Magazine Jan/Feb 2013 Dancing to the Top

30 January 2013, 09:00
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Dancing to the Top

As the California sun glistens through the curtains and shines on his face every morning, Skye Stevens wakes up determined and one step closer to living out his dream. His dream is becoming the first and youngest mainstream Armenian pop entertainer of our generation. His days are filled with voice lessons, singing rehearsals, dance routines, and quality time in the studio practicing his sets. The music industry isn’t cut out for every aspiring little boy or girl to become a successful recording artist one day. In Skye’s case, however, all it takes is one listen to see that he stands alone from his pop-music peers. Watch out Justin Bieber, Skye Stevens might just steal your thunder.

The industry of big dreams. As many have been swallowed whole and spat back out, Skye Stevens knew the business wouldn’t always be kind. The 19 year-old isn’t too concerned about a backup plan. Within less than a year of breaking onto the scene, Skye has scored over one million YouTube video views, a record deal with Rock Society Records and a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Dance Charts. His first single “Takes All Night” has been circulating throughout the international dance music scene, placing him on the musical map. He is not even old enough to drink, yet clubs and DJs all over the world have been blasting his music, including Grammy-nominated producer and re-mixer Dave Audé who has worked with U2, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez and Coldplay. New to the game, Skye is already setting himself up to be more than just a trendy one-hit wonder.

Although it is spot on that music has changed a lot over the years, and upcoming artists are put under so much scrutiny for integrating auto-tune and disguising their actual vocals with club beats. “Using auto-tune doesn’t mean I am working any less. It can’t miraculously make you sound good. It can create a note, but not a singer,” laughs Skye.

As a kid, Skye owned a toy cash register. He soon transformed that cash register into a bank for his future album release party. “For album, saving money for the future,” it read in kindergarten scribbles. From the age of five, and before he knew how to tie his own shoe laces, Skye knew he wanted to be a star. While all the other kids wanted to become astronauts and superheroes, he wanted to be just like his icon Michael Jackson. “I would sit in front of the television and watch Michael Jackson music videos over and over again. When I watch him dance, I feel a magical energy transcend from his body into mine,” he says and pops his chest with a suave dance move. Like many other kids, he participated, not always successfully, in numerous baseball and soccer teams, but his ever-present love for music led him to a dance class that completely changed his life.

Teachers recognized that Skye, aside from all the other kids, was blessed not only with talent, but with an artistic vision. As the stage became his playground, voice lessons soon followed. From one rehearsal to the next, city to city, Skye lived a very different life from other kids his age. “I definitely had to give up a lot. I missed a lot of sleepovers because I had performances. I did have to give up normal kid things but I didn’t feel sad about it. I wanted to be on TV, radio and in movies. I remember I was out of school for three weeks in the fifth grade; I would fax my math homework at eight in the morning and then attend an audition for ten hours. I loved it; I loved every minute of it,” he says.

At age ten, Skye performed at the 76th Annual Macy’s Day Parade on the official Macy’s float. On weekends, he would road trip with his family to New York and perform in theatres. “Summer after high school, I went on a cross- country Broadway tour. I sang in clubs that I wasn’t even old enough to be in. Theatre was fun but it was almost more of a gateway to performing music. Each city that we would visit I would find a recording studio and record music that I created on my laptop five hours earlier. I would take my paychecksand pay for studio time instead of spending it on games or going to the movies,” he explains. Trying to break into an industry that is impossible to break, Skye’s music somehow landed in the hands of music managers Jules Dougall and Dawna Zeeman who have worked with musicians like Rihanna.

Plain and simple, they saw a spark in Skye and quickly flew him out to Los Angeles to create a star. Moving to the City of Angels has been an adjustment for Skye, but he thanks God every day for the opportunity. “Los Angeles is different. It’s hard to find real connections with people, but my music family has made the city feel like home,” he says.

 

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