The gentle and soft-spoken DJ, songwriter and singer Ryan Skyy has just released his new video “Done,” along with Niki Darling and label partner Anthony Gibson. Together they make an exciting and explosive team; however, separately they each have so much to offer with their talent and creativity.
Ryan is an amazing producer and musical creator. I found him to be interesting, candid and beyond creative. Instead of an interview, I felt like he was presenting a story he wanted to share with the world.
So Ryan, you met Niki Darling about a year ago, correct?
Yes, about a year ago.
What have you been doing together?
This is the first song we’ve done together. I originally met her because I had a track being considered for Katy Perry’s album. I had submitted a demo that had my vocals on it, and they were interested and wanted to hear it with a female voice. So Anthony had suggested Niki. She wasn’t really doing dance music, so I didn’t know if that was something she would be open to. Then four months later Anthony mentioned to me that Niki wanted to do a track for “the kids”—that she wanted to get into doing house/dance music—so we decided to sit down and write a song together. It totally turned into this whole other thing that we were not expecting it to. It was really kind of a magical thing.
When did you start DJing?
I’ve only been DJing for about a year.
Honestly, I never saw myself becoming a DJ. I’ve always had dreams of being an artist. I taught myself how to play piano when I was a kid and have been writing songs ever since. It kind of runs in my family actually. My grandma used to play piano for silent movies. My cousin was a songwriter in the 1950s. I actually didn’t know that much about the dance world until I went to college. During that time I was bartending and then became a club promoter in Pittsburgh. That’s really how I got into it. Being around it all the time and seeing the effect it had on people and the love that they had for each other really made me fall in love with dance music!
Where do you see all of this going: you, Niki and Anthony?
Everything has been moving so quickly for us. This is only the first song we’ve worked on together, so it’s really just the beginning, but we are very excited, because we feel a deep creative connection to each other and haven’t experienced that on this level with anyone else we’ve worked with individually. It’s been a wild ride so far. Within a month we wrote/produced the song and shot the music video, and then within the second month we debuted on Vevo and launched our NYC and West Coast tour. So I can only imagine where things will lead for us! I’ve been producing for about two years, so I’m still kinda new to it, but I’ve been a singer-songwriter my whole life. I started doing pop, piano, vocals, more acoustic kind of stuff, and then I started to get into dance music, because in Pittsburgh, where I went to college, I became a club promoter. That’s really how I fell in love with dance music. I didn’t start out doing dance music that much; I think it’s because I wasn’t exposed to it enough. Then when I got involved in nightlife, bartending and stuff, I was around it all the time. That’s when I really fell in love with it. The way people reacted, the love that they had for each other, that’s where it started.
Even though I’ve only been DJing a year, everything started to move really fast, and I saw that as a sign that that’s what I’m supposed to be doing now. I would love to be like a Calvin Harris, producing for other artists, writing songs, but also releasing my own tracks as well.
His new album is amazing.
It is! I really relate to him, because I sing as well; he sings, he puts out his own tracks and he’s DJing. That’s everything I wanna be doing. I love it. I’d love to see myself go in that direction.
That’s a good direction to go in. Where are you going to be in 10 years?
I see myself producing for major labels and artists, releasing my own album(s) and traveling the world.
So do you DJ regularly?
Yeah, mostly in New York.
Different places. Cellar Bar for the NSA party, HQ Fridays at the Ritz, Foreplay Fridays at BPM, a monthly Zodiac party at The Monster, New Year’s Eve at Shadow Boxers and then I travel a little bit. I spun a few times on Fire Island last summer, headlined at Pensacola, Fla., Pride and performed at an international summer showcase event with Neon Hitch, Steve Grand and Erika Jayne.
Yeah! Pensacola Pride was actually my first gig. I was so scared. It was my first time getting up in front of people. I performed my whole life. I went to performing arts school, but that sort of thing does not make me nervous. But something as technical as DJing, you just gotta do it to get comfortable. So it was a scary moment, but it went well. It was cool. I was really happy about that.
Where on Fire Island?
So you’re a Pines boy?
Um, yeah! So we’re going to LA this week and performing in West Hollywood on Sunday. Niki and I are both performing on Sunday at Sur Lounge in West Hollywood.
Yeah, I would be too. So you’re a new addition to a crayon box; what color are you, Ryan? Now remember, you’re a new addition.
I’m a color that doesn’t exist?
Yep, I know you can do this one.
Wow. I’m aurora borealis.
I can tell you’re artistic! Now, you’re a porn star. What should I call you?
My name: The Night Slammer.
That’s kind of like a wrestling name.
You’re naked in a store window, holding a sign. What does it say?
Name something that you’d want me to know about you.
When I was in college, I threw an illegal rave inside my office building. I had my own business, so I threw the rave inside my office building.
Good for you.
Yeah, but I almost got caught by the cops! I guess I was really excited by my newfound love of dance music. The whole thing was really crazy, but now it’s a fun memory I can look back on.