Tell us your real names.
Real name: Skylar Allen.
Tell us your academic qualification.
I am a sophomore in college at Loyola University New Orleans.
Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience, and skills.
I grew up in New Hampshire and have been making music for as long as I can remember. I began by playing drums in a band and began making hip-hop music in my freshman year of high school. A lot of my artistic influences came from Denzel Curry, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake, Lil Peep, $uicideboys, and Earl Sweatshirt. I used to do a lot of online rap competitions, and that was how I began to build a following. I moved to New Orleans after high school and began attending school at Loyola University. Here is where I met my current team and began to really refine my sound and brand. My stage name is my birth-given name, Skylarallen.
Tell us about your genre, concept, and idea behind your music video and the song.
As far as genre, I would say that my sound falls between dark melancholy boom-bap conscious hip-hop and a trap sound with striking energetic flows. My sound is eclectic, and I’m able to do a lot of different things with my music. Music is a very free-flow thought for me, and I tend to write what is on my mind at that moment. Writing songs has always been a way for me to vent and express my emotions.
Tell us how to run a record label independently and successfully based on your experience as an artist.
I help run an independent label called The Renaesance along with my friends Max Taylor and Derek Taylor. Something that has proved valuable to us in furthering our collective is keeping a keen eye on artists at a similar place as us that we think have potential. Another thing is collaboration and exchanging networks with people who share the same mindset and have music that fits the same niche like ours.
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
When it comes to promoting my music, I post the songs on Soundcloud and then share them on all of my various social media. Getting reposts from other friends who make music is the best way that I’ve found to get my music out there. I have started sending to blogs, my music gets love in Russia too. I use the website vk.com to connect with fans from there. People on that site upload my music without me even asking; which I think is pretty cool.
Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.
Something that makes me happy is creating a body of work that I’m really proud of; I just released my first official album called “Detached”. Something that makes me sad is that I’m so far away from my family and friends from home. It’s great being out in New Orleans and seeing new areas of the world, but I don’t get to spend as much time at home as I would like to be able to.
Explain clearly the story or concept behind the song.
This song to me is about the progression of life, and how hardships can make you colder but also stronger. As I’ve started to gain years, and experience more of the world I start to see how people need to desensitize themselves in order to live life independently and efficiently. Through things such as heartbreak, and losing loved ones, and facing personal fears I feel that I have grown a lot as a person. This song tells that story.
List the radio stations, TV stations, and blogs that have aired or featured your new song.
The Consignment Radio Show has featured my music. I’ve had a local Colorado radio station play my music as well.
Give us links to where the song can be purchased.
Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director, how the song was recorded, and how the music video was shot.
Some of the people with who I collaborate with most frequently are Maxtaylor, DJ Dii Tii, Cutnoise, OVRCZ, and HeartbreakP. Cutnoise is the producer of the “Ice Cold” record, who I met on VK. He is from Russia, and has really helped me craft my sound. He produced about half of my album. Raiden Killah is another huge contributor to my album. He is from Russia as well. I met Beamon over the summer while I lived in Minneapolis. He has been a great inspiration to me musically and as a person. Beamon spent some time recording at our house, and I reached out to him for the feature while I was finishing up the album. I’m really proud of how the song turned out. I recorded my vocals on a mic in a dorm room and mixed them in the school studios. There has not yet been a music video shot.
Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience, and your future goal.
I have been officially branding myself in the music industry for about two years. I’ve been doing music for longer, but recently have started making things more official and making a name for myself. I plan on setting my sights as high as possible, becoming more than simply an artist. I would like to make a brand and start doing more work with clothing.
Tell us what makes you unique from others.
What makes me most unique is my versatility and ability to make many different kinds of music. I’m really focused on the content of my lyrics as well as how the words sound together.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
I think the strength of mine is my ability to sit down and create a song in one night. I like to release music when I’m passionate about it, rather than holding onto it and letting it age. Something I need to work on is engineering and production.
List your five favorite songs including the artists.
Favorite songs right now: “Girls” by Lil Peep and Horsehead, “Up Like an Insomniac” by Xxxtentacion, “Hate Government” by Denzel Curry, “The Question” by Mac Miller and Lil Wayne, and “Grief” by Earl Sweatshirt.
Tell us your position on “DIY” Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
I believe in doing everything yourself and with your team until the time comes when you have the leverage to work out a good record deal. I don’t believe in signing any deals until you can’t physically manage to do everything yourself. Labels also are helpful for radio play, which is something to look into.
Tell us the instruments put together in this song.
I don’t know all the different instruments used, Cutnoise made the beat and sent it to me and the moment I heard it I knew what I wanted to do with it.
Tell us other activities you will like to pursue apart from music.
I’d like to pursue fashion in the future. Making clothes has always appealed to me, and eventually, I’d like to use my music to promote fashion.
Tell us about gaining the confidence to sing in front of a large crowd for the first time.
Performing on the stage has always been a part of my life. I started acting in elementary school and into middle school. There came a time where I decided I would rather put energy into performing my music, and I carried the skills I had in theatrical performance over to my live set.
Tell us the best way to make money in the music business.
I’m still figuring out the best way to make money myself. I think merch is the key, and sponsorships.
Tell us your experience pertaining to TV/Radio plugging.
I don’t have much experience in this area. All I really can say is over the years I have learned how to best present my work, and I think that has made a significant difference in how these outlets respond to being sent content.
Narrate your recording experience.
The recording is very methodical for me. I like to stay in the booth until I have every vocal take that I need and then I’ll save the project and come back to it for the mix. Sometimes I’ll finish a whole song in one night. I’m a very perfectionist about the way I record. If I notice anything wrong in my phrasing I have to rerecord until it is completely satisfactory.