Allow us to introduce you to the latest act to try their hand in both singing and acting: Skyler Day. But let’s be clear: this isn’t her first rodeo! Skyler has been creating music for quite some time now while juggling acting. In fact, she put out an EP back in 2014 and she’s still going strong, promoting it with a brand new music video on the way. Here, we talk with her about her upbringing, her experience making music, and what she has planned for the future.
Cliché: How did you get started in the music industry?
Skyler Day: I started singing when I was extremely young, but I was 6 when I started performing outside of my grandparent’s living room. I would sing in school plays, church, county fairs—any place that would have me. I discovered songwriting when I was 10 years old, but it was when I picked up guitar at 14 that I really began writing songs. Being able to accompany myself and create music entirely on my own was such an incredible feeling. I think that independence allowed me to write more freely and dig deeper into the personal stuff.
What was it that influenced the musical direction you wanted to go?
I grew up in Georgia listening to country music, so that has definitely influenced my style a lot. The songwriters of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, especially Carole King (she is the queen!), have also inspired me. I’ve always been interested in music that feels stripped down, tells very personal stories, and puts the lyrics first. I’m so obsessed and hyper aware of the lyrics in songs that I literally can’t fall asleep to anything but instrumental music!
Your EP Between the I and the You came out in 2014, but you’re continuing to promote it. I saw that you’re filming a music video for “Ian’s Song” now, but first off, what was it like for you to put your EP together?
It was equal parts amazing and terrifying! At that point, my music only lived on voice memos in my phone and the videos I would post on my YouTube channel, so it was very exciting to record these songs the way they sounded in my head and put it out into the world.
Did you have any guidance or was it all a brand new experience where you picked up things along the way?
It was definitely all brand new for me, so I was thankful to have an awesome producer/co-writer, Steven Solomon, leading me through it. He had my back through the whole process and always made sure that what we were making was honest and from the heart.
What made you want to make the video for “Ian’s Song” now, rather than 2 years ago?
I think releasing my music was such a big step for me and letting that have its moment was important. I tend to take my sweet time with things, especially when it comes to music. I never want anything I put out to feel contrived. And now I finally feel ready to put a visual to the music.
You’ve been an actress long before you became a singer. Many have dabbled in the two, but for you, what has been the best and/or hardest part juggling the two?
Time! I try my best to put equal time and energy into music and acting, but it can get tough. There have been plenty of times when I’ve scheduled a music gig, but then booked an acting gig that shoots out of town on the same day. It can be hard to balance, but there are also a lot of instances where the two worlds intersect. I love when that happens.
If you could guest star in any show, but as a singer rather than an actress, what show would you want that to be?
My first thought was “GAME OF THRONES!!!” But that would make no sense… [Laughs] For music, definitely Nashville! The music on that show is incredible.
What’s the significant difference between performing on stage versus acting in front of a camera or live studio audience?
Performing on stage, you are just you. There is no veil. It’s more personal because you’re singing about your own experiences and the audience knows that. With acting, it’s someone else’s words and circumstances that you are using to express your emotions. Even though you might be pulling from your own experiences, which can be extremely emotional, to the audience you are that character.
Do you think acting, in some way, helped you calm your nerves when performing on stage or did it all feel natural to you when you played your music live for the first time?
I think acting has helped me a lot with performing and being comfortable in front of crowds, but I definitely still get nervous! You get another take if you mess up on set, but you have to roll with it if you mess up on stage.
Your brother seems to be musically inclined as well! Have you guys ever thought of collaborating and making music as a brother/sister duo, sort of like Good Charlotte or Echosmith?
My brother, Dalton, is a brilliant musician! I love making music with him. We performed and wrote songs together all the time when we were growing up. We have both started doing our own thing, but putting music out together is never off the table.
When you’re writing your music, what’s the most important message you want to get across to your listeners?
All I want is for my music to make people feel something. So, for me, that means I have to be as honest and real about what I’m feeling when I’m writing. If it’s not authentic, I think people can sense it. It’s the best thing in the world when someone comes up to me after a show or writes to me on Twitter and says that my song touched them because they have been through the same thing and felt the same exact way. That connection is priceless.
Aside from landing awesome acting gigs, what can our readers expect in regards to your music? Should we get ourselves ready for a full length album or maybe a mini tour?
You can definitely keep an eye out for the “Ian’s Song” music video and new music to be released! I’m looking to get back in the studio very soon. I am also in the midst of producing a short film with one of my best friends that will feature new original music as well!
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Sky’s the Limit for Skyler Day: Photographed Brian Legoo