Today we were lucky to interview the talented Skylar Kergil. Sky is a folk-singer from Boston, Mass and is making music as well as youtube videos. On Youtube Skylar goes by “skylarkeleven” and has an impressive amount of followers. He blogs about his transition from female-to-male and occasionally performs for the camera. In his most recent video, he announced his upcoming EP release and performed a song called “12 Steps!” We hope you enjoy the interview with Skylar Kergil!
RTP: We notice that you are getting quite some heat around your music and your activism. Would you like to share about your DIY process? How did you get to where you are now?
Skylar Kergil: Absolutely! When I originally began creating, it was with my body. As I transitioned socially and medically from female to male in 2009, I documented my voice changing on YouTube. Soon after, I somehow had an audience curious about my transition and so I embraced them, bringing them along the way. Because of the intense and beautiful community that created, when I began putting my music, poetry, paintings out there, I had a ton of support to keep up with my art and expressions. I crowdfunded my first album on Kickstarter, launching basement-recorded-and-mastered CDs and shirts and all sorts of lovely material things I had made out into the world! These days, when I have an idea or a project I want to bring to fruition, I always try to do it myself or with the help of friends.
RTP: When did you start writing songs and when did you start performing?
SK: I first started writing music when I was thirteen, around 2004. I played my first gigs in high school, around fourteen, fifteen years old. I’m twenty-three now, so a while!
RTP: About how long does it take you to write one song?
SK: Depends on the song of course; some will take me literally months to finalize because they need time to ferment or whatnot, but others I have had in my head and then just write out in a few hours, like “Take Me With You.”
RTP: How do you make your t-shirts? Do you make them yourself or are they made in a factory?
SK: I make my shirts through customink, which is a US based company. Currently though, I’m talking with a friend across the country who recently expanded his DIY clothing company and we’re working on having him produce my next shirts!
RTP: What are your top musical influences?
SK: Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, Conor Oberst, Ani DiFranco, Listener and the Oh Hellos.
RTP: What advice would you give to a young singer-songwriter who wants to be where you are now?
SK: Keep writing, play every day! Playing small shows, performing in front of friends, every experience counts. There are lots of amazing musicians out there too; they aren’t competition by any means, but your peers and potential future friends to collaborate on amazing music with. I was told by a judge at a Battle of the Bands gig to “stop playing music now” right at the beginning of me taking music seriously. Never listen to those folks, listen to your heart because folks want to listen to that too.
RTP: Where can we find your music?
SK: My full albums are at http://skylarkergil.bandcamp.com
Newer things/singles are at https://soundcloud.com/skylar-kergil
Listen on Soundcloud:
Take Me With You – Skylar Kergil