Award Winning Vocalist (International Competition of Collegiate A Capella) with a passion for old soul and groove. Session experience as a vocalist, songwriter, top-liner and lyricist as well as vocal coach and session guitarist. Degree in Creative Writing from St. Louis University, with Vocal Performance Minor.
Male Vocalist (with wide vocal range, from bass to tenor, all genres)
Flexible Topline (experience in Hip-Hop, EDM, Jazz, Rock & Roll and specialty in Soul, Groove and Pop)
Vocal Training (trained extensively for 6 years in St. Louis and Chicago, I can help free that spirit inside ya :)
Session Guitar (funk rhythm specialty)
Professionally trained in jazz vocals and classical vocals, with five years of live pop, blues, soul and jazz singing experience. At 22, I think I am unique in my passion for the tactile emotion in singers like Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Al Green, Etta James and Donnie Hathaway along with the suave of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Though I admire and try to emulate the performances of those legends I also recognize the "sticky-ness" and pop execution prowess of modern artists/writers such as Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Anderson Paak. I work every day to twist all of those influences into modern songs, lyrics and melodies and tighten my grasp on the craft of song craft and performance.
Live performance experience at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater (STL - 20,000 Capacity), Town Hall (NYC - 1,500 Capacity), Black Rabbit Rose (Los Angeles - Sold Out), Schubas (Chicago - Sold Out), Viper Room (Los Angeles) and Chuck Berry's "Blueberry Hill" (STL). Sang National Anthem @ 2017 Olympic Trials (STL).
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Interview with Timmy Skelly
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Top-line and Vocals. These are the areas I have the most training and expertise.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Right now, Tom Misch and Aretha Franklin. Tom seems to have established his own unique sound, blending Jazz and Funk with electronic "bedroom" production which I really admire. And Aretha, bless her soul, has always been my inspiration to sing. Aside from that, I think Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar are two of the most important songwriters today. Paak's top-line on "Malibu" are so sticky and Kendrick always has sometimes profound to say and a unique way to say it. Outside of Hip-Hop, I really enjoy Bruno Mars and Pharrell's contributions to the industry. They have helped bring funk back to the forefront (along with Mark Ronson and of course many others).
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work at a production school and am blessed to have access to their fantastic equipment.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depends on the clients requests, but my own personal writings usually begin with a guitar (chords, or a lick) then move to the melody (wether a theme or hook or just a certain interval I really enjoy) then I begin the process of word-scaping, or deciding what the mood of the song will be. From there I play around with words and stories and decide whether to add a Bridge, Break, Collision or Shorten the Hooks and Verses etc.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Versatility and unique perspective.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My voice. I was fortunate to have a mother who sang around me for my entire life, and introduced me to Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Earth Wind and Fire as well as my hero: Aretha Franklin. I have grown up trying to emulate those individuals, which as in turn shaped my own voice (hopefully) in a somewhat similar mold to my icons.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually write bluesly, soul/pop. But I have been involved in everything from Classical compositions to Hip-Hop projects and Crooner- Style Bossanova stuff. I love all music, even some aspects of metal and country and am willing to work with any and everyone.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Voice always comes first. Always. Without a good vocal performance, no one will dig the song. And good doesn not always mean perfect or rangey or technically sound but rather something the people can relate to and believe.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Wow. I would loose my mind to work with Tom Misch, Tyler Joseph or Anderson Paak.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Soulful and unique.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was an athlete in High-School and never thought I had time for music. Then, my senior year, I went out for Choir and made it. After getting a Solo in our final performance I fell in love with the stage and dove head first into singing in college. I had always planned on being a writer - a poet was my hope - so I figured why not translate that into songwriting. I had always played instruments casually (trumpet, piano, drums and guitar) but didn't really dedicate myself until college. There I quickly got a scholarship for their classical "Master Choir" and became a member of one of the top A Cappella groups in the nation "The Bare Naked Statues". I also began playing with a band and improving drastically at guitar. By the time I graduated, I had become the president of the a cappella group, sung the national anthem several times at the location sports arena, won an international vocalist prize, and played most of the notable venues in St. Louis.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Water (singer problems), coffee (addict problems), acoustic guitar (no electricity on an island, right?), notebook for lyrics and a pencil.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have a goal set for your project initially (know what you want), but also be open to collaborative energy. Sometimes our ideas can be nudged into new light, and end up better than we ever imagined.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How has your music journey been so far, and what is your goal with this project?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I really dunno!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How did you get started singing/who are your influences/when is your next show :) and I tell them.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making music!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I give all of my clients the same dedication and passion no matter the project.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog! A,B an analog and digital mix of the same song, you can hear why. Sound is a physical experience, and I like to keep it within wires, air, glass and heat instead of binary code.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Carley Lusk. Beautiful woman with a beautiful voice.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A personal EP with my BluPop band Retro Bloom.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: An EP for two producers here in LA. I felt like we really learned from each-other and were able to start each session totally open to new ideas and the path of creativity. We ended up with some strikingly emotional but groovy stuff.