Orange County Native Set to Take New Music on the Road in 2022
With many people feeling more comfortable about leaving their houses, and venues are allowing for more music, artists are trying to make their way back out into the scene after two years. One Hudson Valley musician in particular is ready to hit the road running after two years of writing and recording music. Hunter Skye believes now is the time for those songs to be heard live.
The Naked Cowboy
Skye has never been one to shy away from an opportunity. For instance, he told me about this one experience pre-pandemic where him and a friend were in New York city to stroll around and busk. Sky said,
At one point, my buddy and I stumbled upon one of those naked cowboys playing in Time Square. Without thinking, I stripped down to my boxers and strummed along with the fellow. Very spontaneous, and got a lot of priceless looks.
A Prolific Year of Music
Self-described as an Alternative Folk artist, the Covid-19 shutdown gave Skye ample opportunity to hone his craft, along with spread his wings and try some new things. Skye was able to write and record new music in his home studio, sometimes spending 18 hours straight, in the zone, working on projects with others and by himself. "No one was looking for live musicians," he said, so he channeled his creativity and energy elsewhere for the time-being.
In 2021, Skye released three separate projects. The first of which was an experiment inspired by the YouTuber Simon the Magpie.
February 2021, I put out Spindrift... It was supposed to be a fun little two song project that was probably never going to see the light of day (starting with "Surf & Meow" and "Mystic"), but then became an eight song album of experimental island beat inspired Glitch-Pop.... Favorites of that album are “Chocolate” (which is about my crippling addiction to chocolate), and “Insert Memory” (which is about fundamental truths of human nature and the universe). A lot of fun stuff here.
Come June of 2021, Skye returned more to his Alternative Folk roots to record the instrumental EP Whisky for my Brother. Skye said it was his take on Irish-bluegrass. "It was so much fun writing all of these pieces and would love to one day be able to perform this with a bunch of talented musicians."
October of 2021 came with what may be the most ambitious project of them all.
Cactus! My roots-blues-deathcore-1945-zombie-apocalypse concept album! I had a lot of help from other performers like Lorena Patricia Ramirez Ruiz on piano, Jordan Ramsden on some in-depth and incredible screaming, Craig C with amazing Iron Maiden type vocals, Alex Hammilton with more heavy vocals (and writing of the lyrics to "Home"), and many more creative contributors.
Skye said the idea was to bring one through many stories of those before, during, and after an apocalypse. The timing of which may be fitting, depending on how you look at it.
The Early Years
Originally an Orange County boy, Skye grew up in Washingtonville. Now, he has moved to Dutchess County and resides in Wappingers Falls. Growing up, he said that he was influenced by a number of artists I recognized such as Counting Crows, Eddie Vedder, The Animals, Flogging Molly, Bob Dylan and System of a Down; along with some artists I have yet to hear like Otava Yo, Devil Makes Three, The Head and the Heart, Goodnight Texas, Larry and His Flask, Shawn James & The Shapeshifters, and plenty more.
Skye said when growing up, he was surrounded by musical instruments. He had a drum kit, harmonica, and guitar, but it would be a while before he learned how to play them. It was through singing that ignited his pursuit into music education. Starting by singing in choir in elementary school, he went on to join a cappella in middle school. By the time high school hit, he committed to studying music further. First came the guitar in 2009. A family member taught him the basics, and from that, he started writing music. The next year he began learning the piano. It wasn't long before his arsenal grew even more as he taught himself how to play the mandolin, ukulele, banjo, Irish bouzouki, and more. As Skye started attending music festivals, he discovered a new love in hand drums. "I was able to drum with some folk who have been playing for 30 plus years, and it was and still is occasionally a beautiful experience."
What Can We Expect?
Currently, Skye is booking shows in the local area to promote the music he has released last year. He is also collaborating with artist Hannah Rose, who we have also covered here, for some duet projects. One can find Skye's music at all main platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon under "Hunter Skye."
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