From nights on the town to iTunes to fashion shows, here’s the need-to-know on my good friend and colleague DJ Ryan Skyy.
Have you always been musically inclined?
I grew up in a family of seven, and had we not had my aunt’s piano growing up, I know I wouldn’t have had the ability to train the way I did. We moved a lot throughout my childhood, and the piano was always my one constant. I started writing songs when I was in fifth grade, and it was in college in Pittsburgh that I fell in love with dance music.
How would you describe your DJing style?
I prefer to spin on CDJs with USB sticks. I like the feel of the turntables. I don’t do crazy tricks and scratching, but I have been called a technician because of my mixing ability as well as a chameleon for being able to rock a wide range of parties from deep house/downtown vibes to circuit festivals to pop-heavy sets.
What’s been the hardest part about being an NYC DJ?
For me, I think my “chameleon” abilities have worked against me sometimes. It would be much easier to like one thing, be good at one thing, and just go for that full force.
Has your DJing affected the way you produce original work?
OMG, 100%! It gets you to pay attention to what’s going on in each song in regards to the key of the song, the progression, understanding the highs and lows, message, historical context and how it fits in with others. DJing also provides an important lesson in seeing what people respond to and why.
How nerve-racking is it to release your original work?
Well, releasing “Done” was a breeze, because I had zero expectations for it, and just created the single for fun and put it out. I wasn’t really prepared for what ended up happening, but I think that’s why the song did so well. With the next single I feel more pressure to live up to “Done” and to not disappoint people.
Your single “Done” with Nikki Darling was a huge hit. When can we expect to hear new music from you?
I’m working on releasing a new single very soon actually. I produced the music last year for Marco Marco’s LA and NYC fashion shows, and much of that music consisted of musical vignettes I produced especially for Marco and never planned to release separately. I’ve received many messages from people asking me to release a couple of the sections as standalone singles. It’s funny how inspiration can come unexpectedly, and so too can answers to your questions of your life’s work.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living in LA, producing for artists, remixing, traveling the world, married with kids and frenchies. I’m learning not to put too much stock in planning anymore, because you can’t predict all the little wrinkles that will affect your life. I’m just trying to stay hopeful and curious.