Producer. Songwriter. DJ. And now the Artist. Richie Skye is an upstart who is equal parts refreshingly “underground” and futuristic pop. His brand new album …Is Not Ordinary mixes the currency of electronic and dance music with his urban roots and an affinity for classic rock.
However, with songs boasting soaring hooks like the bass heavy, piano driven ballad, Forever Is Never Impossible, and the all-at-once-futuristic-yet-old-school reggae jam, All the Girls, the visionary songwriter and producer clearly had radio on the brain. “I do think about radio in the traditional sense, but what matters even more now is the radio in our heads – our MP3 players, our iPods, our computers,” Skye emphatically exclaims. “The cool thing about music now is that we can feed ourselves, instead of only taking in the music that’s been handed to us.”
His music is not only designed specifically to live in listeners’ heads, but also on the dance floor, apparent on tracks like D.Y.A.O. (short for Dance Your Ass Off). The DJ in him crafted songs destined for the coolest clubs and parties on the planet, blending the best of electronic music, hip hop and house party-style beats, but flipping them by pulling in crunchy electric guitars. “I am really inspired by the 80’s definitely,” Skye explained. “I’m fascinated by Robert Palmer, Prince and Fine Young Cannibals, and the way they incorporated electric guitars in songs like Addicted to Love, Let’s Go Crazy and She Drives Me Crazy. So you’ll hear that on songs like Light Up and Operator. There’s even a little Nine Inch Nails sound on D.Y.A.O.
It’s clear from listening to the album as a whole, that Skye has created a genre-bending body of work that transcends a mere out-of-pocket label. Other influences from Kanye to No Doubt and Depeche Mode can be heard on songs like the eerie Lost My Mind and the sure-fire breakout rocker, Don’t Turn On the Lights, wherein the producer-turned-artist challenges his vocal range quite a bit. “DTOL was really a departure for me. It was a way to really challenge myself. My delivery on the song wasn’t planned out, as it started out another way, but when I got behind the mic, I really just felt something different, and it felt much more authentic.”
Authenticity is something the artist is clearly striving for with this project. Not only does it cover a broad range of musical styles, but lyrically it chronicles his journey from budding producer to DJ to solo artist. The guitar driven pop smash-in-the-waiting, Breakdown, documents his frustrations as an artist and his near decision to quit making music altogether. He describes it as a tough time in which he felt like the people in his life were dropping like flies, as his musical journey continued to take him through different life changes.
The musical journey actually began more than ten years ago, when he wrote his first song after the ugly demise of a relationship. The song, called Stop, was later recorded, five years after he began producing, by the group he co-founded, Ellis Uniques. During that time, Skye began DJing local house parties and events, while recording the group’s debut album. It was also during that time that Skye produced an album of electronic music for House of Dance, a U.S.-based dance studio center. After Ellis Uniques disbanded in 2009, Skye continued pursuing his musical endeavors, taking a year to fully develop his sound as he prepared his debut album. And now, he’s ready to take on the world. “I feel like the journey’s just beginning.”