SK8 is a rockstar in his own right, and with each release he keeps going up and up. Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, the recording artist creates his own lane and sound somewhere in the midst of rap, R&B, and alternative rock, with lyrics inspired directly by real-life experiences we can all relate to.
Moving to Los Angeles was a pivotal moment for SK8 and his career, stumbling upon Wiz Khalifa in the studio at 4am (as mentioned on our Shirley’s Temple episode). Shortly after, he’d be taken under the wings of Taylor Gang management, while still serving as the CEO to his own label titled Alignment Records.
Fresh off the releases of his previous singles “Caught In The Middle” and “Famous” featuring Tyla Yaweh, SK8 returns with his newest hit “Girl Next Door,” tapping Wiz Khalifa and production duo DVBBS. The music video itself is a full-blown jam session as all 3 artists take over beautiful mansion in Los Angeles, bringing the record to life in the garage with a live band.
Flaunt caught up with SK8 via Instagram Live, who was enjoying his time back home in Omaha with family just days before performing his hometown show. Read below as we discuss his new single “Girl Next Door,” how Wiz Khalifa & DVBBS landed on the record, the epic music video shoot, and more!
How is it back home in Omaha?
Hot as fuck. It’s really humid in Omaha. I think it’s 90 degrees, but it feels like it’s way hotter. It’s humid as shit.
“Girl Next Door” out now, how are you feeling?
Super excited. It’s been a lil minute since I dropped anything, since “Caught In The Middle.” This one feels really good. It’s getting a lot of traction, getting a lot of ears on it. I’m super grateful about what’s going on.
How did Wiz Khalifa & DVBBS come to be on the song?
It’s crazy, the song I started the song strictly off of a guitar riff. The producer Breakfast In Vegas did the a guitar riff. I wrote the whole melody on there, strictly onto the guitar. I came in and added Rook to the drums, so Rook played live drums on there. I’ve had my album for a little bit. My album’s been finished, but I wanted to get a few more features. Usually how it goes with Wiz, once I got my whole album ready, I bring [Wiz] into it. I say “these are the 2 I’d like you in, what do you think?”
He’ll say “Alright, I’m fucking with this one.” Soon as he heard “Girl Next Door,” he said “Dope!” So I got Wiz on it. Once Wiz was on it, I linked with DVBBS. I was playing new shit because we’re going to work on a couple records together. I was playing some of my new shit so they could get a feel of what the album’s sounding like. They said, can we producer over the top of the “Girl Next Door” record? That shit’s is hard, can you add us to a featured artist?” I said “Yeah for sure, that’d be lit.” They put a whole post-production onto it, that’s how the whole record came about.
What did they add to the track? I know they’re big in the EDM world.
They added a bunch of post-production on the bridge. They added little synths in the background that you’ll hear. They bring the beat up and turn up the tempo a little bit without even knowing you’re turning the tempo up. On top of that, we have a remix. It’s a whole EDM/dubstep remix that they produced, that’ll be coming soon so look out for that. That one’s really dope too, especially for Vegas pool party vibes.
Is that your first time breaking into the EDM side of things?
Yeah, sort of. The dubstep remix is super dubstep, so that one really kicked off the transition for that side of things.
Was the song inspired by a girl next door SK8?
Shit, not really! [laughs] It wasn’t really a specific girl next door, I didn’t have my girl next door. I know some people have some girls next door. Nah really it was crazy because that was the first shit that came out of my mouth. I said “Christian Dior, you know what it’s for.” It was the melody. We’re sitting there, I said “wait, what’s the Christian Dior for though?” The producer said “Man, fuck it. Just leave it up to them, don’t choose what it’s for.” I said “alright bet.’ We were gonna take it out, I said “ehhh…” It set off the record. After that, it was a wrap.
So Wiz heard that and wanted to hop on that one?
Yup, I presented my whole album to him. I said “I really like you on these two. He said “Nah, this the one right here.”
How does it feel to get him on this rock track?
It’s dope. It’s super dope. I’ve been looking at a lot of the comments and a lot of the feedback on Youtube, people say they really enjoy the mesh of hip-hop and rock.
Is this a new sound for you?
For sure it is, 100%. The whole album is going to be pop punk, hip-hop. We call it trap punk.
What was your vision with the music video? Love to see you guys all jamming out.
My right-hand day-to-day, Daniel Kelly, we came up with the concept together. DVBBS are 2 people, Alex and Curtis. Alex came over, me, Alex, and Daniel sat down and said “We gotta make this iconic.” We remembered the old movie, Girl Next Door. Neal Israel and Emilie Hirsch is in it. I’d never even seen the movie. Right after we made the song, I watched the movie. It’s crazy because the movie came out on Netflix only 3 weeks ago, Perfect timing.
We all sat down and said “Let’s try to make this as much as having a girl next door as we can.” We started coming up with ideas. An even bigger idea was let’s have band tryouts in the garage, have Wiz be the star of the band tryouts, then bring him into our band. It was us going back and forth with a lot of different ideas, the most important part was getting the 2 houses next to each other so you could get that wide shot of us. You know it’s right next door, it wasn’t no fake houses. We had 3 houses back to back to back. It was cool to have that neighborhood feel, it’s in a cul-de-sac. The neighborhood really came out so cool, so many kids filled up the block. It was really special.
What part of LA was it shot out?
Way out in the valley, 2 hours out.
Best memory from the video shoot?
It was a really cool moment to see everybody. When Wiz came, we did that last shot of him and Summer. It was amazing to get Sommer [Ray] in the video. Scarlett, she was amazing. That last shot of all of us rocking: Scarlett’s on the bass guitar, Summer was on the drums, Wiz is on lead. While we’re doing that, we got the whole neighborhood outside in the garage watching us like a concert. That’s the moment like, “Whoa, this is crazy.” We’re having a little block party.
How’s it feel getting over one million streams on Spotify in just 4 days?
Grateful, it’s an amazing feeling. I’m appreciative of all the fans and all the support, everybody that’s sharing the record. Thanks to you guys, forreal.
Someone said, “SK8 is a new rockstar.”
[laughs] Always been one champ!
How does your hometown presence compare to elsewhere?
It’s always big love out here. You know how it is in the hometown, you always get a little bit more support. Obviously, we’ll have at least 30 to 40 family members in there too. We had to buy some tickets. My dad’s side of the family is huge, we just had a family reunion. He’s Lebanese so my dad’s side of the family is 100 people. It’s crazy.
How do your parents feel about your success thus far?
They support it. They’ve always been supporting it. They’re with me, they’re right here with me.
Thoughts on Omaha women versus Cali girls?
Not much to compare about it, really. It’s really different to be honest, even down to the people. It’s different, there’s no comparison. You have to come here and see for yourself.
Favorite thing to do back home?
Kicking it with my friends. We play basketball, it’s more laidback. There’s not a lot of things going on. We have a few clubs, really one club but mostly bars. We go out on the weekends, but honestly skating around, playing basketball outside. It’s a slow motion. LA’s so fast. I like to come back here, chill and see my friends.
What have you learned the most in the music business?
To not give up on nothing, it’s a lot of hard times. Sometimes you’re gonna feel like quitting, it’s not gonna be all the biggest playouts. Just not quitting, that’s the most important lesson. As long as you don’t quit, you win.
When can we expect an album? Any exciting features?
I think it’s safe to say a couple features. There’s a couple surprises. Obviously for sure Yaweh’s on there, we have Wiz abd DVBBS. Sueco The Child is on there, we got a crazy record we’re getting ready to shoot the video for soon. Rook will be on there, I got him as a featured artist. Might be close to it. There’s one more, but I’ma save that one.
Is there a name for the album?
I might save that too. There’s clues, there’s hints. You could probably figure it out if you wanted. If you go on my Instagram, it’s on there.
Any tours planned?
Yes, planning a whole tour in the fall. As soon as I drop this album in the next month and a half, I’ll be going on a whole domestic tour in the fall. It’s already pretty much set up, we’ll announce it in the next couple weeks. Really excited about that too, it’s been a long time since I’ve really been on the road with my own crowd, my own fans. That’s really special, I’m excited. It’s going to be a fun fall, everything’s opening back up.
Anything else you’d like to let us know?
“Girl Next Door” is out right now. Go stream it, watch the video. Share it, comment, post, subscribe, all that. I appreciate everybody that’s been doing that already, thank you.