Pop-Culturalist Chats with Skylar Stecker
Skylar Stecker’s star is rising. As the youngest artist to sign to Cherrytree Records (she’s only 15!), Skylar has already been busy. She’s released eight singles—one of which hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance Chart—and spent the summer touring the country.
Her big voice and infectious songs are just a few reasons you’ll love her. Another reason? She’s already involved in many organizations, like Radio Disney’s Music in Our Schools program, which shows how passionate she is about the world around her. We were excited to chat with her and learn a it more about her creative process and why she loves performing.
P-C: When you come up with new music, how much of it do you write? What is your creative process like?
Skylar: I started writing music when I was nine. At that time, I always started my songs on my piano—coming up with the chord progression, melodies and then the lyrics. I wrote everything myself back then because I was young and was trying to get experience and figure out my sound and style. Now, I still start a few songs on my piano and build from there. I also enjoy getting into a room with a producer and another writer and starting from scratch. We throw ideas at one another, and after about 12 hours a new song is usually born. On occasion, finished songs will be sent to me that I instantly fall in love with—although this doesn’t happen very often because I do prefer to be involved.
P-C: Your newest single “Only Want You” was #1 on the Billboard dance chart . How does it feel?
Skylar: It feels amazing! I had a special feeling about “Only Want You” from the minute it was finished. I just hoped that others would like it as much as I did. So when it went #1 I was freaking out!!!
Skylar: My biggest musical influences are Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, and Alicia Keys!
P-C: Do you have a dream collaborator?
Skylar: Bruno Mars!
P-C: What is it like going on tour and performing alongside people/groups like Fifth Harmony and Miley Cyrus?
Skylar: It was a great experience! It’s always fun to see other artists perform.
P-C: Did you work closely with Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels on “How Did We”? How did that project come about? Were you familiar with the book, Everything Everything, or did you prep for the song by reading the book at all?
Skylar: Yes, I heard about Everything Everything and was anxious to see the movie after hearing my friends talk about the story line. Then one night when I was sleeping, my mom woke me to tell me some awesome news from my manager. They told him that the theme song to the movie still needed a strong vocal on it and that I had a shot. So I got up and listened to it and immediately got tears in my eyes. I absolutely loved it! It was one of those rare moments when I honestly didn’t want to change a thing about the song. I thought it was perfect and asked if I could go in the next day to try it out. Thankfully, they said yes and chose my version. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work directly with Justin and Julia on it but I did have the pleasure of meeting them a few weeks later. It so was fun because I have always been a big fan of their work!
Skylar: I have been a huge supporter of animal rights since I was very young. I have been vegan for many years and have made it my personal mission to inform people of what really goes on behind closed doors to these animals. I will forever support any program that brings music and arts back into schools and keeps them there. I don’t come from a family of musicians or singers so I wouldn’t have discovered my love for music if it wasn’t for my elementary school talent show. Kids need to be given an opportunity to try new things. It truly changed my life and could for many others too.
P-C: What is the most challenging part of being a singer-performer? What is your favorite part about performing?
Skylar: I am a perfectionist so the hardest and the best part for me would be wanting every performance to be 100% perfect. But I’ve learned—and am still learning—that in life nothing is ever perfect. It does, though, motivate me to work harder and continue to grow. I also just love being around music all the time. I love writing, recording, touring, performing, meeting fans, taking pictures, making music videos…all of it. I feel beyond fortunate to do what I do and love it so much!
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
Guilty pleasure TV show
Guilty pleasure movie
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Go-to karaoke song
“Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé
I can do a pretty good Shakira impression and burp the alphabet.