In a music industry saturated by big labels and big names, it can be difficult for many up-and-coming artists to find their place. Of course there are a plethora of indie labels to sift through. But sometimes it’s best to begin the climb to success entirely on one’s own, such is the case for Alicia Sky. Well–almost entirely on her own. Pennsylvania native Sky is lucky to be part of what she’s dubbed her “dream team,” comprised of herself, writer/director Brad Etter and producer Julia Barbie. Alicia Sky, a pop singer with a sound that could be paralleled to Lana Del Rey and Britney Spears (yes, at the same time!), possesses as much drive as she does talent.
To fund the music video for her latest song, “Beautiful Disaster,” Sky, Etter, and Barbie threw all their energy into a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, on top of funneling their own resources for the project. “Originally I [just] started out helping produce the project, hiring my crew and casting the talent, but quickly become so invested into the project that I paid for the insurance we needed in order to have the lenses and equipment of our dreams!” Barbie said.
Their crowdfunding campaign an obvious success, “Beautiful Disaster” premiered November 22. The video screened at a beautiful Beverly Hills mansion, an event assembled in most part by producer Julia Barbie. Publicist/Realtor Jessica Ross said of Sky and “Beautiful Disaster,” “We see way too many pop artists who don’t stand out. I think ‘Beautiful Disaster’ proves that Alicia can really get noticed in this industry. She’s amazing!” In an exclusive interview, Sky talks about pursuing her passion, her “dream team,” and what’s next for her.
At what point did you decide you don’t want to work with a music label?
At this point I’m currently independent, but I’m open to working with a label if the right opportunity presents itself.
What drew you, Brad, and Julia together?
The three of us had a close friendship already so the transition of working professionally together was very easy. Our first project was in 2012 for my first music video “Fly” that Brad directed. Julia started as an actress and stepped in at the last minute to produce when we discovered the lights didn’t arrive, so she pulled a team together in a flash to make it all happen.
What did you learn the most from one another throughout the process?
Each one of has very different skills and talents to bring to the table. I’ve learned to trust that they’ll have everything under control and not to overstep my boundary. I have a natural tendency to want to produce and manage everything, so I realized I need to let everybody do their job so I can focus on mine.
Can you tell me a bit about the process of funding “Beautiful Disaster”?
Julia and I put in a good amount of money of our own and the rest was filled in with crowdfunding. I saved up for quite a long time to do this.
You’ve already shown yourself as unconventional with respect to moving forward with your career independent of a record label. Would you say you’ve always been so adventurous, or for you, is it just easier this way?
This is the only way I know so far. I decided to create my own opportunities rather than wait around for them. I realized I would be waiting forever. Success doesn’t knock on your door. I have a strong, loyal team and am comfortable with my current way of doing things. I’m still interested in working with a label if they were to approach me with a great deal.
What have a few of the biggest challenges been in your music career so far?
First, not having a major label represent me makes it difficult to market my music properly. The songs I write and record are on the same level as mainstream artists, just without the mainstream publicity. Then, being my own representation is tough. I handle all of my business matters and it would be great to have a professional help manage the business aspect of this. I also work a full time job in commercial real estate and have a packed schedule. I squeeze in music, writing, recording, and self-management, [plus] PR work on evenings and weekends. If I had a label backing me, or an investor, I would be able to focus on music full time.
How would you classify your music genre?
I think my music is very much in the pop box with some alternative edge and some R&B flair. I’m a huge fan of pop music. I grew up around it and I’m heavily influenced by [90’s and 2000’s] pop artists like Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, JoJo, and Lana Del Rey.
What’s next for you and any future collaborations with your “dream team?”
I’ve been in the studio almost every week this year writing and recording my long awaited album and plan to release it by the end of 2016. Brad, Julia and I are already beginning pre-production for our next music video and our goal is to finish 3 videos in 2016; Each one becoming better and better. We’re going to repeat the same process as “Beautiful Disaster,” except with more time to crowdfund so we can work with a bigger budget, obtain sponsors, build a bigger crew and do this with a lot more wisdom and skill we gained from the last run. As we go, we keep getting stronger as a team and most importantly, closer as friends.
Check out “Beautiful Disaster” and other Alicia Sky music videos on YouTube.