We caught up with up-and-coming popstar, Gabi Sklar, to get the inside scoop on all she’s been up to! The songstress dished on her single, “Liberteens,” the artists that inspire her sound and more! Read the exclusive interview below to get to know your new fave!
Let’s talk about your new single, “Liberteens”! How did the song come about for you? What’s the story behind it?
‘Liberteens’ was inspired by a series of experiences I lived through in high school: the parties, the friendships, the boys, etc. I went into the studio with this idea and me and the co-writer, Troi Irons, just talked for a good hour about how high school shaped us— what our teen years mean to us? It’s funny because now that my friends have heard it, they keep trying to guess who each line is about.
What’s the reaction been like for you?
It’s been really cool because my last single was so different and I’ve grown so much. It’s nice to see people recognize the growth and transition from ‘LA Changes You’ ( a song I wrote in 2015) to ‘Liberteens’.
How did you come up with the concept for the music video?
I sat down with director, Lanz Pierce and we discussed ‘What is a Libertine’? The idea behind the song was that a libertine transcends each generation. Marie Antionette was a force to be reckoned with—a libertine— during her time and we thought, why not incorporate that in the video.
What’s the songwriting process usually like for you?
Aside from singing, piano is my primary instrument so most of my ideas start and revolve around the piano. I usually talk my ideas, and sometimes it’s just a verse and chorus, into the studio and the producer or co-writter just go back and fourth developing it.
Is there a song that you absolutely love that you wish you wrote?
‘Guys My Age’ by Hey Violet. It was done by Julian Bunetta, a producer that I’ve worked with in the past who I love. He’s super cool and talented. Ironically, my mom was the one who heard it on the radio and was like “ wow, you would write this.” I was like… oh, thanks mom!
When it comes to stage presence, which artist(s) do you take inspiration from?
I love Dua Lipa, Khalid, Lana Del Rey…I have a huge varying list of artists I look up to and admire. They’re all very unique in their styles and super talented.
Growing up, which artists were you inspired by? Do they still influence your sound today?
Early 2000’s music was a huge influence and inspiration in my taste of music. Even to this day, I love Fergie, Panic at the Disco, Hilary Duff, Miley. The reason I started playing piano was because of All American Rejects’ “It Ends Tonight”. There’s a piano part in the beginning that I remember thinking, wow, I need to play that… the only problem was I didn’t play the piano. I would sit down and try to play it by ear until a jumble of notes sounded somewhat accurate.
What do you hope people take away from you and your music?
I want them to feel inspired. I want them to play my music when they’re going through the worst and best times of their lives, in the car, when they’re getting ready for a night out, when they’re working out. Whatever it may be, I want my music to be relatable, honest and fun.
Being a freshman in college, how do you find the balance between school and music?
It’s actually extremely difficult but it’s funny because when I was fourteen and a freshman in high school, I began taking music seriously, flying back and fourth from New York to LA. Now that I’m a freshman in a University, I’m finally releasing music… It’s kind of liberating and the best feeling to see hard work pay off even if it means missing parties or a few sleepless nights. If you want something, you have to make sacrifices. In the end, my music influences my career and my college experience influences my music.
What do you to calm yourself down when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
As weird as it sounds, I like to be alone and just write. It’s the cheapest and most effective form of therapy for me. It’s important to take time for yourself.
What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Finally being able to release music!
What’s something you’re still hoping to cross off of your bucket list?
I want to travel more and work with more people. There’s so much talent out there and it would be so cool to go overseas and make music with other producers and writers. Ultimately, I want to tour and release an EP soon.
What’s the best way for fans to get your attention on social media?
I’m always on Snapchat. I think there’s only so much you can get from my personality through my songs and there’s an entirely other that I try to show through my socials. I try to be as real and active as I can through Instagram, twitter and snapchat.
What are some of your current obsessions? (ex: books/movies/tv shows)
I am really into criminology and am actually trying to study it along with music in college. I love watching special cases on 60 Minutes or Forensic Files. My top TV shows right now are American Horror Story, Stranger Things, and Orphan Black. I’m really into movies and cinematography so I’ve been trying to go back on movies from the sixties and work my way back to modern film.
Which artist(s) have you had on repeat lately?
Dua Lipa, Dupa Lipa, uh… Dupa Lipa.
What should people be expecting from you for the rest of the year?
More music! Nothing’s official but I plan to release another single in the next few months. My goal is to have a few singles and potentially an EP by next year.
How would you describe your personal style? Fave stores to shop at?
I love i.am.gia., Topshop, LF, revolve.com… My style is very simple, elegant, classy yet edgy. I love experimenting and there are very few trends I won’t try. I’m very into boots or some cool sneakers, hats, jackets and accessorizing. You’ll always see me layering necklaces or wearing some cool rings or hoops: simple things that make an outfit go from zero to a hundred.
If you could raid any celeb’s closet, whose would it be?
I love Olivia Culpo and Negin Mirsalehi’s style. Both styles are very tasteful and high-fashion.
Any special message for your fans?
I want to thank them endlessly for the support and positivity. I’ve been really lucky to have such great people rooting for me since my last single and amazing people that discovered my music through ‘Liberteens’. I can’t for you all to hear what’s next!
PHOTOS: SOUL STUDIO