#IMMusicMonday: Conversations With SKo

Introducing, SKo. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter-producer is a music industry veteran with a plethora of accomplishments under her belt.

You may recognise her music from a number of shows on MTV, VH1, and E!

After navigating her way through the rollercoaster of music scene, where she experienced first hand the often abusive aspects of the male-dominated industry, the singer decided it was time for a well needed break.

Rising like a Phoenix, SKo returned to music inspired to create her solo project ‘Skeleton Woman’ (SKo) as a symbol of her rebirth.

Now ready to share her sounds of empowerment with the world, the singer speaks to IndustryMe about life as a solo artist, her new music and more.

How would you define your sound?

I define it as Spooky Pop! It’s pop with a little darkness to it. One of my girl friends would describe my sound as creepy-sweet and I liked that and carried it with me.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a woman in the music industry?

The challenge I continue to battle with is having opportunities dangled in front of me by people with more power and often unkind intentions. It’s become beyond disheartening the amount of times that deals and representation have been taken away because I won’t participate in or because I react negatively to an inappropriate advance or suggestion.

In an ideal world what would an industry with equal representation and access for women in music look like to you?

It seems pretty simple! (Laughs) Just that women be given opportunities based on their talent, not their willingness to sleep with you or not, and to be able to work with other artists, producers, managers, etc without receiving inappropriate pics after. Wild concept (!)

What did your time being in the band teach you about yourself as an artist?

I love that question, thanks for asking it. They taught me the sacredness of sharing your art with the right people.

Not everyone should get access.

It’s something that should be protected and it’s okay to shift who has access as you go. I’ve learned that the smallest amount of success changes people – so adjust accordingly. It’s my job to protect that.

Did you ever have doubts about returning to music? How do you get past that?

I still do. It’s scary being vulnerable and showing up when you don’t know that you want to, or that you’re ready to, or that you’ll be celebrated for it.

I waiver, but I keep being supported by the universe to keep showing up so I just continue doing it.

One of the things that took me out of music was being sexually assaulted and getting kicked out of my band and dropped from my representation; even after I’d protected my assaultant.

I thought if I’d protected him that I’d be safe and could keep what I’d worked for, but I was still punished by him. That was a rough time and before I could even start getting help around it, I spent a LONG ass time angry.

I’m still angry (laughs) but I’ve done a lot of work around trusting myself again.

I want to hold a space for women in the industry that is safer than it was for me. When I focus on that intention, most of my doubt around returning to music disappears.

What’s different now that you are solo?

It’s a lot more freedom. I make all the calls on mixes, creative choices, artwork, brand representation. There’s less hiding.

It’s just you up there – I realise now that I’d been using bands to hide. It’s a different ball game to know I’m responsible for it all. In a lot of ways that’s freeing, in a lot of ways that’s terrifying (laughs); depends on the day.

Why did you choose to title your project “Skeleton Woman”?

So, I really felt like I went through a significant death of myself to heal from that trauma and to start anew. Pieces of me had to die to be reborn and I was a new person, motivated by new things and speaking from a new place.

I felt like the title needed to represent that. I was reading this book called ‘Women Who Run with Wolves’ and there’s this folklore in it called Skeleton Woman about the life-death-life cycle of all things. It really moved me and I felt represented what this process has been for me.

Okay so let’s talk about “Planes”, where does the inspiration for the song come from?

I wrote the song at various points of a relationship I was in as they were playing out. The bridge is my favorite part and I added it after the song was already complete, so am glad we were able to work it in. It goes:

“We were laying in my bed when you said

‘You were disrespecting me’

Only fools talk about what they don’t know about

Baby, that’s basics – you were disrespecting you.”

That’s my favorite mindset shift – No one can disrespect me, they can only disrespect themselves.

From the sounds of things it appears equally important that the melody reflects the story as well as the lyrics. How would you say being a producer aids you in your creative process?

I actually fear wearing the producer hat the most! It feels totally new for me to produce my own stuff but I guess it’s not, I started out creating music that way. I just feel the least confident in that arena. But it’s cool to go back to basics with my creative process in that way.

Again, it’s easier to hide behind people so producing my own stuff really puts me on blast that this is like ALL ME. So if it sucks it’s all me, if it crushes it’s all me too.

Finally, What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a music video for “Planes” and the next single. I’m working with a dope hip hop artist right now too that I’m excited to put out some work with soon.

Outside of that, I’m working on loving myself really well and on cutting through the BS and the masks and just letting people see what’s underneath.

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