Interview: Derek Skelton
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Honestly, I was just born loving music and singing. It’s not really something I just stumbled upon and thought, “Oh, I’d like to do that.” If I wasn’t passionate about music, I’m not sure what else I’d be really interested in. I mean, I’m also in the military so maybe that wouldn’t have changed. Who knows.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Since I live in Hawaii, I love surfing, hiking, diving...really anything outside. If it involves adventuring or just experiencing nature then I’m all about it. As far as influencing creativity, Hawaii’s a great place to escape somewhere and just write. There’s nothing like sitting on a beach, watching the sunset, and putting down your thoughts.
How long has music been your career?
I started doing music professionally a couple of years ago but I also balance it with my military career.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I currently live on Oahu but I grew up in Alabama. I haven’t really gotten influenced per say by where I live or where I’m based out of. I’ve gotten some lyrical inspiration for a song from living in Hawaii but neither place has influenced how my voice sounds or the genre I sing. I just make music that I love with hopes that other people love it too!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
The Goo Goo Dolls, Chris Stapleton, John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, The Fray, and Rascal Flatts.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Be original, write as much as you can, and don’t get discouraged.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
It definitely would be to consistently work on my guitar playing, write more, and to put my time and energy into what matters most to me...music.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Can’t Outlove Me will always hold a special place because it was my debut single and started this incredible journey that I’m on.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I honestly don’t have any favorites...I put a lot of time and energy into my songs so I love playing all of them. Most people love to hear Can’t Outlove Me or Island Girl out of my current songs.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Typically I just sit down with my guitar and play different melodies until I hear something that I like. After that, words kind of form themselves based on the feelings or emotions I get from that sound. I hardly ever finish a song in a day though...it can take a few days, a week or even a month for me to finally complete a song. As far as inspiration, it’s all around. You never know what is gonna spark a lyric or song title.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I don’t really try to put out any certain type of message in my music. I just make songs that can hopefully evoke emotion and reliability.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Of course, there’s always differing opinions on lyrics or sounds but I stay open-minded. Especially if it’s coming from someone who has more experience than I do. But in the end I always stay true to myself when it comes to my music.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’ll certainly continue to write, record, and promote my music. Hopefully I can start to devote even more time to my music here in the near future. I definitely want to mention the release of my next single “Lost Time” which is coming soon! I’m really excited about this song and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!