We had the good fortune of connecting with Skyler Cocco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Skyler, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My passion for music began in the basement of my childhood home in New York. My late father was a NYC public school music teacher and a gigging bassist on the weekends. He kept a small music room in our basement with his instruments and an 8-track recorder to make music in his free time. Around age 11 I was trusted to use the equipment and began producing my own music. I had always written songs as a kid and was fascinated by the idea of producing music in a studio. I taught myself guitar, piano and bass and started producing music daily as a hobby. I fell in love with the process of adding each instrument, programming the drum patterns and filling out arrangements with synthesizers and overdubbing guitars. One of my best friends would come over and record with me, we’d upload songs to Myspace and dream of being on tour or at the Grammy’s one day. During high school I began going to shows (Long Island had a buzzing music scene in the late 2000’s) and realized I wasn’t just a fan girl for these bands, I wanted to be them. During my senior year of high school my father passed away from cancer. Music became a painful reminder of my loss and actually caused me to pursue acting rather than music when I went off to study at SUNY Purchase. I naturally gravitated towards musicians when I got to college and they all convinced me to switch majors and join the music conservatory. I auditioned and was accepted into the studio composition program and have been pursuing a career as an independent artist, producer and songwriter ever since. Even though I still have passion for acting, music always was my calling. It just took me a moment to fully embrace it. My music career serves to honor my dad’s memory and fulfill my childhood dream of being a rockstar.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Aside from being a female producer in a male dominated industry, I think my signature sound is what sets me apart. As a child I was allowed the freedom to make music on my own and it jumpstarted the process of world/atmosphere building in music. Many people tell me “this sounds like Skyler” when they hear music I’ve produced for other artists because they are listening to a world I’ve created around the artists vision, and it includes tiny embellishments and details that sound like me.

I’m most proud of my ability to transform my sound and blend genres. I tend to reinvent my sound whenever I feel inspired and think of myself as a musical chameleon.

My career started as a childhood dream and I think if my 11 year old self saw where I’m at now they’d be so excited and proud (and SO happy I’m blonde again). It took years of self-motivation, figuring out how to navigate the music industry on my own, taking risks and learning from mistakes along the way to realize I am a true DIY artist and can always depend on myself to advance. I taught myself how to direct and edit my music videos, design promotional graphics, build my website – if there’s something holding me back I can count on myself to make things happen with limited resources as an independent artist. I want my DIY approach to inspire others who want to take things further in their own music careers, anything is possible if you trust yourself to stay focused and motivated to make it work. I’ve learned that record labels can’t hand you a successful music career, it all starts with yourself and your ability to adapt and learn. They may have all the resources and connections, but they don’t know your brand the way you do.

My brand is representative of all the kids who were bullied for being themselves and not conforming to the status quo. As a bisexual woman I think it’s important to make the music I needed to hear as a confused kid, and I’m thrilled to be one of those queer voices that needs to be highlighted today. Combined with my chameleon/ever-evolving sound, my brand is unapologetically me. If the world can take one thing away from my story, it’s that I’ll always be true to myself and aim to inspire others to turn their dreams into a career.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I just had one of my best friends visit and do exactly this! We basically went on a vegan food tour. I am not vegan, but I am celiac so vegan restaurants are always a safe space for me. We went to some amazing spots, namely Pura Vita in West Hollywood and Sage in Culver City. I played my first show in LA while she visited at The Federal in North Hollywood and it was amazing getting to experience the live music scene out here for the first time. Live music is highly respected out here and it was so cool to see it in action at my own show. We also hiked Runyon Canyon, went to the Hollywood Reservoir and stumbled upon the Hollywood Sculpture Garden along the way. We went to some awesome bars in Silver Lake and spent some time at the beach in Santa Monica too. I moved to LA in December 2020 so I’m relatively new to the area, but after showing her around on this trip it really feels like home.

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?
My late father Jerry Solomon gave me my music abilities and helped facilitate an environment where I could be creative and learn at my own pace. Even though there were no music industry connections I feel as though I would not be where I’m at in my career had I not started producing music at such a young age. My mother Pat Cocco played a major role too. She has always fully supported and believed in music being a career for me. A lot of parents tend to discourage their kids pursuing artistic careers, but she sees how passionate I am and thinks I’m extremely talented (thanks mom) and will always be rooting for me. I also want to thank Deanna Orfanos, the one friend who was just as curious about making music and would spend so much time in my basement jamming and making songs. It helped prepare me for collaboration and running sessions today. To my partner Zach Miller, who I met studying music at SUNY Purchase and has been there by my side ever since, thank you for always pushing me to dream big and help me out of moments of self doubt.

 

Website: https://www.skylercocco.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skylercocco

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/skylercocco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skylercocco

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/skylercocco

Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@skylercocco

Image Credits
Images 1, 6, 7 – Jules Miranda
Images 2, 3 – McCall Olsen
Images 4, 5 – Bri Flasch

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.