Singer-songwriter-actress Justine Skye has been told to quit music more than once. The 24-year-old has been active in the industry since she was 17, and in that time she’s released four EPs and a studio album. Does it bother her when people tell her singing isn’t going to work? No way, that’s fuel for the fire that keeps Skye going.
Skye tells Refinery29 that she sees challenges as a necessary part of a long career. She also rightly points out that the music industry (and the world at large) has become more accepting of dancehall and Afrobeat music, which supports an instinct Skye already has: the instinct to proudly showcase her roots. Born and raised in Brooklyn to Jamaican parents, Skye is proud of her heritage and her hometown, performing in the Eastern Parkway West Indian parade on Labor Day this year.
Since her music career began to take off, Skye has made friends with lots of young Hollywood and music industry stars including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Willow and Jaden Smith, Normani, Luka Sabbat, Camila Morrone, and Bella Hadid. She’s also become a fashion industry darling, sitting front row at shows and creating a collection with H&M.
Her most recent EP, Bare With Me, marks her transition to being an independent artist — a choice that gives Skye more agency over her music and image.
Watch in the video above as she opens up about losing — and finding — herself in an industry known for unforgiving standards, and explains why she loves a small crowd just as much as a big one.