with them because it feels like a family and the music comes out more authentic. I think that’s translated in my music and songwriting, but I’m also starting to do a lot at my home studio as well. Due to COVID, I learned how to vocal produce and do stuff like that which has been really really helpful.
A good bit of your music focuses on love, dating, and intimacy—what is your definition of modern love?
That’s a very good question! I would like to know the definition of love! For me, my number one thing is that I lead with my brain. Love is being able to be yourself and have that person be able to see you who you are fully. Not the persona that you start off with because we’re always worried about saying the right thing. Love is that comfortability, and I know that I definitely fall in love with someone when they show consistency that matches me.
What are some key points and components of your music that you would like your fans to pick up on and enjoy?
I think the number one thing for me is that I’m trying to find my way. I feel like we’re all humans and no matter what we’re going through, we’re always trying to figure it out. I think my music reflects that whether it be love or tribulations in some other areas of life. I just want to be very transparent and honest about the mixed emotions and thought processes that we go through.
I see that you also have a pretty unique sense of style, what are some of your go-to brands or sneakers these days?
I love Jordans! I started with one pair and now I have a whole collection and it’s dangerous. Every time I see new pair online, I’m like oh god. My style is definitely comfort but I try to find shoes or accessories to spice it up a bit. I love Nike, Adidas, all the sportswear brands, and really nice jewelry whether it be hoop earrings or something of that sort.
I have a stylist that I’ve been working with lately and he’s been getting me out of my comfort zone lately. I think that’s the cool thing about fashion, you can always reinvent and evolve. I’m definitely a sweats person but when I wear a dress you’ll catch me in the car getting my flick on.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
The number one thing I would tell myself is to be patient with everything. I think in life, to get the greatest reward you definitely have to have your fair share of work. Stay steady and look at every day as a way to grow. There are always going to be challenges but try to make the best choices. I’d also say listen to your gut because there will always be people with opinions and not in a bad way. Just take them as a grain of salt in comparison to your own.
Obviously, your younger years are in the rearview, so what are some long-term goals you have set for yourself?
Long-term, I want to do a lot. I want to do the GRAMMYs and hopefully I can get there. I really just want to continue to grow and evolve as an artist. I think embracing change is good and I want to be able to best translate that in a way that I can look back and have a sense of contentment that I was able to do all the things I wanted to do.
In other music news, check our interview with New York songstress Taylor Belle!