It’s one thing to be able to play one, two, or even three instruments and write your own music. It’s a whole other thing to have adapted and succeeded in playing over 20 instruments and have written 2,000 songs of your own. Also throw in never having experienced writer’s block. This all adds up to be one incredible indie folk artist, and her name is Gayle Skidmore.
The San Diego native began her music career by playing the piano. Gayle was introduced at the age of 4, and she took off from there. The indie folk singer has certainly been successful so far in her career, opening for artists such as Jason Mraz, Sam Phillips, Lisa Loeb, and many others.
I was able to snag an interview with Gayle, where I learned about her inspirations, her favorite instruments, and even the cookies she likes to bake. Check it out!
What drew your attention to the piano at such a young age? (the age of 4)
My family got me into it, and I fell in love. I came from a very musical family, me and my older sisters played. After that, I took lessons 10 years consistently. I’ve always heard music in my head.
Wow, writing over 2,000 songs is incredible. How did you manage to start that up at the age of 8?
It’s something I’ve always done. I began recording at the age of 5. When I was 8 my uncle died, so I started writing about that. I would try to write everything out as a song, and because of piano I was able write out the melody.
What are some major changes you’ve seen in your song writing and music ability since that time?
I try to change it up all the time. While working at a jingle house, I had great writing chemistry with the producer. They inspired me to study other genres- indie rock, classical, and such. It is a totally different process when writing for a commercial. It helped me break out into other genres. I have obviously grown and matured as well, and work with great producers and writers.
How did you get into playing so many unique instruments?
I’ve always wanted to try new instruments. I played the flute in middle school. My dad played guitar, so I taught myself how to play. But, the piano helped me pick up playing other instruments. The banjo was easy to pick up, it was like playing the guitar. My favorite is probably the mountain dulcimer. It’s just so pretty, and I love the idea of the instrument; it’s very singer songwriter-y. It’s very different from other instruments, just by the way it’s played and held. It’s very soft sounding and fun to sing to.
Your background write up says that you’ve never experienced writer’s block. Can you explain this further?
I think in song form a lot. I’ll be walking around and realize I’ve been humming a song for 20 minutes. I also write a bunch of songs that I don’t like at all. I take breaks purposely from song writing. I feel like I could write every day and I get overwhelmed. I don’t know what it’s like for other writers, but I have a lot of inspiration and a lot of dramatic things that have happened to help me write songs.
What was it like being recognized at such a high level for Germany’s newspaper, the Seuddeutsche Zeitung?
It was amazing. I had such a fun tour. It was very “do it yourself.” It was amazing that they choose to interview me a, nd do a section of me. It wasn’t the biggest show I’ve ever done but it waws one of the best. I got 3 or 4 encores, so I have nothing but positive memories.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming 2015?
I’ll be signing to a label in March-April, I’m very excited. I’m also releasing a song with NINKASI, a brewery in Oregon funded by beer. It’s an amazing company. I participate in a music festival there every fall. I’m still working on recording another full length album. Also I am working on 4 different side projects, and hopefully releasing some of that too.
As a side fun fact, what are your favorite cookies to bake?
Chocolate caramel chip cookies. I grew baking with my mom, and I have a major sweet tooth.
Check out Gayle’s songs, “Rag Doll” here.
For more information about Gayle, visit: