T.H.E Interview – Ryan Skyy

American DJ, producer, and singer/songwriter Ryan Skyy has unveiled his luscious remix of Janet Jackson & Daddy Yankee’s ‘Made For Now’.

Blessing the rework with his slick dancefloor-ready grooves, Ryan’s production utilises rhythmic deep-house chord patterns and is released on Janet’s new Rhythm Nation imprint. We caught up with Ryan and spoke to him about the remix, and how he approaches reworking an original.

T.H.E – Hey Ryan! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How is the end of 2018 going for you?

Ryan Skyy – The second half of 2018 has been a whirlwind. I can’t believe it’s November already!

T.H.E – You’re quite the remixer with 4 x number #1 Billboard-charting remixes. What makes you choose a track to remix, and how do you go about ensuring that it has maximum impact, compared to the original?

Ryan Skyy – Thank you! Janet just went #1 actually, becoming my 5th remix to top Billboard.

Most of the records I remix, I’m hired by the labels. I choose records that typically have a soulful vocal and melodies that I can get funky with the production.

When I’m remixing a record, I’m always thinking about my gigs and imagine how the direction I’m going in would translate to the dancefloor.

The energy is really important to me. As a DJ, I’ve experienced playing remixes where the energy drops way down in different sections of the song and it kills the dancefloor. People stop dancing and look up at the DJ during those moments. I think it comes down to the producer thinking it sounded cool but not realizing how the arrangement would impact the energy of the club.

When I’m producing I think about these things and work on maintaining energy throughout the remix while still keeping things interesting.

I also test out my productions during my DJ sets before they’re finished so I can make tweaks before turning over final masters to the label.

Also, the final key to the success of my tracks is the audio engineers I work with to mix and master my productions. They bring fresh ears to my tracks and optimize them so they are banging on all fronts. I mostly work with Wired Masters out of the UK. They mix and master for many of the top house and EDM labels and really bring my tracks to life.

T.H.E – Congratulations on the release of your remix of Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee’s ‘Made For Now’. To have been asked by such big names to remix their single, how did that feel like and did it bring its own kind of pressure?

Ryan Skyy – I was so giddy when Janet’s team reached out I could barely contain myself lol I couldn’t wait to get the stems. The first time I listened to her a capella vocal I got goosebumps.

T.H.E – How long was the remix in the works?

Ryan Skyy – 4 weeks.

T.H.E – We love the chord patterns on it. Was it clear from the start how you were going to take the remix, direction-wise? 

Ryan Skyy – Thank you! It’s never clear to me what direction I want to go in. I have a general style of production and sounds that I gravitate towards but I don’t really know how a remix is going to turn out until I jump in.

Like with the Janet remix, I ended up chopping up her vocals and creating a whole new melody line. That happened unexpectedly during one of my sessions and wasn’t something I planned.

I did know that I wanted to try out funky bass and guitar rhythms but wasn’t sure how it would sound until I began. The creative process is so messy. At the end of each project, I listen to the final product and think “How did I do that??”

T.H.E – And finally, what are your plans going forward from a touring and production point of view?

Ryan Skyy – I plan on putting out a steady release of remixes over the next 6 months to continue to establish my sound and my audience, and then in 2019, I plan to start releasing original music and build out the rest of my team.

Thank you for featuring my music. It means a lot to me.

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