Daniel Skye is fresh off a tour with Bebe Rexha, and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. At just sixteen years old, he’s got a stellar collaboration with Cameron Dallas behind him, several infectious singles, and, oh, 2.5 million Instagram followers. So what’s next?
If you divide 16-year-old Daniel Skye‘s amount of Instagram followers (2.5 million) by his age, you get about 150,000 followers for each year of his life. Nothing to sneeze at, right? Well, you’d better believe his following is well-deserved. Below, I catch up with Daniel after his sold-out NYC concert with Bebe Rexha on March 29. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
You just wrapped up a tour with Bebe Rexha. How was that?
It’s been an amazing tour. It was a great experience for me to perform for Bebe’s crowd because they’re her fans, and I was performing for people who weren’t there for me and I learned how to win them over. I really enjoyed that challenge.
Which cities were your favorite?
Los Angeles and New York City. And I liked Texas a lot. Whenever we have time off, we get to walk around the cities and check out the vibe there.
I read you had a little scare during the tour when your jaw locked up.
[Laughs] It’s crazy. I was in Denver and I woke up one morning and tried to open my mouth, and it just wouldn’t open. I had a show in three hours! Immediately, we started freaking out because I couldn’t open my mouth. We rushed to the ER and they said it’s this thing called TMJ [Temporomandibular joint dysfunction] and it happened because of overuse, the tour life schedule. I took medication and I was thankfully better the next morning.
I did have to miss the Denver show, so I’ll make that up to my Denver fans. After that, I’ve had to keep watch and make sure it doesn’t lock up again!
You’re obviously young — it’s really cool that you found your passion so early. Is this what you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve loved music my whole life. But I didn’t know I could sing until I was thirteen years old and at my Bar Mitzvah. People were coming up to me in the temple after I sang and read the Torah, and my friend and dad’s friends were saying I had a good voice. I went home and checked it out. I started taking guitar lessons and decided to make an Instagram account. Every day I would come home from school and post these 15-second covers of the top songs on the Internet. People started sharing it with their friends and it took off from there!
Speaking of your dad, what’s the role of your parents throughout all this?
My family is super supportive. My dad came on tour for about a week. It was really funny to see him so stressed out on the road. He couldn’t handle the tour life!
What’s the meaning behind “ON”?
“ON” has three different meanings. The first is being “on” your game. Being focused, in the zone, for whatever you’re doing. It’s different for everyone. For me, it’s music. The second meaning is being “on” or “off” in a relationship, on or off with your girl. The third is turning up and having fun with your friends — you’re “on!”
That’s awesome. Can we expect a full album soon?
Yeah, for sure. When I get off this tour, I’m going back to LA and getting in the studio. I love writing and recording and making new music. I have a lot of new stuff coming, but I don’t have the exact date yet!
What can we expect from it?
“ON” is the vibe right there. It’ll be pop with an urban vibe.
You’re from Hollywood, Florida, but you moved to LA for music. How was that?
It was weird in the beginning because I just moved and had no friends, I didn’t know anyone. I wasn’t going to school — I was homeschooled — because I was always in the studio, so how do I make friends? I’m always working. Then slowly I started getting used to it and made a couple friends. Now I have a bunch.
What’s your advice to other kids who have to move like you did?
The key to moving somewhere is — it’s impossible to fit in in like a month. It take a while to adapt. Once you find two great, best friends, everything is fine. You’ve got to be patient. It takes a while to adapt to a new lifestyle and friends.
When “Maybe” came out, you said you hadn’t really had a relationship yet. Is there an update in the romance department?
No! Still single. [Laughs]
You teamed up with Cameron Dallas for “All I Want.” Do you want to do more collaborations? Who’s on your shortlist?
He’s an awesome dude. My favorite artists right now are Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Migos. I’m super influenced by hip-hop. 21 Savage.
It was cool when Joey Bada$$ came out onstage last night.
That was pretty dope. That venue [Irving Plaza] was hectic! It was a small green room and everyone was in there.
What’s your spring break anthem?
“Mask Off” by Future.
Have you had a memorable gesture from a fan recently?
A couple of fans brought me a stuffed bulldog, they know I love bulldogs.
If someone hasn’t heard you before, what song should they listen to first?
“ON”. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever put out.
What’s next? Can we expect a headlining tour?
I want to do another tour and go out of the country, to Europe and other places. I’m excited for that, though there aren’t any exact plans yet!