Skye Ramsay, better known by the name Skybreak, is an American bass music artist. Ramsay’s signature jazz-infused, melodic style has earned him support from Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE & SLANDER, Spag Heddy, Chime and more. He began playing drums at age 6, sharing numerous jam sessions with his father. Ramsay performed in his school’s jazz band and took several songwriting classes at a local music school. The Skybreak project first took flight in 2016 and has yet to settle down. Scores of Skybreak releases span across the years, including two full length albums, several EPs and even a few official remixes for names like Josh Bogert, Oliverse, Disero, William Black and more. In more recent months, Skybreak has landed releases labels such as Disciple, Lowly, Buygore, Odio Records, Rushdown. This success should come as no surprise; Skybreak hits a sweet spot between heavy festival sound design and pure musicality that very few artists can reach!
Hi Skybreak! How are you doing?
I am overall well! Can’t lie, the support I’ve been getting lately has been quite overwhelming. I’ve never had this many eyes on my tiny little bedroom run project! However, I’m grateful that my work is resonating with so many people, and I’m thankful for my friends and family helping me stay grounded despite the awful circumstances in the world.
Take us back to the beginning, how did you find your passion into producing electronic music?
Well, I’ve really been doing music my entire life. I started playing drums when I was only 6 years old. I played in my school’s Jazz and Marching Band. I also took some songwriting classes at a local music school. We used to have these seminars when we were younger, where we’d learn the fundamentals of music theory and lyric writing and give each other feedback on songs we’ve been writing. I met some really cool friends at the classes who undeniably had an influence on why I write lyrics and melodies the way I do!
At the beginning of the seminars, we all kind of started at the same point, all writing and recording music on the piano. But after a few years I developed into a bit of a black sheep in those classes. Everyone else was continuing to write singer/songwritery type stuff on the guitar or piano, and there I was, the awkward kid with the aux cable stuck in my laptop, blasting out my loud obnoxious EDM, hahahaha.
However, the way I initially DISCOVERED electronic music is a little bit… cringeworthy to say the least. When I was around 10 or 11 years old, my biggest dream in the world was to become a Minecraft Youtuber. I was addicted to watching these guys, they were my idols! One time, in the background of a SkyDoesMinecraft video, I heard Noisestorm’s song Renegade and went to go check out Monstercat. I fell in love instantly, and for a good 2 or 3 year period, I was an avid Monstercat listener. In February 2014, I figured “what the heck, might as well try to make some of this myself.“
Fast forward 7 years and some classic 2014-15 Monstercat artists like Au5, Puppet, Going Quantum and more have supported my music! Things really do come full circle, don’t they?
The rumour tells you’re into video games. Has the gaming music with its sounds effects and such played a role in finding your personal sound or inspiration some way?
The rumor would be absolutely correct! I love games and they’re a fundamental part of why I write things the way I do. I actually had a conversation with my friend Julie, aka VOLANT, on this a while ago. We believe that the media we were exposed to in our developmental period (ages like, 6-8, give or take) will subconsciously affect the way we write and the creative choices we gravitate towards. For example, I was absolutely obsessed with Sonic and Wii games when I was young, so that might be why I reach for jazzy chords and high energy pentatonic leads. Julie’s childhood was filled with PS1 and PS2 classics like Ridge Racer, so that might be why they gravitate towards fast paced, gritty drum breaks and general midi. Not proven at all, just food for thought and it was a fun discussion I thought was worth mentioning!
In more recent times though, Ori & The Blind Forest, Celeste and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have been major inspirations to my music and general brand. So many people have already pointed out how the Lumina deer reminds them of the Lord of the Mountain from BotW, or the glowing spiritual aesthetic of Ori, and that’s no surprise at all.
About 2 years ago, I spent like a whole month basically stalking Lena Raine’s production methods for the Celeste OST, scouring the web for absolutely anything I could find. I wanted to figure out how she made synthesizers with such emotional, nostalgic and synthetic tones. It was a month well spent, because now these synths have become a staple in my music! I love Lena Raine both as a musician and an LGBT icon. Her Minecraft OSTs also absolutely slap and I’m excited to see what’s next for her!
You released an EP called “Lumina” through Disciple. Could you share the creative process behind about this EP?
Lumina was started before I got picked up by my management. At the beginning, it was just a little passion project I planned to either self release, or drop on Rushdown. If you told me even half a year ago it’d be signed to Disciple, let alone the main label, I would have honestly laughed in your face. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities that have been presented to me in the past 6-7 months!
The creative process was quite different to just traditionally making some singles and sticking them together on an EP. I really wanted Lumina to be a cohesive listen from start to finish, so I challenged myself to use motifs and melodic references in the EP.
“Lumina” EP includes collaborations with Millennial Trash and Mizu. How did you end up working with these names?
The Millennial Trash collab “Wildfire” was a long time coming. James and I have known of each other for nearly 4 years, and been friends for about 2-3 of them. We originally met from mutually remixing a song from our friend Ben (Cloudcage). We kept meeting each other in little pockets, conveniently releasing on the same labels at the same time, until finally we both joined Rushdown and have maintained a consistent friendship since.
I originally was writing “Wildfire” with my friend Christian Hayward, with whom I’ve collaborated on “Loveless” and “Clockwork“, and plan to collaborate with many more times in the future! After drafting the lyrics, we both agreed that James’s voice might be a better fit for this one. His voice is a bit more aggressive and punk inspired than Hayward’s, which is the vibe I wanted to go for this time around. James was an absolute pleasure to work with on this song. He doesn’t usually do vocal features, but he made an exception for “Wildfire” and absolutely crushed the part.
As for the Mizu collab, we met through this super fun Discord community called “FORM“. They host a ton of production challenges and events, most famously the “All Nighter” series, where you have to finish an entire song in 24 hours for charity. However, we were directing different parts for a “FORM Megacollab” of over 40 artists! Mizu directed a disney inspired, classical + vocal breakdown, and I directed a lush chord stack drop. Admittedly, they sounded SOOOO cool together. We were getting so many requests to make “disney melo-dub” that we eventually caved and ended up writing “Aurora“. Mizu is an extremely talented individual and I’m glad he got to be a part of my EP.
What is your favorite song from the EP?
My personal favorite has got to be “Aurora“, partly because of its message. “Aurora” is a song about embracing your inner light, your purpose or meaning. Whatever you love or aspire to be in life, there are always going to be people who try to convince you that you’re not worthy to chase your dreams, and that you should just cave to the ever-growing societal pressure to give up and live an easy but idle life. This song raises the question: will you let them put out that burning light inside you, or will you keep fighting until you live up to your fullest potential?
On a less profound level, I really just enjoyed working with Mizu. Since we make such drastically different genres, (melodic bass and Disney style classical stuff) it was a unique experience where the songwriting and production process were truly intertwined. Can’t wait to make more Skybreak x Mizu in the future!
A close second has gotta be the title track, “Lumina“. I think it really takes you into the enchanted forest setting of the EP despite being almost 100% synthetic. This one might be a bit of a grower for some, but I’m really proud of it!
How have you been staying productive during the quarantine period?
I’m an introvert with a daw, some headphones and a broadband connection. What’s really changed? The only true damage to my productivity comes from my Terraria modded run with my friends Kaval and Blu, hahahaha.
This quarantine period has been hard for music industry so now it’s time to support and support, any interesting new producers you would recommend to follow?
euphorian, modus, Surphase, Miyolophone, CURE97, Marcix, JoeB, Sharks, Dyatic and eliderp are just a few names that make genre bending music that reminds me why I love this scene so much.
Also, just wanna shoutout the Exobolt fam, Rushdown squad, the pink lads and general community over at FORM, the PP gang (they know what I mean) my awesome sister, and my manager Landon for putting up with my crap, hahaha. None of this could be possible without all of your support and I don’t think I could ever truly repay yall. I’m probably missing so many people but you all mean the world to me!!!
Would you like to share something with the followers of Let the Bass Get You
I stream production and feedback weekly on Twitch, every Sunday at 4 pm EST! Come say hi, you’re always welcome! And remember, if you work at it hard enough, you can do absolutely anything you want. You get to choose your own destiny. Don’t let anyone on earth tell you what it is.
Lots of love to LTBGY and all of my fans, friends and supporters. Thank you for helping me embrace my inner light. ❤
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