Sharing the same school with Bonander, Cebratrack stumbled this little blog here and I’m glad she did. She’s got this great sound that’s all her, especially the new gem “Universe.” The latest single was a huge part of our back and forth as was her life as a podcaster, sexism, feminism and more.
What are the odds that you could travel around the world and wind up meeting someone from where you are? No really, what are they? Because that was the reality for the Australian pair that make up This Way North. Cat Leahy and Leisha Jungalwalla were a world away from their own homes when they had a chance encounter in Canada. After hitting it off, well the music soon came and This Way North was born. Roots rock was where they started, but they changed lanes this time around. We talked about why they decided to switch it up on the new record, their touring that picks back up in April, and more.
There was no doubt that Skyrah Bliss would be a singer when she was younger. A natural poet that soon transformed her words into songs, she was a natural performer. She remembers, “I would mimic the songs I liked that came on the radio. I’d even throw my own mini-concerts at my daycare using the CDs my mom would buy me and a radio. Shortly after I developed a love for expressing myself through words came the melodies that blossomed into songs around eight-years-old.”
Singing along to Whitney, Aaliyah and TLC eventually led Skyrah Bliss to being in a singing group and that’s where we begin but not where we end. We talked about her new single, “Next Him,” her album Vacate and more.
Kendra: You were part of a group when you were younger. How long did it take you to realize that you were better off on your own?
Skyrah Bliss: The first few years were slightly challenging because I was so used to having two other girls beside me on stage. I had as many dancers on stage with me as possible so I could feel a little bit more comfortable, but in the end, it was just one voice. I found my groove and enjoyed the complete creative freedom which later led to finding my sound.
Kendra: Pretty soon you’ll be dropping a new album. What kind of headspace were you in when you were working on the record?
Skyrah Bliss: My headspace was an open book while working on this album. I didn’t have a specific plan or have a particular sound. I always feel that you’re restricting creativity when doing so. I just find a vibe, ride it and create magic. I want anyone who listens to my album to feel as free as I was creating it.
Kendra: A great producer can make or break a track. What did DJ Chose help to bring to the table when it came to “Next Him?”
Skyrah Bliss: DJ Chose is such an amazing artist who understands the craft of creating great records and he felt I could add something great to his production. When he sent it to me I jammed to the beat for a few weeks before I began writing to it. The sound was so unique I wanted to make sure my approach was complementary to the sound. I really wanted a woman empowerment, fun record that’s relatable and I was so happy we pulled it off!
Kendra: I’ve been noticing a lot of R&B and hip-hop artists are drawing from African-based sounds. What about Afro-house made you fall in love?
Skyrah Bliss: I’ve always love culturally influenced music since I was younger. I started to play around with the House sound here and there but I really wanted it to have a Latin influence because I grew up around it and I LOVE horns. That’s why “Sun Down (Bésame)” is my favorite record on my album. There’s something about a horn section on a song that kisses my soul!
I met a producer named Giggz at an industry mixer from Kenya here in Houston. He’s a lot more experienced with House music and we began to vibe out in multiple sessions. My entire project switched up because of the magic we created! I love how Afro-House makes me feel and I knew once I was able to create it there was no turning back.
Kendra: What else do you have going on this year other than dropping Vacate?
Skyrah Bliss: For now I’m focused on dropping Vacate along with dope visuals and hopefully we’re able to get some tour dates locked to start promoting the album!
Kendra: Music can often be euphoric. If you had to make a mixtape that was a blissful experience, what five songs would be on it?