One to Watch: Singer Gabi Sklar Answers the Socialite Seven

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Singer Gabi Sklar is here with some songs that you should definitely add to your playlist. This talented 20-year old singer/songwriter hails from Long Island, New York.

After teaching herself to play the piano by ear at the age of seven, she began writing her own songs. She has spent the last year writing and recording music with multi-platinum producers including Julian Bunetta (One Direction), Jonas Jeberg (Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato) and JR Rotem (Rihanna and Nicki Minaj).

In addition, she has been training with, she has been training weekly with vocal coach, Don Lawrence (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson) and performance coach, KJ Ross (Diddy).

Gabi’s star is definitely on the rise. Her song “Stay True” was featured in the Marvel Animated series Marvel Rising and in December, she wowed fans of the New York Rangers with her rendition of the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden. Gabi’s latest single, “I’m Sorry You’re Boring” has already amassed over 40,000 views on YouTube. The accompanying video, where Gabi endures the world of blind dates, is a perfect accompaniment to the upbeat tune.

Describing her sound as “edgy pop”, this young singer is one to watch and she took some time to answer our Socialite Seven. Get to know this singer who is certainly far from boring.

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When did you know that you wanted to become a singer? And have there been any moments in which you regret your decision (in the moment)?

I think it is important to preface this for anyone interested in the music business: This industry is not easy and comes with a lot of challenges and sacrifices. It’s been a super long journey but not once, even in the bad moments, have I ever regretted this. I don’t think I ever really decided I wanted to become a singer. Luckily, it’s just how my life planned out. I grew up singing and writing songs and poems… It just fell into place as if it were meant to happen this way. I take each challenge as a stepping stone and truly believe everything happens for a reason. Where one opportunity fails, it may lead to the next and better option.

Photo by: Riley Dwyer

Who has had the biggest influence on your music and why?

It’s not just because I love her, but Lana Del Rey has definitely shaped my music. As a kid, I was writing these songs that were so dark and to a lot of people, being 10, 13, 15 years old…they couldn’t relate to it. My face didn’t match my voice and the music I was writing was too mature for my age. The first time I ever walked into a label meeting, the biggest struggle I faced was that I couldn’t be categorized. They didn’t know where to place me! Being so young, people told me to try for Disney but that didn’t feel fair to the music. I would’ve had to change everything about me and my sound. When I heard Lana, I think it made me feel more comfortable in my style. As a pop artist, it expanded my mind to an entirely new, different side of the genre—a really dark, edgy, beautiful side. Lana was a huge influence on me even when I didn’t know it yet.

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Who (if anyone) would you love to collaborate with? 

I have a long list of dream collaborators but Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, maybe Alec Benjamin or 5SOS would be at the top. I’m pretty open-minded in the studio and believe in trusting the process. That’s the beauty in collaboration; you never really know what you’re capable of creating.

What type of music or artist that you listen to frequently do you think your fans would be surprised to learn that you’re a fan of? 

I really love Nirvana and I think some people are surprised by that because I’m this little 5’2” girly-girl with this big rock/alt side. That’s the cool thing about the versatility of music… honestly, people are really quick to stereotype a fanbase and undermine the extensiveness and capability a song has in reaching the audience. At the end of the day, good music is good music. I do this thing when I go to concerts where I analyze the fanbase of the artists. You have those guy bands with all the screaming girls who drag their boyfriends or Dads with them… I lowkey think the Dads and boyfriends are the ones dragging the girls along.

What are you hoping to achieve with your music?

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I just want people to feel the music and relate to my writing and words. If I could help one person feel like they aren’t alone and form this fan-community, I am already achieving my goal. As an artist and creator, you just hope that you can give people a sense of belonging. I want them to love the music but also accept the person behind it as my most vulnerable, authentic self. It’s the music, it’s the brand, it’s me.

Photo by: Riley Dwyer

If you could devote your life to one charity or one cause, what would it be and why? 

Growing up, I was pretty involved with the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Being a native Long Islander and appreciating everything the charity stands for, I would probably focus on that and the families associated with the organization. I used to go there with my mom and my friends after school or on weekends to bake and sing for the kids. That was definitely a really cool experience that I’d like to be more involved in. There are so many amazing charitable organizations though, it’s hard to just choose one. I want to help all the people I can whether it’s through music or really anything that brings people happiness. For now, I’m trying to do my part and contribute to the best of my ability.  

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

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You have to ask yourself before you really dedicate everything: is this what you really want to do and are you willing to do what it takes to get there? The best advice I ever received is there are thousands of people trying to do exactly what you are doing… So the question you have to consider is what is it that will set you apart from everyone else? When you are nice to people, they will want to work with you. When you are willing to learn, you will grow. No one can teach you ambition and work ethic, you are either born hungry or the next person is. Knowing and applying this, you will already be 10 steps ahead.

Gabi’s got some new music on the horizon, so to be sure you don’t miss out on her latest releases, follow her on YouTube and Instagram.

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