EXCLUSIVE: Skandra On Being A TikTok Sensation
Remember this name because if you are not already obsessed with Skandra, you’re about to be. The singer-songwriter’s latest single has gone viral on TikTok after her sweet husband’s plea for people to listen to her music. Skandra has had over a million streams of her single “Rivers”, she has taken over our Instagram and we got to chat with her before she takes over the world!
Thank you so much for taking over our Instagram the other day. How is Paris right now during these crazy times?
Yes, of course! It was fun. Thank you for creating a platform for artists. I had spent most of the pandemic time in California. We just arrived in Paris a couple of weeks ago and the difference between the two is quite wild. Thousands of people are walking the streets, living their lives, and getting on all while wearing a mask, socially distancing, sanitizing, and more. People feel connected. While in America, some seem to be battling control measures and fear losing that sense of community. I’ve concluded that the fear of losing, itself, is what’s keeping us so disconnected and lost in this time. Amongst other non-optimal things. The US is a country of such different cultures and backgrounds, different political stances, and more. It’s an amazing thing, but one that’s a bit too heated at the moment. I tend to distance myself from the chaos and work towards things that bring about a better world. It’s calming to be here.
Tell us the story of how your husband Ylane Duparc’s TikTok went viral.
I’d planned to release the Skandra songs in March. When the pandemic hit the U.S., I postponed this. I worked on other projects for a few months and eventually, I decided it was time to start releasing them as singles, a few weeks apart. After having put so much work into this project and so many years of not having released anything, I was feeling a bit hopeless. The state of the world, the industry, and all else were really weighing on me. I told Ylane I felt like I needed a sign from the universe to keep going and as the wonderful husband that he is, he said, “Why don’t we tell the world your story?”. I laughed at the simplicity and quietly wondered, “Who in the world even cares?”
The night he posted the video, Skandra had gone from 750 streams to 1,500. I was floored and went to sleep happy. I woke up around 6:30 AM the next morning and procrastinated looking at my phone. I hoped for the best but expected the worst. Sure enough, I finally checked in and it had gone up to 60,000 streams. My eyes swelled with tears and as I turned over to face Ylane, he was asleep. I kissed him on the cheek and whispered, “Thank you. I love you.” Within a week, “Rivers” reached 1,000,000 streams.
It’s been quite an adventure, to say the least. A single video changed my life. Skandra has received over 2-million streams across streaming platforms in the first couple weeks, the music video views keep going up and almost every major label on Earth contacted me within 48 hours. I don’t know what any of this means quite yet, but I’m beyond happy and excited to have a wonderful fanbase to release my upcoming music. It’s been beautiful.
This could change her life… Help me help her 🥺🔥
How did you two meet?
My best friend’s parents run an acting school called The Acting Center in Los Angeles. Years and years ago, Ylane was taking an acting intensive there for a couple of weeks. My best friend brought me to a performance night they had and Ylane, an adorable young French kid, came up to me and asked me for a cigarette in the parking lot. I told him he looked too young to smoke. He told me he was French. That was really it until years later, he added me on Facebook and asked if I’d be interested in scoring his short film. I was also heading to Paris soon to attend my friend’s wedding. Having a day or two before the wedding to work, I asked to meet him on this project so we could wrap it up. We ended up not talking about the project at all, but instead, fell in love. We’ve continued to fall in love since.
What can you tell us about your upcoming single and album?
I plan to release new materials in early 2021. I’ve been working on a set of songs that all fall within the same storyline. I’m looking to create a series of singles and videos that all interconnect and mean something, as a whole. That’s about all I can say for now, but I’m very excited about it.
You have orchestrated the score for over 30 films, incredible. Do you have a dream type of film to work on?
Yes! I would love for Skandra to be the soundscape for a coming-of-age TV show. I feel that my desire to create lyrically-driven lofi, bedroom music alongside more fine-tuned, synth-pop music could be the perfect blend of soundscapes for someone who is finding themselves.
You also have won poetry contests and have short stories published. When did you realize writing was a passion of yours?
I had this teacher named Mrs. Carver in 7th grade who sent everyone in the class home with blank journals. She said we could fill them with anything we’d like and then turn them into her once a week. In doing so, she began to point out how poetic and intricate my mind was. She demanded I keep writing. I listened. I haven’t stopped writing since. It’s the most therapeutic and transforming thing that I’ve ever known.
I love your fashion sense! What do you think are going to be some big trends in 2021 and who are some of your style icons?
Thank you! Well, for 2021, I see lots of detailed collars, monochrome outfits, and platform boots. I think the pandemic has helped designers realize how important comfort is. So, lots of softer and looser materials.
What inspired you to start your nonprofit, Treehouse?
In 2015, I was working on a project and not leaving my house much. I kept getting messages and emails from fellow artists promoting their work. I felt bothered by the fact that their messages didn’t impact me. I had no real interest…and I LOVE art. So, I realized it wasn’t the bombardment of promotion that bothered me, it was the lack of intimacy. It felt far away. I wanted it right in front of me. I wanted to experience their art. I decided to have about twenty people over at my house we all called the Treehouse. It went so well, I decided to do it monthly. After three months, there were 150 people jammed in my living room and watching through the windows. So, I had to move it out of my house and find new venues every month. It’s now a monthly pop-up, community, and champion for change in the music industry. We always pick unconventional locations and the owners get behind the cause and do not charge. It’s free to perform, free to attend, and art for the sake of art. We’ve exposed hundreds of artists to thousands of people.