We had the good fortune of connecting with Luke “Skippy” Harbur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luke “Skippy”, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
In the creative production and entertainment industry, it takes some serious money to start it properly. To create high quality products and services, you need to understand that you may lose money in the beginning quickly but must think about how your projects can pay back and turn a profit in the long-term. As someone who continues working through anxiety, there are days when I freeze up about making the decision to do this full-time. Yet, as I prepare to put on my first major production that involves a crew of 10 people, you realize what you’re doing is about setting aside your ego for a greater good of serving others financially, morally, and emotionally. This makes the industry worth it in the end!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others is the variety I bring to my entertainment project, “musicbyskippy.” Beatboxing, singing, beat production, rapping, & keyboard playing are all part of what I do to tell stories. I got to where I was after being in ensembles for many years, saving money at a full-time communications job for almost three years, and putting myself out there as a solo artist for the first time in May 2021. Taking this pathway is never easy, and I’m accepting it never will be if I continue: when you’re starting out, you don’t have a lot of negotiation power without already having established a relationship with a contractor. Also, if you’re building an audience, businesses will always struggle to take on the risk of you because they want to know how you can make them money. If you get bigger, that same narrative stays expect now you as the artist have to pay people to help you, and numbers get bigger, and politics can more easily get involved.
I want people to know that musicbyskippy is for everyone, and behind the stage and on the stage you’re going to get a culture of kindness, hard work, and positivity. It may not be for everyone, and that’s also more than okay.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a Kansas City-based artist, this city has grown significantly in the last 30 years. If I had all the money in the world, here’s what I’d do for a week long trip:
1. Go to a Kansas City Chiefs football game.
2. Visit multiple museums in the city: American Jazz Museum, Nelson Atkins Museum, Nerman Museum, and the Kansas City Museum are all prime examples.
3. See live, local entertainment at a few venues: Greenlady Lounge for jazz, Missie B’s for LGBTQ+ talent, & The Ship for a variety of music genres.
4. Kansas City Barbecue is a given: Gates BBQ, Arthur Bryant’s, and Q39 are all fantastic.
5. As the cherry on top, we’d check out some of the incredible mixed developments: Crown Center, Union Station, and City Market are all awesome.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my mom, dad, brother, and the friends and colleagues who saw my artistic visions had foundations of hard work, compassion, and follow through. There is no way I’d be able to achieve what I’m doing without their help.
Personal Photo: photograph by Mariah Weber Additional Photos: 1. The black & white photo where I’m pointing out to audience: photograph by Taylor Hazley 2. The color photo with eyes closed, primarily purple color hue: photograph by Itzel Photo Co 3. The color photo with the “after” neon sign: photograph by Mariah Weber 4. The color photo with the train stop sign sign: photograph by Mariah Weber