[FEATURES] Alani Skye: Lights, Camera, Action
It’s always great to talk to an artist who genuinely takes their craft serious. So often, you run across artists who, quite frankly, just don’t get it. So is not the case for Alani Skye. She has worked hard as ever to break into this industry, and even harder not only to maintain, but build a solid career and reputation that would catapult her to superstardom. As they often say for many artists, her time is now. Her songs are resonating with fans in a way that has become therapeutic for many. Whether some realize it or now, we haven’t had many artists like that in recent years.
We talk all the time about originality in music, yet, many artists lack it in so many ways. Everyone is out to make it by any means necessary, and in the process, they lose their ability to connect with the audience. Seemingly, Alani Skye has mastered her technique, and she’s relating very well with her audience. She currently has a strong buzz building for herself, which is why we’re even more excited to sit and talk with her. I honestly feel like she’s going to be the next big thing in music, and it’s truly an honor to present her story to you. Her takeover has started, and it’s time for the world of music to take full notice! Lights! Camera! Action!!
UGDigital: Thank you so much for your time and for giving me the opportunity to talk with you. I think you’re a steal, and you’re going to do some very positive things in music. Have you heard that all before?
Alani Skye: God bless your heart. I look at this as an opportunity as well. I ran into someone the other day grocery shopping, and he knew my mom. He ran up to me, and it made me feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing. He said “Can I hug you? You’re next. I see you on BET”. I was just like God bless you. It’s a blessing when other people see it in you. That’s what I see for myself.
UGDigital: It’s funny you say BET because when I first listened, the first thing I said was if 106 and Park was still out here, you would blow through the roof. I think “No Love, No More” is a strong track, and there’s something about the overall maturity in your voice and your lyrics that I think people are looking for. I really want you to talk about No Love, No More, your aim, and what you wanted to get out of it.
Alani Skye: First off, I say shout out to Chubb in North Carolina. He produced the beat, and my producer Sepp Herbert produced the record. I co-wrote on that record, and my man Ocie was a writer on that record. We’ve been writing together for a few months, and he produced my single before that. He liked the beat before I did. I was just skipping through the beats, and he said let’s go back. He started writing to it, and I threw some things in. I thought it was important for that type off track because not only had I been through a situation, but I have sisters and brothers. I knew it would touch a lot of people. People get so caught up in things like Love & Hip Hop, and these reality shows, and it’s all that ghetto love. It’s not real.
UGDigital: Like you said, to piggyback, people get caught up in the reality shows for sure, and they’re not truly getting the reality.
Right. So honestly, I’m my own worst critic. I didn’t expect it to Alani Skye: be as big as it was. I felt honored and blessed for all the love and support not only in my home town, but everywhere else. You know, I got my own Pandora station (laughing). I’m still tripping. I have a two year old, and she knows the song verbatim. We listen to Pandora all day long in the car. Every time I hear it, I still get excited. It doesn’t get old to me, and that’s what I’m trying to do with my music. I want to make timeless music. I still get the bubble guts, and I get excited to perform it, and it is a dope track. I’m grateful for everyone who took part in it.
UGDigital: That’s amazing, and the love you’re getting is something you’ll see a lot of. You’re coming from a genuine place, and that’s the result of being genuine. It’s relatable. It’s the same thing a lot of people go through, but they just don’t talk about it.
Alani Skye: You’re right, and that’s my thing. I want to make music people can relate to, and I want to tell the truth. You’re right, it does come from a genuine place and that’s why people will feel where I come from. They’ll hear the hurt when I’m hurting, and when I’m happy, they can relate to that too.
UGDigital: That’s the thing that makes you similar to the likes of Mary J. Blige. I know she’s been a tremendous influence for you. In what ways have she, and others like some of your other influences like the late Aaliyah and others inspired you to shape who you are?
Alani Skye: With Mary, I feel like we came from the same place. Even though I was a baby, this is what I heard my mother and aunts playing. I grew with her, and watched her growth. No matter how young I was, I was always involved in music. I watched her whole transition. Even though my music is just now coming out, I’ve been singing and transitioning myself. I’ve grown a lot and my music has changed over the years. She influenced me a lot because I feel like we come from the same place. We have that soul and that pain in our verse. Neither one of us are dancers, but we’ll tear that stage up, as if we were rappers. I learned that from Mary. I watched her, and she gets on that stage and does her one-two. I learned that from her.
UGDigital: So many people have talked about that with Mary. I’ve heard for so long that she’s not a dancer, but any time I see her perform “I Love You” from My Life, I swear I feel like she is killing it. She will tear the stage up and doesn’t care.
Alani Skye: Absolutely.
UGDigital: Now, I’ve listened to your other tracks as well. One of the tracks I really like is Dear Love. Who was that about?
Alani Skye: It actually wasn’t to a person. I wanted it to seem that way, but I was talking to Love. It was more about the word, the action, and what love has done to me. Me loving too hard, whether it was family, a guy, or my best friend, and feeling stupid behind love because I made dumb decisions based on my feelings of love and them not loving me back. Just love period, like, damn I hate you love. It makes us do some foolish things. I was talking about Love. I was with my manager, and said “wouldn’t it be cool to write a song about love”. I had a couple of family members who were asking if that was how I truly felt about love. At the time, yes. I didn’t really understand love. I didn’t have my baby yet so I didn’t understand what true love was. So at the time, it was like screw love. I want this money and this check. Who needs love? That was where that came from.
UGDigital: That’s the thing that separates you from the rest. It’s the way you write and take on topics. I love that song, and a lot of people can relate to that. It’s how many feel, but they don’t necessarily know how to express it.
Alani Skye: That’s my thing. I always want to be as honest as ;possible.. I always want to be the person and be that voice. I’ll say things that people won’t. I want to be that voice.
UGDigital: So what’s the next step in terms of albums?
Alani Skye: I’m actually in the studio now working on an EP in hopes to have it released early next year. We’ve been working over the course of the year. We have about 16 songs but we want the best of the best. It will have 7 songs, and we kind of have them picked out already. Some I recorded already, and some need to be re-recorded. Some we haven’t done anything yet.
UGDigital: Are there people you’re looking to work with?
Alani Skye: Right now, and I’m not even trying to be cocky or nothing (laughing), but right now it’s all about me. There’s a few industry people …. I’ve always said Travis McCoy. I’ve always wanted to do a song with Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes. I haven’t heard anything from him recently, so I hope all is well with him. I definitely want to work with him. Not really any local artists right now. I just want to get my music out and show everybody what I can do. There’s producers I want to work with as well. There’s this guy Peanut who is out of Ohio. He has worked with Jill Scott and Boyz II Men. He produced 4 of the songs that will be on my EP.
UGDigital: Now you come from a musical family?
Alani Skye: Yep, my mother was in a Rhythm & Blues band when I was a really small kid, and I used to get up on stage with her. When I was 11, she decided to only sing gospel music. She and her sister-in-law were in a band together. They left the band together and started a gospel quartet. My mom still sings in a gospel quartet. Sometimes, I still go to my mother for music advice. If I write a song she may be the first to hear it. I’ll ask what she thinks. Sometimes I go to her for performance advice. I think it makes her feel real good and it helps me. Sometimes, people say I have her gift, but she says I have my own gift. my father, he thinks he can sing. He thinks he’s one of the Whispers (laughing). My mom has been super supportive in me deciding to be serious and go hard with this music. She had a little run, but didn’t go as far as she thinks she could have. Now it’s my time, and she is super supportive and wants me to go all the way.
UGDigital: I was going to say the support would have to be bigger from your mom, simply because she knows the business and has been a part of it. There’s a lot of ways for her to support because she’s been in this business.
Alani Skye: Absolutely. Even more, she’s grateful. She didn’t have the people that I have in my corner. She’s grateful that I linked with a great team Shout out to Fefe entertainment. I have a great manager and producer. We get on each other’s nerves, but we’re like family, and want the best for each other. They want the best for me. Sometimes, I feel like they’re being hard on me, but it’s all tough love. I have a super supportive team. That’s what keeps the grind going and keeps me motivated.
UGDigital: And I think that’s what you need, in terms of having a team. You need people who will be honest with you, and always be in your corner. There’s a lot going on outside of music. You’re a mother, above all things, so you have to have that support system. I think it’s good that you have that. I think it will help in terms of how far you go with your career. I’m looking forward to more from you. With the EP coming hopefully at the top of next year, what else can we look out for? Will there be more hitting ReverbNation and Soundcloud?
Alani Skye: Yes, things will always go on there. We also have Fefeentertainment.com/Alaniskye. I have a page on Facebook that people can follow, I have my Twitter, and Instagram. My video for “No Love, No More” was released. It’s my first video, and was shot by Ozzie in Manhattan. I had so much fun, and I can not wait to share it with everyone. I have some local performances coming up really soon. It’s business as usual.
UGDigital: We would love to run the video as well. We’ll definitely get it up. Any final words of encouragement for final words in general?
Alani Skye: I come from a small town, and it’s a lot of talent where I come from. My thing is never to give up. Sometimes, it takes for you to run into the right person. I’ve been patient, and now it seems like things are really starting to happen. God is so good, and I will not stop. This is just the beginning. I just want to thank Sepp Herbert, my producer. Also my manager James Austin. I’m ready to work. Sky is the limit.