American rock and pop singer/songwriter, musician and recording artist Jack Skuller has been writing songs for the past six years. And while this may not seem that much different that a lot of musicians, when you consider that he is six months shy of his eighteenth birthday, it’s a big deal. It is Jack’s talent, drive, and creativity that helped secure him as our July 2013 Featured Artist!
“Love Is A Drum” was the first fully crafted song Jack conceived when he was eleven years old. Just two years later at thirteen he won first place in the teen division performing the song in the NJ 101.5 FM radio sponsored Big Joe Jersey Talent Show in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
2012 was a year of recognition and upswing. Jack participated in Season 5 of Radio Disney’s N.B.T. (Next Big Thing). He was featured on Channel One News (broadcast to over 6 million students across the U.S.) and was invited to perform to over 700 New York area high school students at GRAMMY Career Day sponsored by the GRAMMY Foundation. He was the musical guest in the first episode of Meow Meow Music, a series on Amy Poehler’s YouTube network Smart Girls Channel.
Jack is a regular guest performer with the acclaimed tribute series The Loser’s Lounge holds bi-monthly at Joe’s Pub in New York City. You may have also seen him at The Bitter End, or caught his one of his shows in the mobile app Spacebar_.
Skuller describes his sound as ‘vintage-pop’ with a mixture of classic rock-and-roll. “You hear pop in the lyrics, like a Beatles kind of pop, and then the melodies go from 50’s influences to The Black Keys.”
Jack Skuller is without a doubt his own performer utilizing a blend of classic Americana, folk, pop, rock, and the singer/songwriter vibe of the 1950′s and 1960′s, his sound is something uniquely uncategorizeable. Jack’s latest single “Someone Else” breaks away slightly from what you may expect from him in a very good way.
It is a tender, sweet “love gone wrong” ballad that looks at the deception where the facade of someone turns out to be something totally different than expectations and first impressions. That person may be nice and seem perfect at the start but then over time changes into someone much different. You have known in your mind that this person is not who they seem, but your heart pushes you to continue not wanting to believe the changes taking place and remembering the perfect person they pretended to be at the beginning.
The song sports an excellent guitar/bass arrangement while the percussion enhances the natural beauty of this ballad and Jack never misses a beat! It has a great flavor to it, delivered with just the right amount of rock to keep this it shining brightly!
The vocals are strong while coming across as warm, light and round – giving a warm fuzzy feeling. It evokes the “pain in the past and hope for the future” feeling the song is about. Jack’s voice and musical talent only add to the teen heartthrob in the making persona who is developing into a highly talented & successful star.
Jack’s a busy guy, and we were lucky to be able to ask some questions and get some answers for you.
BOR: How do you balance High School with writing and performing?
- JACK: You get used to a certain way of doing things after a while. In my case, my typical day is two days within one; one for studying and one for music. School and music can compliment each other. For instance, when I know an answer in school from something I’ve experienced in my music career or when something I learned in school inspires my music.
BOR: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
- JACK: I know this is still music-related, but I’m obsessed with guitars. When I’m in my little home studio not working on my show or new material, I’m usually experimenting with new sounds on the guitar or looking up guitar models on the internet. I’ve taken a guitar apart piece by piece and put it back together just to study the inside of the body–I’m telling you, it’s a true obsession.
BOR: While most all musicians utilize social media, you seem to be leading the way in some areas, such as utilizing Spacebar_ which gives your fans the ability to listen to one of your shows live, no matter where they are. Do you feel this is helping to set you apart?
- JACK: My music has reached a much broader audience in the past couple years. I’ve never written my music for a specific demographic and I don’t plan to – I write it for anybody who wants to give a listen – and it’s just incredible to me how much support I’ve gotten from people all over the world via the internet. Apart from touring the U.S. with Radio Disney this past year, most of my shows are in the NYC area and it’s great to know that my supporters in other places have access to the action.
BOR: You acted in an extremely creative short called Transfer which is a great fit for your personality. What was this experience like, compared to shooting a music video?
- JACK: I had such a great time doing that and it was a very new and different experience for me. I saw it as an opportunity to become a new version of myself for a day, and I’d love to do more of it! Filmmakers Kevin Napier and Hilary McHone did an amazing job putting it all together.
BOR: Where do you draw your inspiration? Are there any musical artists that inspire you?
- JACK: I write about what’s real to me or in the world, and for inspiration I usually dig back to my musical roots–50s and 60s blues and rock’n'roll.
BOR: Do you have any upcoming plans for a full album release?
- JACK: A full length album is not planned yet though I’m always writing new songs. I’m keeping busy with local gigs and will also do a little work with Musicians on Call, a great organization that brings live music bedside to patients in hospitals.
BOR: Let’s pretend you are the interviewer. What question would you ask yourself to really give some insight and intrigue? (and of course we want to know the answer)
- JACK: Hmm, as the rigorous interviewer I’d say something like “Describe, without naming actual musical genres, what makes great music?” And as the interviewee I’d say “It’s not always what pleases the ear. It’s what makes the ear perk up, what actually penetrates the brain and the ear itself and enters the heart and soul.”