Home Interviews Feature: Skylar Mills [Interview]

Feature: Skylar Mills [Interview]

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Hi Skylar, thanks for joining us, how are you today and what are you up to? What are your plans for the week?

Hi, thanks for having me in this interview. This weekend I had some family stuff and a little time planned in the studio.

Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

I’m from the South of Holland but with roots from South America. But at the moment I spend more time in Belgium. I think I was brainwashed into being an dj. It began when I was very young and the music from the room beside me was pounding so loud, my Spice Girls could not handle it. In that moment, no girl power☹. The music that was pounding was very loud and aggressive, it was hardcore/gabber music. At that time in my life I hated electronic music because it was always playing in the house I lived. And my speakers in my round could not compete, although I tried. The  music from that room changed over time, although I did not know into what. But it was not my cup of thee, I was more into Betty Boo and Spice Girls, but yeah what would you expect being 6 years old. A few years later my parents left me with my brother, but he had to dj that night. I was too young to stay home alone, so he took me to his gig that night, although it was not allowed into the venue. He told me to stay under the dj booth so nobody would see me. As he played his set, I stayed under the dj booth the whole time, I had never been to a club. I think that is  were another seed was planted.

How has living in the Netherlands affected the music you make?

There are 1100 festivals in the Netherlands nowadays with about 17 million inhabitants, so you can imagine there is a lot going on. But there is a lot of bad music, I am always amazed by the shit they are playing and the amount of people that listen to it, pfff. I would describe it, as very cheap commercial dance music. But coming from the Netherlands, I could not say I was not affected by this. So I would hope that although I was brought up under Dutch cheapness, I still am able to stay on the edge of underground.

Name five tracks that were most important in your musical development and why are these pieces so significant for you.

  • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Missy Elliot – This Is For My People
  • Cherry Moon – The House Of House
  • Darkraver – Komt ie dan He
  • DJ Jan – X Santos

What are your favourite venues to play in the Netherlands and why?

At this moment Effenaar where I am a resident at the Follow The White Rabbit events. It is a big club room for 1200 people.

You have some new music out, beginning with your ‘Values Of Native Society’ (Part 3) on Lessismore, tell us about the EP and general concept for the series as this is the third part.

The concept is simple, it is Richie Hawtin meets Jeff Mills, it is Minimalist Tribal Techno, a native sound like my native roots.

You also have a new remix of ‘Dreams Of Reality’ by Alexis Tyrel, tell us about your inspiration for the remix and walk us through the production process on it.

In this moment many techno dj’s are playing old trancy tracks, which I like but if they are playing these classics, I am not playing them because I want to play something people have not heard. With this remix I made a trancy track that I can play in my dj sets.  I tried to keep it classic so and did not over produce it. But this version was made doing another Alexis Tyrel track called Rules Of Reality, which I also remixed and will be released soon on Lessismore. To be honest I hustled 3 remixes with the Alexis Tyrel sounds and melodies.

Is that a typical process for you or is every track a different journey in terms of the creative process? Do you have a studio routine? One where over time you’ve refined the production process into something that you know works or is every track a different journey in terms of the creative process?

I have a specific taste in music and I want to have tracks I can play in my dj set. My sets should be diverse music wise, I like to go to all corners of techno. So that is my mind set when choosing sounds in the studio. Sometimes I want something new but sometime I want a copy of a previous track, like I am doing on the In For A Penny In For A Pound serie on Lessismore. I do not want to play the same track in every set, so I would like to have something similar, so I can tell my story. The process could be described as Order Of Mandatory Choas (which is a track name I released on German label Bunny Tiger)

You have found a comfortable home on Lessismore it seems, what makes the label such an attractive platform to release on?

I think Lessismore is a very helpful label and is from the South Of Holland, I feel connected with them . Music wise are no limits or boundaries, it is more a people label. And besides that,  I am the only girl on the label so the guys are pretty happy with me, I think.

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration? Or does a certain vibe or flow sometimes transcend that?

With Skylar Mills I focus on raw dancefloor music. In the past I released more listening music under a different artist name.  But this new project I started this year,  I am finding my true self I think. It is less polished and more straight up.

How do you achieve such a warm, redolent quality in your music, what’s in the Skylar Mills studio?

I am not a tech geek, the technical side of music does not interest me. I focus on feeling the music or not. Sound wise,  I like a clear and full sound,  so the sounds takes you from the speaker into the track. To do this one can not do this in one take. I have to listen to it and feel if it is ready or not. But to be honest, I get help by the labels. Sometimes it is hard to know what is off setting a track, this takes time and sometimes someone else, who tells you want is not right with a track.

Most artists go through periods of creative blocks, what do you do to help break through these moments?

NO BREAKS

Describe one or some of the best sets you’ve played in your career.

I just started with this alter ego this year so I am pretty new to the scene. I would say the best is still to come.

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

I think social media is an important platform these days ,but I don’t think it’s the most important thing you do as a dj producer. I rather focus on music instead of making selfies all day. I should share more online people tell me. And they are probably right but I do not wanna be like a sheep.

About the current state of the industry it is a big industry, where a lot is based on perception and maybe less about music. For some artist this is great because the profile is better than their music. I still have time to work on both so hit me up about this topic again and we will see where I have landed.

This may tie into the previous question in a way but what are the biggest challenges you face as an artist in the industry right now?

Pre judgement because I am a girly girly who likes girl stuff  but also loves techno. People do not tend to understand why I like Techno. They see me as something else. But I must say it took me a while to find my path, although it was always around me. Very stupid but at a certain moment I just knew I wanted to pursue a career in music. The hardest challenges at this moment are the dj booths which are made for people larger than 155 cm.

Outside of all things music, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to hang out with my friends and family, like most people. But I aspect you want something more original and personal than that. I am big into unhealthy food and I have to watch out that is does not show. I am thinking of food a lot especially at night, so if I every became famous no salads please.

What five tracks are you loving right now?

  • Mark V and Poogie Bear
  • Predator – Better Run For
  • Doris D & The Pins – Jamaica 1982
  • Linda ronstadt – cigarra
  • Skylar Mills – Las Vegas Stripclub

Tell us what we can expect in 2020, anything you can share with us?

We are doing a special visual project. I will hope to tell you some more in while. I do not want to jinx it by being too early with announcing this.

From Cybertron With Love (Part 04) is out now on Lessismore, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/33x0i65

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One Comment

  1. Claudio

    29th November 2019 at 11:36

    Thank you for including the Tanzgemeinschaft premiere in this very nice interview.
    Lessismore is a nice label. Skylar Mills is doing great.

    Reply

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