L.A. based singer songwriter Skyler Chissell is emerging into the music industry with her latest single “Carnival.” The 18-year-old is finding her niche in pop country and staying driven to create music that is both fun and relatable. Skyler took time out of her day to discuss the single, her inspirations, and what’s to come.
ME: How has your summer been so far?
Skyler: It’s been amazing. I got to have a lot of fun with my friends and go to the beach. It’s been great. How has yours been?
ME: Oh, jealous. Not too shabby. Working, working, working. (laughs) So tell us about your latest single “Carnival.”
Skyler: “Carnival” is a song I wrote when I was about 15. It’s been so much fun to work on. It’s about two people being able to reconnect, whether it’s a friendship, or a lost love, or anything… just seeing each other at a place where they grew up. Growing up, I used to go to the carnival with my best friend back home in Virginia. We’d go every year, and one year me and him got into an argument, so we didn’t go together that year. We’d happened to go on the same day with different group of friends, and at that point, we’d become friends again. Seeing each other there, we were able to work everything out. The song came from that place of being able to really reconnect with someone and fix everything that had been wrong, whether it be through an apology or noticing whatever the fight was. You’ve already been through so much together and you can get through it.
ME: That’s amazing. It’s definitely a relatable song. I know it brings on more of a nostalgia feel for you as well. What is one of your favorite parts about “Carnival?”
Skyler: One of my favorite parts about “Carnival” is the whole part about writing it, honestly. I wrote both the guy and girl parts, being able to write from both point of views and really getting into the mindset of how people can feel from either side of the whole situation. Girls and guys have, from what I’ve noticed, (laughs) being a teenager and being around this era and generation, we always think that the other person doesn’t care like we do. Doesn’t feel the same we do. Being able to really think from that mindset and think that someone could care the same way you do and that you both are just too afraid to come out and say it first. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to think from that point of view.
ME: It is a little bit different from some of your previous songs. “Carnival” feels a bit more elegant. Do you feel that your sound is changing?
Skyler: Definitely. When I first got to L.A. it was all about the hip-hop, rap, and pop. I grew up working on a farm back home in Virginia. I grew up around country music and classic rock. When I turned about 15/16, I wanted to get back into that side of everything. I started writing “Carnival” as a part of me getting back to my hometown roots and everything that I loved growing up. There’s going to be a lot more of that coming soon.
ME: Awesome. Out of all the music that you’ve released so far, do you have a personal favorite? Also, I know MacKenzie Bourg was featured on “Carnival.” Do you have any dream collaborators you’d like to work with?
Skyler: “Carnival” is definitely my favorite. I got to write the entire thing by myself, and writing is one of my favorite things. I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid. I remember in first grade, I would write little stories to my teacher; it was one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely loved working with MacKenzie. He’s an amazing artist and the sweetest person. We had so much fun together to be able to be in the studio and record this. I definitely think if I could work with anyone… it’s hard. I have three of them. I have like the side of Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran, because they’re just amazing songwriters. Their voices are so beautiful and sweet. I’d also love to work with a country artist like Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood. They were my idols growing up.
ME: How long have you been a musician?
Skyler: Pretty much my entire life. My dad is a classic rock singer back in my hometown, so I grew up on stage. At two years old, I remember going on stage with my dad and singing old-timey rock and roll and loving the feeling of being on stage. The stage is like a second home to me. It’s insane being able to do it at this scale now. I’m just really happy that my dad loves that I’m doing this, because he’s the one that taught me how to be comfortable on stage and how to sing in general. It’s amazing getting to see my dreams come true, along with his dreams for me as well.
ME: Aww. Have you had any other inspirations that have driven you to a music career besides your dad?
Skyler: Definitely. My entire family really loves music. (laughs) My brothers… Growing up, I remember them always playing different types of music for me when they used to babysit me as a kid. It was great, because one of them liked rap music, one liked more indie and punk kind of stuff, and my mom listened to country music. They all really inspired me by showing me these different types and telling me over and over how I could do it. That I could be someone big one day and that I could do the same thing that all of my favorite artists did when I was growing up.
ME: What can we expect next from Skyler?
Skyler: There’s going to be a couple more of the pop songs coming out. Those are a lot of fun for me to sing and experiment with. But, for sure, there will be more of the country side. Things I like to write for myself are things people can see from different perspectives and thing with a lot of emotion. My biggest thing is being able to write to show people that I understand whether they’re going to go through it because they’re younger, they’re my age and going through it now, or if they’ve been through it. I just want to show them that it’s okay, and that I understand. Everything is going to work out.
ME: Aw, that’s beautiful. Is there anything you’d like to close off with?
Skyler: I would just like to say that anything anyone needs after hearing this, my DM’s and messages are always open on social media… If anyone ever needs to talk or have someone listen, I’m always here to talk; I love when people are there for me, so.
ME: Skyler, thank you for taking time out of your day. We appreciate it!
Skyler: Thank you so much!