Crimson Skye, a local singer-songwriter, just performed recently for an NPR submission on Youtube for the single “Fire,” with band members Jordan Belardes playing the electric violin and Adrian Diaz on drums. Skye has been touring, songwriting, and making an impact on her community while leading up to the level of success she’s at now.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, Skye knew as she was growing up that she would make music. She described signing as a way to raise her confidence and heal her soul.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from my mother who passed away when I was four, and she was a singer. She was such a joyful, powerful, inspirational person and she used her voice to positively impact others. She literally gave her life for me,” Skye said.
Her mother was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant causing dangerous health complications due to cancer. Doctors at the time suggested Skye’s mother should terminate the pregnancy. Despite this, It was important for Skye’s mother to get the care and support she needed during her pregnancy because she was adamant about giving birth.
Skye stated it’s important for women to have autonomy over their bodies and a right to choose the best healthcare path for them.
“Women are such powerful forces – there is no life without women. Of course, women should have the right to end a pregnancy, and who knows what situation they may have been put in that lead them there,” said Skye.
Community involvement and social awareness of the struggles surrounding Skye directly impact her music. Her maturity as a human being and songwriter can be heard through her musical progression throughout her albums.
As early as 19 years old, Skye financially supported her first debut album Between the Frets. She referred to the album’s sound as not fitting into one genre but being more psychedelic-soul, ranging to progressive rock.
“I also pull inspiration from certain artists that have really made a positive impact in the past, a lot of them are dead. People like Bob Marley, his music was all about peacemaking. Nina Simone is such a powerful woman that was all about equality and peace, and justice,” stated Skye.
The Beatles are also amongst Skye’s top artists because of what they stood for and promoted in life, not just their music.
“I love to bring different people together under the same roof and realize that we don’t have to agree on everything, we don’t have to express ourselves the same way, we’re just here to enjoy the music,” Skye stated. “It can be peaceful and full of love, there doesn’t have to be any judgment.”
For Skye, connectivity with her audience is very important. She mentioned that there’s a divine healing from connection to music and other human beings.
“I think that it’s important to provide spaces like that for people. I love playing music that can appeal to a child or a grandparent and all in between, and straight people and gay people. All types of races and cultures, just break down those barriers of why we fight against each other, why we judge each other,” Skye also added that when the band gets together she feels those barriers fade away.
Skye and fellow bandmates won two awards at the 2nd annual 2022 Bakersfield Music Awards, one was for the best band on the album The Far Side. Her debut music video from 2020 for the album The Window and its single “Deck of Cards” won Video of the Year at the 2021 Bakersfield Music Awards. She was also recognized for being 2020’s Artist of the Year.
While touring, songwriting, and recording albums can keep anyone busy, Skye remains involved in her community.
During the 2020 protests and riots after George Floyd’s unjust murder, Skye held a sit-in at Mill Creek for the community to heal and gather while mourning. She expressed the importance of peaceful protests.
Skye urges her fans to get involved by voting in elections. More training for police officers and reformations from political systems are a few of the major changes Skye said should be made in Kern.
“I personally have not seen a whole lot of change in law enforcement since the murder of George Floyd,” Skye continued to state that she did hear about possible training for mental health crises.
“Sometimes going out there and being yourself is part of the activism. Take a Black, Queer, Woman- if I were to just keep to myself, stay inside, and not be myself unapologetically, then there’s not a display of what it looks like to just be ourselves,” Skye stated.
She continued to explain that being from a mixed-race family and being half White creates an uncomfortable duality between having certain privileges and experiencing systemic struggle due to the color of her skin.
“I think when we are ourselves that’s when we win… I think that’s when you see progress and growth. You find yourself in a situation where you’re like oh I don’t feel that different, there are other Gay people here, other Black people here, and other open-minded people.”
Skye has been invited and performed at many Kern events because of these positive sentiments that she lives by. Visibility and representation are important in music, and Skye makes the extra effort to accommodate audiences so her music can be enjoyed by all.
“If I want to be an activist for gender equality or an activist for racial equality, me being me, because I’m a combination of races and genders if I just am myself I’m already being an activist,” Skye stated.