Skylar Stecker dishes on upcoming album, amazing fans, and what it's like to be a young rising star
Skylar Stecker is the newest triple threat on our radar. The singer/songwriter/actress, who got her start through YouTube with over 280,000 subscribers and 27 million views, is making headlines with her unique voice and relatable lyrics. What makes Skylar exceptional, though, is her warm, bold personality and her ability to assert herself in a competitive field despite being only 13 years old.
When Skylar titled her upcoming album, "This is Me," to be released on September 25, she insisted on showing people the real Skylar by taking the reigns with regard to her music and her image. She's excited to show people the multiple facets of her life and personality through her new album, which reflects every aspect of who she is.
Although she's only 13, her maturity speaks beyond her years. After getting her start through YouTube, Skylar moved to California with her family and signed with Cherrytree Records and Interscope. She spends weeks at a time writing music, recording in the studio, and rehearsing for performances and music videos.
Most recently, Skylar performed on The Today Show on September 9 as Elvis Duran's "Artist of the Month" during the fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Her appearance on the show further indicated that this rising star is taking the music world by storm.
We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with the rising star about her new album, her celebrity role models, her writing process and of course what she loves most about her amazing fans.
Are most of your songs about personal experience, or do you get topic ideas elsewhere?
Sometimes my songs are from personal experiences but not always. Sometimes they're from friends of mine and their experiences. Or sometimes I put myself in imaginary experiences that I know happens to a lot of people and I think about how I'd feel if I was put in that situation or circumstance. It just depends on the kind of song that I'm trying to write.
What's your favorite thing to write about? Is there one particular song you've written that was exceptionally special to you?
My favorite thing to write about is probably inspirational things. Especially since I can start off using my piano to make it more of a ballad. I like writing ballads a lot too. But probably my favorite is just more inspirational stuff. My song "Fly" was one of my favorite songs to write. "Fly" is probably one of my favorites, but a new song that's off my new album that I really really like is called "Break My Heart."
If you could be compared to one female celebrity, who would you want it to be?
Beyonce! I just feel like she is so fierce and I love her stage presence. That's what I inspire to be like. She's just awesome performing live. I saw her for the first time in concert two years ago and it was amazing! I was like "no big deal it's Beyonce" before she came out but then she came out and I was like "OH MY GOD It's Beyonce!" She was awesome.
Why did you choose YouTube as the platform to share your music on?
I chose it because it was the easiest way to reach the most people at that time. It was a general platform that I was like "let's start on YouTube!" We did that when I was back in Wisconsin and throughout my move to California doing home videos. We then relaunched it and started to get more elaborate and did more stuff with it.
At what moment did you realize that you had seriously made it big in the industry? How did you feel in that moment?
You know it's funny because I still feel the same. I still feel normal exactly like I did two years ago. You would think that you would feel this breaking point and of course it's amazing that these things are happening, but I don't picture it in the same way that I always thought it would. I'm still me.
What's your favorite thing about your fans?
There are so many things. They're all so sweet and so supportive. Whenever something is going well or not they're always there to witness it and be so supportive no matter what. It's really great to see that all these people are so supportive. Even though I have this whole team with me now and many more people who I know have my back, it's great to see other people that don't really know me on a personal level to give me that same support.
When did you start writing music?
I started writing music around the same time I started singing, maybe a little bit after. The first song I wrote was called "Crush." I still remember the melody and everything in my head. I wrote it while I was messing around with cords on the piano and I wrote the whole thing and showed my mom and she was like "this is awesome!" At the time we all thought it was really really good. Then we recorded it and we still have audio files on our computer and stuff. I sound so little! It's weird to see how far I've come in such a short period of time and how much my voice has changed.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
Beyonce or Bruno Mars. Bruno Mars is like the male Beyonce in my opinion. He has an incredible voice and again his stage presence is on fire and he's just fierce. If they did a song together it would be the theme song of my life. They should totally do a song together! That'd be awesome.
What's your favorite thing to do with your friends or family when you're not working? How often do you get free time to just do normal teenager things?
Well a lot of times it'll go on spans. A little less than a month ago we had two weeks where we still had rehearsals and stuff but besides that it was more relaxation time off from all the days in the studios and everything. I spend the most time with my mom because I always say she's like all of my friends combined into one person. she has all these different personalities for every event we do. She's just so much fun to hang out with. We love to go shopping together.
Obviously your new album is coming out on September 25th which is super exciting. How do you plan to celebrate the release?
We were actually thinking of having an album release party but we don't have anything confirmed yet. We actually did recently have a little pool party at our house. We had a bunch of people from Cherrytree and my family and my band and dancers. Most people showed up and it was so much fun we just swam and ate vegan tacos and it was so much fun.
What advice do you have for musicians trying to make it in the industry?
Just to follow your dreams and to work really hard and do whatever you can to get noticed. Every little thing counts. Also surround yourself with really great people.
Click through this slideshow to see and hear Skylar Stecker in action:
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