Texan hottie Skye Strickler likes going nude, spreading love, doing dudes and his debut album is called… DNA.
DNA: You’re a man of many talents – many of them musical! Skye: My mission is to encourage people to love themselves and spread that love and I to do this through singing, songwriting and producing music. I was always singing as a kid.
Who has influenced your music?
My grandmother. When she passed away I wanted to keep her musical legacy alive so I tried writing songs and fell in love with it. Those first few ideas eventually became my album DNA, each one a challenge to be as different from the last as possible. Career highlights so far?
I partnered with Facebook to perform for 400,000 people last year during Pride – that was epic. I won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest twice, headlined Portland Pride, and sang God Bless America during a Houston Astros home game. I cried tears of joy. Does it matter these days if you are defined as a “gay singer”? When one uses that term there’s a presumption or stereotype. I’m expected to dress, act, talk or even sing a certain way. I’m an artist and I’ve sacrificed for it willingly. I also happen to like dudes. Who are your gay role models?
Ellen DeGeneres and Laverne Cox. They strive for greatness and they’re positively affecting people’s lives.
Who was your idol growing up?
I lived vicariously through a blogger in San Francisco. He was a gay man, living in a polyamorous relationship, chronicling his newly realised sexual fantasies-turned-explorations. I read his stories and wished I could be somewhere I had the freedom to meet a person who could make me as happy as he seemed to be. I learned to embrace and love myself a bit by following his stories. What was your coming out like?
I came out, a little unexpectedly, during my first radio interview. I wasn’t hiding it at the time, but I hadn’t confronted some of the people in my life who may not have understood it yet.
Did you ever suffer from bullying at school?
I’ve suppressed a few memories – probably not healthy – but I’d rather focus on a positive future. I will say this to those who may be getting bullied: communicate. Tell your parents, tell your teachers. You’re not alone but no one can help you if they don’t know. You are a beautiful person. Don’t let someone’s words or actions affect you so negatively you devalue yourself or your life. Was music your safe place?
I didn’t have close friends in school so I often spent time with the music. I had access to a piano, so that’s where I went to find peace and understand myself. I wrote depressing pop songs in high school and composed a musical the summer before college. Are you romantically attached?
I wish. I like sporadic dates and a man who can woo me. Applications open.!
What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
I’m hitting the gym every single day trying to outdo myself and surpass my limitations. I’m also learning a new language and making a point to travel more.
What are the issues that are closest to your heart?
Love, humanity, equality. A lot of that’s lost in my country. Sadly, it’s now a game of politics that has nothing to do with basic human decency.
Do you ever imagine yourself getting married and having kids? Totally. I’d love to have kids with Mr Right.
What’s the nicest compliment anyone has ever given you? When good-hearted people share their hearts with me – that’s the biggest compliment ever.
At the beach, speedos, boardshorts or totally nude? [Laughs.] I’d go totally nude everywhere if it were doable.