Who Is Skela?: Thoughts on Project 10 + Praise For Our New Favorite Artist
By: Carissa Mathena
Skela is an artist that enchants you from the beginning. Her voice, in my opinion, is unlike any other that we are hearing right now. It is raw, soft, light, raspy, and overall something you could listen to and feel every word she is singing. Not only is her voice unique, but Skela’s lyrics tell her story by using words that are unconventional yet inspirational. She is someone who knows the power that each word can hold. Her most recent release is called Project 10. This is an accumulation of 10 songs accompanied by 10 videos released over the span of 20 weeks. These songs and videos tell her story, and as she says in her final video, her story is told so she can move onto her next story. They all lead up to the information that she will be releasing a novel in 2019 titled Building You Up (the first chapter can be found at www.byskela.com). The videos were made in just 6 days. They were made all in the daily locations of Skela’s life, only adding to the personal connection between her and the Project. When I asked Skela what the process looked like for making these videos she responded with “Coffee. Nap. Food. Delirium. Dogs. Music on the radio. Coffee. Suitcases. Wigs. Coffee.” The fact that they were made in only 6 days is almost unbelievable when you watch them. You can see how the videos hold complex meanings and genuinely express the message behind the lyrics.
Her friends Zoe and Rachel helped her in the creation of these videos, each having its own individual story amongst the story of who Skela is. The lighting, the cinematography, the colors, and the personality added into each section of every video makes you feel as if you are there in the moment with them. There is a mix of intimate/personal videos and crazy/adventurous videos. When I asked Skela what some of her inspirations were behind the content of the videos she answered with “The inspiration comes from real occurrences in my life and how Zoe, Rachel, and I found a way to interpret them in simple, but visually pleasing ways.” These experiences are clearly “real” for Skela. You can unmistakably see her own emotion throughout each video. You can see her happiness and laughter, you can see her sadness, you can see her attachments to the content. This only adds to the overall power of the clearly inspired Project.
Overall, Skela is not just a musician and an author, she is an artist. She can excel in multiple genres through her incredible talent for evoking raw emotions from her fans. I asked Skela to describe her project in 1-3 words and she stated: “Storytellers build worlds.” And a world she built, one all her fans are invited into. She sings her feelings which are easily relatable for anyone. She adds in the visual depiction of said emotions, and she designs this experience.
Skela not only gave us this stunning project, but she is also going on tour to perform these songs. Her Project 10 tour begins in Brooklyn as she performs at Rough Trade on February 9, 2019. She also hits hot spots like Chicago’s, Schubas Tavern on February 16, 2019 and Los Angeles’s The Peppermint Club on March 2, 2019. These tickets are available now and can be found on each venue’s website!!
The final question is, why this Project to tell her secret, when she could have chosen between multiple genres. She expressed that “We always call Project 10 our summer camp. It was this beautiful piece of a summer in our lives that changed us as artists and in the back of my mind, I knew that would happen. I knew the experience would alter us in some way. I know I would grow as a person, friend, and artist. I needed those things to happen before I could move on.”
And a word to skela from me personally: As a fan and someone who truly experienced this Project and its life altering capabilities, I can say we are all looking forward to your next story.
Check out Skela’s Video for the smash hit, “Heartbreak & Liquor”