Personal ‘Project’: Musician tracks her life in 10-part visual album • Brooklyn Paper

Personal ‘Project’: Musician tracks her life in 10-part visual album

Red alert: Bushwick artist Skela will launch her 10-part visual album “Project 10” at Rough Trade on Feb. 9.
Rachel Turley

She’s got a perfect 10!

Bushwick pop musician Skela will celebrate the release of her 10-part “visual album” with a concert at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade on Feb. 9. The music videos in “Project 10” were recorded during a six-day burst of creativity in the summer of 2018, and the songs reflect her tumultuous personal and professional growth during that year, said the artist.

“In 2018 I was having a crisis where there were so many stories I wanted to tell and I felt these needed to be out in the world,” said Skela. “This was a huge period of my life for progress as an artist.”

The songs cover a wide range of styles and themes, including the dance jam “Holy,” the triumphant ballad “Heartbreak and Liquor,” and the quiet “I’m Not Hungry,” an earnest look at how she lost her appetite in the aftermath of a breakup. The latter song, paired with a video of Skela dancing around a graveyard in Queens, resonated strongly with her audience.

“It processes the feeling in the actual song,” she said. “It’s not just a sad song — it turns into something positive,”

Skela found that revealing her inner turmoil to the public helped her come to terms with her experiences.

“I didn’t realize how personal some of the songs were. I noticed that when these things comes out, everybody will know about it and I was just dropping these truth bombs. I was able to make peace with them,” she said.

Despite the dark themes of some of her songs, making the videos with her two friends Zoé Kraft and Rachel Turley was a lot of fun, said Skela.

“It was just us three, we describe it as a summer camp. You just take a week out of your life and do nothing but make beautiful things that mean something to you. It was a lot of fun to be with my friends and exorcise my thoughts,” she said.

Finishing “Project 10” will also let Skela concentrate on a new chapter in her life — literally! The first section of her novel “Building You Up,” about a teenage girl dealing with sorrow, is online now, and she plans to release new chapters, each with an accompanying song, over the next year.

“It is a coming-of-age story about a young girl dealing with grief and losses in her life and what it means to navigate the world with these porous holes in you,” she said.

Skela said she has been writing novels since she was 15, but that releasing her prose for the world to see is a new adventure.

“I’ve never done this before so I’m still figuring it out,” she said.

Skela at Rough Trade [64 N. Ninth St. between between Kent and Wythe avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 388–4111, www.roughtradenyc.com]. Feb. 9 at 8 pm. $15.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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