It’s a sign of the times. At the age of 16, Daniel Skye has signed a record deal with RCA after becoming a social media sensation. The likable and savvy teen started putting videos online after being encouraged by his friends, and before long he had amassed 28 million streams on Spotify and 19 million streams on YouTube.
That is no small achievement. While it is easy enough to throw a video onto social media sites in this modern world, getting people to watch in large numbers is another matter entirely. For Skye, the journey to mass popularity began at his Bat Mitzvah when he was 13 and sang at Temple.
“All my friends were coming up to me saying, ‘Yo, your voice sounded pretty good,’” Skye says. “My dad’s friends were also telling him that. That got me thinking, and I enjoyed it so I started messing around a bit. I picked up a guitar and started singing. One day I opened up an Instagram account. I would come home from school, go to the garage and make 15-second covers every day. I’d upload them on Instagram. People were sharing, commenting, and it just started getting bigger and bigger from there.”
With a very marketable sound that straddles the line between pop and R&B, along with Daniel Skye's traditional good looks, it’s easy to imagine the singer reaching the upper reaches of the charts sometime soon. Thanks to social media, he already has a solid platform.
“I think social media is incredible, the way it can just get things out to the world,” Skye says. “Ten years ago, there was no way to do that. I think the key is being real with people. Showing people what you’re doing with your life. If you relate to people, they’re going to want to follow you and check out your life. So people shared, and just spread it around. People were tagging their friends, and that’s what really helped me.”
“People were tagging their friends, and that’s what really helped me.”
With overt influences such as Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and the Weeknd, labels started sniffing around Skye when he was 14, just a couple of years ago.
“I didn’t know too much about it, and then I met with RCA and a couple of other people,” he says. “I had just put out my new single ‘All I Want,’ with Cameron Dallas. That made it up to number 12 on iTunes. That’s when we went to go and meet them. It was crazy.”
With a solid team working behind the scenes, Daniel Skye remains largely oblivious to the details of his RCA deal and he likes it that way. He’s balancing school with a music career by seeing a tutor every morning.
“I’m practicing really hard for my SAT’s right now,” he says. “That’s my main focus. It’s a challenge, but I think it’s super-important to have your education as a backup plan, but it’s also just important to have an education. You can’t just blow it off.”
Daniel Skye’s single “On” is out now.