“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” -Dom Pérignon
Gabi Sklar’s music is like a tulip glass of blushing champagne. It sparkles and fizzes. It’s deeply velvety. In her newest single, “Thank God,” the bubbles flow over like stars escaping the sky. She tells us, “Some songs come from wounds and when you bottle emotions long enough, they’re bound to overflow. In this case, those emotions did overflow and the song really wrote itself.” Her feelings are translucent; For Gabi, there’s nothing more important than narrative and a crystalline vision - it’s her Dom Pérignon in music - it’s what makes her a star. And even in hurt and healing, she doesn’t let go of a vision of love that is classic and sweet. There’s something equally lasting about her.
Hi Gabi! I read in another interview that when you were young, you and your friends would sing into Gatorade bottles and pretend you were on American Idol. I was wondering, what real life moment has felt most similar to young Gabi’s dreams?
Thanks for having me! There have been quite a few moments that have felt like a dream, but honestly one of the standout moments for me was the first time I was in the studio and singing into a real mic (not a gatorade bottle, for once). All the small wins are the most defining moments for me.
I assume your love for music hasn’t changed, but has your relationship with music changed over the years at all?
I’ve been songwriting for so long but what’s changed is my intention. Now, I’m more protective of my heart and my art because I’m so sure of exactly what I do and don’t want. I love music just as much as I did when I was 7 years old, singing little love songs about feelings I hadn’t yet experienced. Now, I’ve lived a little and have gone through so many emotional extremities. It’s important to recognize the weight of the narrative and what you want that narrative to say. At this point in my journey, I view music more as a lifeline than a hobby.
I read in another interview that everything you do in music is very intentional, “wrapped up nicely with a box and ribbon.” As you are working with a larger team, is there a particular part of the creative process you find yourself being most protective over?
The narrative, for sure. I understand experimenting and being “open-minded,” but not at the expense of authenticity or art. At the end of the day, the artist is the artist because of their perspective or desire to say or portray something through a unique lens. You have every right to be particular in how you portray yourself, your narrative and your brand. As a creative, it’s your superpower.
I know you had stopped releasing music for a bit because you wanted to develop yourself as a writer and person before moving into the next chapter. What made you feel like you knew you were ready for this next chapter?
I felt even in the process of making my older music, it wasn’t at the level I wanted and I saw a potential much greater creatively. I was searching for the right team of producers and writers that would understand the vision while also developing what I wanted that vision to be. Once that direction started paving itself, I just needed someone who was ready to be part of that sonic journey with me.
At this point in my journey, I view music more as a lifeline than a hobby.
You’ve blown up on TikTok for your covers and for your own music. In one of your TikToks, you said that you feel like social media has just turned into everyone feeling like they have to make everything so perfect. How do you feel the way you are viewed on social media differs from the way you view yourself, if in any way?
It’s so funny to me because for so long I was only putting out singing videos. I’d get so many comments wondering what my speaking voice even sounded like. Yet, with every singing video I’d post, I’d have comments piecing together some version of a person people wanted to believe I am - some nice but others farfetched. I felt it was important to start sharing more of my personality so at least people would see a closer depiction of who Gabi Sklar really is. Not just me as the artist or “social media” figure, but as a human being. At least then I’d be at peace with the idea of not being loved by everyone.
In your music, what part of your personality do you think is most present? What part of you do you think doesn’t come out as much in your music?
As people, we have so much depth. You could really be a different person everyday if you wanted. The Gabi that people know is my confident, bubbly side. And I am that way! Sometimes. But the version of me I'm not sure people have heard yet is the Gabi who is still learning and healing.
In your music released over the past few months, “Monster Truck,” “Pardon my French,” and “Good Kisser,” you really show a very fun and clever side of you. Very 2000s IT girl, which I’m obsessed with. If you could imagine your newest song “Thank God” in one of your favorite 2000s movies, what movie or scene do you imagine?
Bruce Almighty. Maybe the scene when Jim Carrey is answering all of God’s prayers via email or when he opens the filing cabinet. If you know, you know.
The version of me thatI'm not sure people have heard yet is the Gabi who is still learning and healing.
PARDON MY FRENCH by GABI SKLAR
In terms of aesthetic, visually, you have presented a 60s vibe, especially in the “Good Kisser” music video. How did you come to this visual decision? When you are creating music, do you tend to imagine a visual?
I think the visual comes with the writing process, especially when using so much lyrical imagery. I’m also a very visual person, it’s how I understand and learn and enjoy storytelling. I always make mood boards for each of my songs. When the “Good Kisser” director, Justin Thorne, presented me with the treatment for the music video, there were a lot of creative parallels with the ideas I’d had. I’ve also always loved the hopeless romanticism of the 50s/60s, as well as the overall aesthetic.
I really love “Thank God.” What was the process like in creating it? What part was the most difficult to ‘get right?’
Thank you! It was one of my easier songs to write. Some songs come from wounds and when you bottle emotions long enough, they’re bound to overflow. In this case, those emotions did overflow and the song really wrote itself.
The song is about getting out of a toxic relationship and beginning to heal. Do you find that you prefer to create music retrospectively, or in the moment?
I think both serve different purposes but can allow you to see situations in a different light. When you’re going through it, maybe it’s more therapeutic, but when you're observing from a previous event or emotional state, you might have a newfound perspective or wisdom. It could also be relative to the emotions you are currently feeling so it all depends.
Scent and memory are so closely related, so if you could bottle three scents that relate to memories of your own, what scents would you bottle?
My mom. Whenever I’m missing her, I always remember her big hugs and warm scent.