Skela Chats About Creating "Project 10" & Upcoming Novel, "Building You Up": "You Really Can Create Anything You Put Your Mind To"
Ambitious is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about indie-pop songstress, Skela. For most artists, coming up with a concept, writing and recording an album alone is already a daunting task, but Skela takes it one step further with her latest release, Project 10, which not only features 10 new original songs, but also 10 accompanying music videos. If that isn’t enough, Project 10 was also created on very little to no budget, leading Skela to get creative when it came to the writing, recording, filming and release of the project.
But it doesn’t stop there. On top of Project 10, which is out now (all videos can be seen now below) Skela is also furthering her story with her novel, Building You Up. Although the full novel is not out until 2019, Skela recently gave fans a sneak peek at the novel, which can be seen now HERE. All things considered, it’s safe to say that Skela is ending 2018 on a bang, but 2019 is already showing promise of being one hell of a year as well. Until then, get to know a little bit more about Skela and listen to Project 10 now below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for anyone who might not be familiar? What first sparked your interest and involvement in music?
My name is Skela. I’m a musician and writer based in New York City. There are so many steps between spark and involvement. Sometimes I forget, but what sparked it all was hearing beautiful voices come through machines.
You just released your ambitious new album, Project 10, which features 10 songs and 10 accompanying music videos. What was the inspiration behind this unique release?
The inspiration for the album actually came from building up to the original novel that I wrote entitled Building You Up. We are releasing the first chapter of it today in conjunction with Project 10 and I am so excited to see what the fans think of it! They can go to byskela.com to read it.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on Project 10? What did you want to accomplish with this one?
I wanted to work with storytellers to help tell my story so I could finally get on to telling the next. I wanted to reintroduce Skela as more than a musician and present the artist that I’ve always wanted to be. I wrote each and every one of the songs on Project 10 and they all represent specific moments of the last year of my life—my heartbreak, my family, my brain, my youth, my friends.
You’ve mentioned that Project 10 is about creating art for the sake of creating art. What has been the most rewarding thing about being able to have full creative freedom with this project?
The most rewarding aspect of this project was being able to work alongside my best friends whom I adore and respect. They are not just friends of mine they are also profound storytellers.
Were there any challenges you came across when working on the album? You’ve mentioned that this project was created with little to no budget - did that cause any obstacles?
Of course! Not having financial backing was a logistical hindrance, but we found ways around it and kept to what was more important—the music and the concepts for each of the videos.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist with the writing and creation of Project 10?
Project 10 has now taken up almost half a year of my life. It’s actually the first time in my career that I am able to attach a time in my life with a project like this and it’s crazy to think about who I was then and who I am now. I’m the same of course, but I feel like a new person.
What would you like fans to take away from Project 10?
I’d like my fans to know that you can create anything you want in life - you do not need permission! It’s always best to navigate with respect and love for others, but you really can create anything you put your mind to.
With Project 10 out this month, do you have any other big plans in store for the rest of 2018 or beginning of the new year? What can fans expect next?
Yes! I’ll be letting listeners in on the process of writing my original novel Building You Up and gearing up for its full release in 2019. Of course, I’m going to create a trail for them again with other work and music along the way. We also recently announced three live shows in support of Project 10 and I’ll be playing shows at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on February 9, 2019; Chicago’s Schubas on February 16, 2019; and Los Angeles’s The Peppermint Club on March 2, 2019. Tickets for all three shows are available now and I hope to see fans there!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me! I hope fans enjoy Project 10 and Building You Up and that they are able to make it out to a live show in the new year!