INTERVIEW: Music Producer Skyler Cocco

Hi Skyler, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! I just landed in New York after living out of a suitcase in Israel for two weeks. I’m feeling really excited to finally be putting out the next era of my music. Also really excited to have iced coffee, they don’t do that in Israel. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Going Back”?

I wrote “Going Back” on the plane home from a trip to Los Angeles this past April. In the song, California is personified as my lover, a person who I’ve fallen in love with at a distance and can’t spare another minute to be apart from. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The minute I had to leave California I felt like I was saying goodbye to a lover. New York has been my home for entire life, but there is something about California that gives me butterflies. 

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Filming the music video was a very involved process for me. I scouted and secured the locations, created the storyboard, directed and styled the video. Sam Schmitz is an incredible director of photography who edited and colored the video.  We met in high school and had been talking about collaborating for quite some time, so I’m really happy that we were finally able to work together.  We shot the video in two days at different beaches in Long Island, NY.  On day two we were scouting the second beach, and found a field with cactus plants everywhere.  It gave the video the surreal/west coast vibe that I was going for.  I had a specific vision for this project and was thrilled to see it come to life when we began editing the footage.

How was the recording and writing process?

I write and produce my music, so my writing process tends to stray from that of a typical songwriter. I had started off with a hook I wrote on the plane, and then hurried to my studio to get the idea out when I landed.  I started with the rhythm section, with bass and drums first.  Then I hashed out the synth line and the guitars. From there I was able to fill in the blanks in the verses lyrically and melodically. My production ideas come straight from my brain, I spend hours looking through synth libraries and samples to find exactly what I’m hearing in my head, so every detail in the song is carefully crafted.  

What role does NYC play in your music?

Ah, NYC. I am a bit jaded about New York, only because I’ve been pounding the pavement here for as long as I can remember. I’ve played at empty clubs and been ripped off, but I’ve also met some of the best songwriters I’ve ever worked with in my entire life. I think that’s a good depiction of being a musician here, it can be dirty and unfulfilling at times but your reward is hidden in the grit when you put in the work.

How do your personal experiences serve as a source of inspiration for your writing and yourself as an artist?

For as long as I can remember I’ve found inspiration in the stories people tell me, and have taken bits and pieces of them to form a narrative that I can relate to.  Writing songs solely based off of personal experiences can be monotonous or unfruitful, so I love hearing stories from my friends or from characters in movies/tv shows. There are little sparks in these stories than allow me to dig deeper into my head to find lost memories that can fit the narrative.  I do use my personal experiences for writing inspiration, but I’ve learned not to put too much of my own story in songs, it allows listeners to be able to relate on a deeper level. 

Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

I love collaborating and have spent the last year in tons of writing sessions. Sitting with artists/songwriters who tell me about something going on in their life is all I need to get songwriting ideas flowing. The approach is slightly different than when I’m on my own, because I try to imagine being that person rather than relating it to my personal experiences. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

I have so so SO many new songs, for my project and for other artists I’ve been working with and developing. From now until the rest of this year/early next year you can expect more singles and music videos from my artist project, as well as tons of songs I’ve written and produced for other artists.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I Don’t Think About U”, “Take My Time” and “Let It Go” are all part of my next batch of singles, to name of few. I am currently in pre-production for a new music video, but expect to have another single out in early October. 

Any plans to hit the road?

I definitely want to tour when I have an EP to bring on the road, but for now I am keeping busy with writing camps, developing artists and creating visuals for my next batch of singles. 

What else is happening next in Skyler Cocco’s world?

I have a lot of co-writes in the works! I’ve been working with some amazing artists and songwriters that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and developing a working relationship with. I will have some singles that I’m featured on, as well as projects that I produced for other artists. I’m really pushing being a producer as part of my musical identity, as it’s something that tends to be ignored in this industry.  I’m hoping to inspire women to pursue music production and I couldn’t be more excited to have more songs out where I am credited as a the producer.  

Watch “Going Back” HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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