Her name is Skylee Shea, an indie artist born and raised in Prescott Valley, a small town in Arizona. The artist recently moved to Nashville. She felt God directing a path for her to move 1,700 miles away from her family. Why? To lead people to Him through music.
She trusted God's calling for her. And, moved to Tennessee when she turned 18 years old and graduated high school, all in the same week. No downtime between these life-changing milestones. God called and Skylee answered.
Since that calling, Skylee has kept herself busy. She recently dropped a new single, "Drowning." I had a chance to speak to Skylee about her move to Nashville, her music, and her thoughts on the Christian music industry.
God called you to Nashville to serve Him through music. What happened when you moved there?
On June 7, 2017, my dad and I moved to Nashville in a U-Haul truck with my dog, Cooper. It was a long adventure, but so worth it. I had no idea what was next for me. But, I chose to keep trusting in Him. My great friend Citizen Way's Ben Calhoun was the only Nashville native I knew; he was in need of some website design and personal assisting work. So, I joined the Citizen Way team.
Working with Ben was life-changing, because, through him, I met so many people; one, in particular, I'm especially grateful for is Newsboy's Michael Tait. After running into Michael so many times while doing work for Citizen Way, he expressed that he was looking for a personal assistant. I took the giant leap of faith and decided to take the job. And, now, two and a half years later, I'm still working with Michael.
Where do you get inspiration for your lyrics?
A lot of my lyric inspiration comes from situations I witness as I continue to face different challenges. The older I get, the more obstacles I run into. And, I have come to a point in my life where I feel extreme peace and comfort when facing a new obstacle. Because I know God will always take care of everything. Yes, obstacles can be full of frustration and exhaustion. But, I redirect myself to look toward Him and I'll be strong enough to get through.
Some of my favorite music ideas are inspired by bands like LANY, The Band Camino, and The Japanese House. I love the uniqueness of music that is not totally popular. Whenever I am writing, I love to incorporate samples and sounds that are not too different, but enough that it could catch someone's ear.
What do you like about the Christian music industry?
One thing I absolutely love about the Christian music family is that once you become affiliated with these artists, they quickly become family, which allows them to be extremely transparent with each other. Some of the greatest life advice I've ever received was from Ben and Michael.
They said: "If you're going through tough times and need something to cling to, let it be this: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:6)”.
Well, hello, truth. I needed to hear those words so desperately. And, let me tell you what, that's what I've been clinging onto. Let this be an encouragement for you and remind yourself of Deuteronomy 31:6 whenever you start feeling like you're drowning.
Do you like to write for the younger generation? Why?
Honestly, every song I've written started out as a personal cry for help. I feel that the Lord has led me to encourage the younger generation to rely on Him through everything. I think too that since I'm a part of the younger generation, the songs I write and phases of life I go through are relatable to them.
What is the hardest thing about being an artist?
The hardest thing I have found that comes with being an artist is that it's so hard sometimes to bite your tongue about new music that is in the works. But, I will tell you that I recently worked on a new song with Building 429's Jason Roy. That will be the next song of mine to come out. I can't wait until I can talk more about the song. Stay tuned.
How can we be praying for you?
If I could ask for any prayers, my request that we can pray for the world. So many nations are going through extremely rough times. So many people have lost jobs, music industry friends are out of work and the fear of catching the COVID-19 virus are my current concerns.
The entire world needs to use this time that is going on to redirect and realign their relationships with God. Because we are humans, it is so easy to get caught up in the world. But, we can't let that be an excuse. I have great news for you: God is a forgiving God. And, no matter what you've done, said or think, He will forgive you. I pray that we use this time to refocus on Him.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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