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EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #020 – SKY DEEP

2016 November 25

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#photo credit – Live @ Reclaim The Beats Festival by Elliot Hughes

We’re 20 mixtapes into our series and we’re excited to have the multi-faceted, multi-talented Berlin based New Yorker, Sky Deep serve us up 60 mins of uncensored, unadulterated, banging Deep House. We had a chat with Sky Deep about her early musical influences in NYC, her festival ‘Reclaim The Beats‘ her film, her recent debut album ‘Time & Space’  and much more.

Hi Sky, thanks for the mix and taking the time to have a chat with us. So first up, to give us a little idea about your style, Describe your sound in 5 words?
Funk Grooves in Intergalactical Beats

So let’s start from your early days, your father was a funk and gospel guitarist, introducing you to music from a young age and you started out yourself as a Hip-Hop emcee, producer, guitarist and songwriter, so how did you switch from Hip-Hop to House? Tell us how that progression happened. Even when I was making hiphop, I always had a desire to make people dance.   My first house influenced beats came about during the development of my band discoBAASSIK.  We wrote our album in Brooklyn and often played gigs together as a guitarist and bassist team for other acts. When we wrote music together, our mission was to break rules by using effects and sounds that we almost never got a chance to use during our musician gigs.  We both had a love for house music, so we thought after our first album, we would make a house music album together.  We went our separate ways before creating new material but I never lost my desire to create House.    I mean I was constantly going to dance at house music parties so it was always in my face.  When my focus moved toward DJ’ing… that’s when I got extra serious about producing it.

So your early days of House Music parties were over in NYC and LA, which have been home to you for half your life, tell us a little about your experiences of the NY and LA music and club scenes and has the scene there changed now from when you first started dipping your toes.  I’d say the overall music scenes change based on the culture and environment of the city.  Everywhere I have ever lived, my priority is to seek the underground.   I’ve never been into the ultra glitz that can exist in places.  The beauty of the music and vibes that I’m into… is that they are universal as fuck.  What changes are the languages, accents, clothing styles, club hours, liquor license laws and hangover food options.   But the Grit, Love, Vibes, and Wonder, I seek can be found anywhere as long as I find the right people. This is my message to all those I still have yet to meet. >> We always find each other.

You’re now based in Berlin and have been for just over 2 years, what drew you to make the move across the Atlantic and what is it about Berlin that’s kept you there? Well I came to Berlin in 2014 for a teaching artist gig and an artist residency in Lendava, Slovenia.  After meeting some cool people through various couch surfing moments and doing a couple of gigs, I decided to try things out and keep watering the seeds.  I knew if I returned to NYC that if I ever wanted to come back  to Europe – it would be like completely starting from scratch.  So I spontaneously applied for a Visa and received two years,  and just didn’t go back. 

Berlin is known for being an incredibly inclusive city, with lots of active events to help promote diversity and equality, you launched your own festival this year focusing on music genres created by black, POC and queer people, tell us a little bit more about ‘Reclaim The Beats’ and will this be a continued project? Yes, absolutely, this will be a continued project. This project has been super exciting for me because I’ve always wanted to live my art passions while contributing to the community and creating gateways for others. I am so happy that I could meet other artists that I admire and offer them spotlights and somewhere to share their voice.  I’m so happy that we could create a fun and entertaining environment while also addressing some issues.

So alongside curating ‘Reclaim The Beats’ you’ve also been pretty busy with other creative outlests and you have a film out at the moment, tell us a bit about that, and where can we see it? Well for many years, I had dreamed of someday acting in a vampire film.   After I moved to Berlin, I had a huge creative burst and was inspired by a cemetery I saw while taking a walk with a friend.  I also, had started exploring Shibari workshops by Ann Antidote.  So when I told my close friend that I needed to make a queer vampire film she said, “it’s should be a queer vampire porn!”… and I said.. “Yup!”.  I was surprised that it went as far as it did but now, two years later, it’s a 52 minute film that just won Best Feature in Pornfilmfestival Berlin.  Now it’s starting to get added to festival programs around the world and I’m in discussions about digital streaming deals.

It plays 25 November in Stockholm, Sweden at a kinky queer festival.
http://www.clubwish.se/p/ww.html
9th December at Moviemento in Berlin for the Berlin Art Film Festival
27 December at Lichtblick Kino in Berlin for the Exberliner monthly film night.
Plus more dates in discussion for Amsterdam… Paris, France and San Paolo, Brazil.

As well as making queer vampire porn films, creating festivals, DJ-ing, and producing your own music, you also run a record label Reveller records. So firstly how on earth do you find the time to fit it all in? and secondly, tell us a little about the label, when did it launch? What’s the musical focus? And what artists can we expect to hear from the label in the near future? I actually don’t know how I do it.  Sometimes I’m on autopilot I guess.  I’m very determined and have managed to survive some dangerous times in my life.  So out of gratitude for living, I am making the most of it and following my heart. I’m making every moment count and with Reveller, I hope to continue working with and supporting artist as much as I can.   I’m super excited for what coming for 2017.  We got some serious heat coming from La Fraicheur in February.  I really like the grooves, passion and creativity she brings with her production and DJ sets.    Also shortly after that, will be an EP from RUI HO with sounds from another dimension… their sound blows my mind.  And also we’ll be hearing from Hllywd this year.  And more to come… I could write a book about how inspired I am by these artists.

Exciting times, indeed we’ve had La Fraicheur in for one of our earlier mixes, and I had the pleasure to DJ with her recently, such great energy! So now let’s talk a bit about your own productions, you’ve just released Time and Space on your own label a couple of weeks ago, which is your much anticipated first album; firstly congratulations and secondly talk us through the album, it’s quite eclectic, so where did your influences come from? Since I had never made a completely solo full length album before, I felt that I needed to do this. Before I had always had some collaborations or guest musicians/vocalists.  It was important to me that this album be like a musical auto-biography.  I decided I would break all rules or ideas about keeping an album  with a consistent sounding genre.  The consitent part would be that it’s ALL my flavor and my flavor is connected to my ancestors AND to my future decendents;  my flavor is connected to other planes and dimensions.  I am all things… Rock… soul. Funk. Hiphop. Dance.  Consiousness. Freedom.  

So this part that we release is just Part 1.  The next part contains even more surprises and tempo play.

Incredible, we’ll def look out for part 2. So you’ve really got a lot of fingers in a lot of pies creatively, but what’s next for Sky Deep? What projects can we expect from you in the near and distant future? I LOVE PIE!!! More please!  Now I’ve diving heavy into further development of my live sets.  So I’m aiming to play out a lot more and in as many cities as possible.  Since I do have so much on my plate, I’m excited to really grow my label team and bring on some booking or label management gurus who are up for an adventure.

So there’s a shout out to budding label gurus who want to get stuck in! and also for bookers / promoters to get inolved!! So rounding us off, as you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give support and respect to other women in music, who do your shout out’s go to? Name some of your favourite fellow female artists? My first shouts always go to one of my earliest inspirations: Missy Elliott, I love Rimarkable a DJ from Detroit/NYC.   I admire FKA Twigs for the amazing things she does with her creative control.  I really like the DJ sets of Volvox.   And I’m inspired by the creative freedom and bravery of Mad Kate in her many different projects both musical, performance and film.  I’m always drawn in by another multitasker that can challenge my schedule.

And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
Double Vodka tonic – with lime!

Incredible, thanks for talking to us Sky Deep, such an inspiration! So if you get a chance to be in one of Sky Deeps many creative spaces, get her a double Vodka Tonic with Lime, it’s well deserved and in the meantime, give this a spin, like, share and spread the love. Happy listening.

MIXCLOUD

SOUNDCLOUD

 

BOOK SKY DEEP: sid@revellerrecords.com

FOLLOW SKY DEEP: SOUNDCLOUD / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

FOLLOW REVELLER RECORDS: SOUNDCLOUD / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

MORE INFO ON RECLAIM THE BEATS FESTIVAL: WEBSITE

 

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