Rob Sky first appeared on the NYC music scene with his debut single, “Beautiful”, in 2007. His debut album, Right Now, was released in 2010 and followed with a tour in the UK. Rob has performed on stage with MJK, Blu Cantrell, and Monique. In 2017, he released TEN, an anniversary album that included previous unreleased tracks from the recording sessions of his debut album. After an 8 year hiatus, he returned to the studio and began recording again, releasing a few singles before finally completing his latest album, “What’s Left of Me”. Rob is already back in the studio, working on the follow up.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Rob Sky: I’ve been singing forever. I was a musical theatre kid in middle school through college. So that’s where my love of singing comes from. My way of dealing with emotional experiences (good and bad) is just to write them down and get it out so it’s not bottled up inside anymore. I got signed to my label in 2006 and have been with them ever since.
- Who was the first album you remember buying or listening to?
Rob Sky: First album I ever bought was Paula Abdul, Forever Your Girl. I STILL have the cassette! She was also the first concert I ever went to!
- Which artists are you currently listening to, or would like to work with?
Rob Sky: I’m listening to H.E.R. a lot. I really hope she wins the Grammy for Best New Artist. And Teyana Taylor’s new album KTSE is on repeat!
- What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?
Rob Sky: An emotional release. I want to help people through the breakup, or express their feelings of love, with my music.
- What do you think separates you from the crowd of artists emerging right now?
Rob Sky: My songs are deeply personal and relatable. A lot of music today is nonsensical. I like to tell a story with my songs.
- Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalog, and if so, why is it special to you?
Rob Sky: Hmm. That would definitely be “I Fucking Hate You” off my latest album. I had just caught my ex cheating on me through Facebook. I was looking at tagged photos of a mutual friend’s party, and there in the background of one photo, they were making out with someone else. So I was on a breakup song binge, but nothing came close enough to how angry I was. Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” was on repeat, which inspired this song- you can definitely hear it in the opening guitar intro and the big anthem chorus.
- Are your lyrics predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?
Rob Sky: Everything I write has happened HAHA. The good and the bad. I don’t know any other way to write.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your career so far?
Rob Sky: My latest album, “What’s Left of Me,” hit 10,000 streams in the first 8 hours of release. I woke up the next morning and I was pretty blown away. I never expected it to take off the way it did.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your music so far?
Rob Sky: Getting back into the groove of recording after such a long hiatus. It was definitely a process, but once I got back into the groove, it was easy.
- What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs, regardless of style or tempo?
Rob Sky: Piano! I think every single track I’ve ever made has a piano on it.
- Do you produce the beats and write the lyrics on your songs or do you collaborate with outside sources in any of these endeavors?
Rob Sky: I write the majority of my lyrics on my own. Sometimes I’ll collab with another writer, but that’s rare. Beats on the other hand, I suck at HAHA. I’ll have an idea for a beat, then it’s just a matter of conveying that idea to the producer I’m working with.
- How did the performance with Blu Cantrell come about, and what did you take away from those experiences?
Rob Sky: Someone I was dating at the time worked for Billboard, and they were getting ready to open up a new club in South Beach. Blu Cantrell was headlining, and they wanted to give upcoming acts a chance to open for her. They submitted my name and after an audition, I was told I’d be opening for her. It was my first time in front of a live audience. I will never forget that night!
- Which aspect of the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Rob Sky: The most exciting thing is seeing people react to your music or DM you that a breakup song you wrote helped them through a rough time. The hardest part is definitely forming a cohesive body of work sometime. I can be so all over the place with ideas for an album, that culling them down to a single theme can be a pain in the ass.
- If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?
Rob Sky: Enough of these mumbling rappers. I really don’t understand that genre at all. I’ll take Eminem, Jay Z, or Drake over them ANY day.
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
Rob Sky: I have the perfect answer to this! HAHA. One recent review of the album described it as “kaleidoscopic pop.” And I thought that was the coolest thing ever. It perfectly described my style. It’s pure pop, but all these different layers and textures come into play depending on the song.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
Rob Sky: 100% fundamental. There is no way around it. I love Spotify’s artist platform, because it gives you SO much insight into your audience.
- Could you tell us something about your latest release “What’s Left of Me” and your collaboration with Producer Michael Jay (Eminem, Celine Dion, Mandy Moore, Paula Abdul, Jane Zhang)?
Rob Sky: I know artists say this all the time, but this really is my most personal album to date. Every song comes from a specific experience in my life. Working with Michael Jay was a dream come true. He’s worked with so many iconic singers that it really was surreal.
- Do you prefer working and creating in a studio environment, or performing live in front of an audience?
Rob Sky: This is weird but I prefer the studio. The rush of performing live is great, but the studio is where the real magic happens.
- Do you have a specific musical milestone set for the near future, and what can fans expect from you in 2019?
Rob Sky: I’m already working on a follow up to this album. I originally wanted to make an album of covers, but as I recorded the sessions morphed into something else. So now that this album is out in the world, I’m revisiting the idea.
Discography: Beautiful (2007), Right Now (2010), Take What You Got (2015), TEN (2017), Already Home (2018), Cinderella (2018), Wait For You (2018), Strangers (2019), Ignore Me (2019), What’s Left of Me (2019).