CHATTERBOX: Get to know dark-pop artist Skylet Gunner, the American songstress talks work, inspiration & future ambitions

Purple Melon caught up with the wonderful Skylet Gunner upon the release of her latest music video for her hit single, ‘Confessions of a Murdered Heart’. The upcoming singer-songwriter has been making a name for herself in the LA music scene and beyond. Known for her sultry vocals, Skylet’s music oozes sensuality often tackling themes female empowerment, self-reflection, and millennial romance.

1. Hey Skylet, thanks for speaking to us. Tell us, for those who are new to Skylet Gunner, who is she and what is her music about? 

Songwriting is very cathartic for me. I write about my experiences through a cracked lens from the perspective of honesty, strength and vulnerability. My lyrics are about self exploration, owning your sexuality, and finding strength in those painful moments (kind of like breathing through an impossible yoga pose). My goal as an artist is to create relatable sonic experiences where people come to escape and feel. Maybe even gain a new perspective or just vibe out. 

2. How would you describe your sound, and what drew you to that genre/sound?

Just like any art form, which is subjective, each person interprets it differently. But I would describe my sound as sensual, moody, and raw with beachy vintage vibes. Although, others have described it to me as “Texas Lo-fi”, which I love (haha). Also, my natural tone is sultry and breathy, so I just lean into that. It’s good for storytelling and evoking emotion.

As a singer and songwriter, I’ve worked in various genres and on many projects that don’t necessarily represent who I am as an artist. It’s always fun working with others on their sound, but it’s pretty satisfying when you discover who you actually are as an artist. So by process of elimination, I have finally arrived at my own sound, even though it’s taken me years, and I’m grateful to be able to share this part of myself with the world for the first time ever. 

3. You said: “Take responsibility and own your shit, because that’s when you truly get to know yourself and gain control.”

What happened in your life that taught you to take responsibility?

There’s a lot of power in giving zero fucks, because you’re not being held back by fear anymore. A while back, I had hit rock bottom. I had just gotten out of a toxic relationship, parted ways with my manager, and was broke. I even took a break from being an artist (and just focused on writing for other projects). I felt like a total victim and had completely lost myself. I realized then that it was my decisions that had led me to that point. The silver lining is that once you’ve been stripped down of all your confidence, you can only start building back up. If I wanted to escape that downward spiral, I was going to have to take the reins and gain control over my life again. Why play the victim in my own story?! Fuck that. It took time, but I was able to slowly shift my perspective and get back on the saddle with an even stronger sense of self than before. I really came into my own once I took responsibility for my actions, but mostly my mindset. The mind is so powerful, and it’s easy to get disillusioned by self doubt and other negative voices floating around in there–especially from those closest to you! I’m definitely still a WIP, but I’m now the heroine of my story, and I’m liking who I evolve into as I turn the pages.

4. What was the inspiration or thought process behind the “Confessions Of A Murdered Heart” music video?

I worked with my friend Bethany Gould who directed and edited the music video. We wanted to create a Quentin Tarantino inspired visual that was powerful yet subtle, and that would leave the viewer questioning the plot (and themselves): “What’s in the trunk?”… “Did I just see blood on her foot?”… “Whose blood was it?” Or maybe the events that occurred were all a dream, and everything is just symbolic. Kind of like a Salvador Dali painting where there are layers that infiltrate your subconscious. Also, I’m obsessed with how bizarre and amazing the desert is. I always get super inspired when I’m out there. It’s so vast and beautiful and full of mystery. I feel high just being there.

Skylet Gunner- Confessions of a Murdered Heart – Official Music Video

5. What do you hope fans take away from “Confessions Of A Murdered Heart”?

I typically like to write songs that are from a strong female perspective. This is my version of a love song with some twists and turns. In the second verse, I say: “Don’t spit another word, maybe I stuck the knife in first”, to show that it’s not a woman blaming a man for their toxic relationship. Rather, she’s alluding to her wrong doings, which maybe initiated the downward spiral they’re trying to escape. I hope that this song resonates with the fans, and that they are inspired in one way or another. Maybe they gain insight into their own relationships, or maybe they just feel the vibe and like the production. Whatever it is, I just hope they feel something. 

6. Where did the inspiration for the track come from?

I had worked on the vibe first with FS (Fred Sargolini) who produced the track. We drew inspiration from the moody beach guitar from Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang”, the sadness and beauty you feel from The XX, and Bridgette Bardot’s sentiment: “Women do what they want”. She’s part of the reason why I start the song speaking in French: “Mon amour. J’avoue.” (which translates to “My love. I admit…”). I feel that saying that phrase in French makes it more powerful and sensual, but also portrays the idea of miscommunication between a couple. Like how we literally speak a different language sometimes and can never seem to get on the same page. Sound familiar?

A day later, I wrote the lyrics in a pizza shop while waiting for my friend (for almost an hour) to go to a pop-up bar in Chelsea (NYC). There was a blizzard outside and I was shivering at a corner table by the window. I caught a vibe (and a cold), and started reminiscing on those lonesome nights binging on Netflix and ice cream, after being utterly crushed by a breakup with someone you knew was bad for you in the first place.

Skylet Gunner – Confessions of a Murdered Heart

7. Are there any changes you’d like to see within the music industry as a whole?

Where do I start?! Haha. As a female in the industry, I have a different perspective and there’s a lot I’d like to see change. I could talk about that for hours, but to make it short…. Having amazing female artists out there killing the game like Lizzo, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), and even Billie Eilish makes me hopeful. For women in the industry, there are additional pressures of how we look, etc., so it’s awesome to see that there’s more openness now because of these pioneers. 

Additionally, there’s the rapid evolution of technology and integration of social media, which has really changed things from when I first started out. It seems that everyday there’s a new algorithm or something. It’s become more about the brand than the music, and that’s sad to me because sometimes not-so-great music gets the spotlight. But I get it. The industry must adapt as the world evolves. It also means that there isn’t really artist development anymore and it becomes more of a numbers game. But there are many amazing opportunities that arise from this new format as well. Now everyone can have a voice, and that’s powerful, especially when you’re an independent artist. So there’s always pros and cons. 

Lastly, as a songwriter, I’d love to see more recognition for all writers. Spotify recently started the Songwriters Hub, which is awesome. It’s a start!

8: What’s been your biggest highlight of your music career so far?

Traveling to Europe for a month (Oct 2019) of songwriting camps and self discovery before releasing my debut single. I love traveling and experiencing as much as possible, so that has definitely been a major highlight. Because when you go from country to country, and people from all different backgrounds, cultures and genres fuck with your stuff… it’s definitely a good feeling. That and being cast as Amy Winehouse for the show “27”, which is based on 6 musical artists of the “27 Club” who died way too soon at the age of 27. Our first show was at The Troubadour in LA, and unfortunately, our last due to COVID-19. Hopefully, it picks back up. It’s so amazing to perform the incredible music of one of my favorite contemporary artists. 

9. Name some of your favourite music artists or albums!

I’m very much inspired by the moxy and female empowerment of Nancy Sinatra and Bridgette Bardot, storytelling of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash, and beach guitar of Mac Demarco and Chris Isaak–“Wicked Games” being one of my favorite songs of all time. I’m transported everytime I hear it. 

10. What were your most played song(s) of 2020?

“Stunnin’” (Curtis Waters); “Savage” (Megan Thee Stallion); “Watermelon Sugar High” (Harry Styles); everything from Angus & Angus Stone; and all of my unreleased music. 

11. What else can fans look forward to from Skylet Gunner over the course of this year?

More music, of course! I’ve also been having so much fun creating content. I used to write poetry and do photography all of the time, and I just started picking it back up about a year ago. I’m totally obsessed and it’s such a great outlet, especially during the pandemic. I might even start sharing some cooking videos soon, we’ll see. 

Stream Skylet Gunner – Confessions of a Murdered Heart


Follow Skylet Gunner on: Instagram

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