Seventeen-year-old Jack Skuller’s new single “Someone Else” was released last month, but contrary to popular belief, it is not about relationship issues – it’s about fake personalities online.
Skuller, a Weehawken resident, has been making music his whole life. He started performing at the age of 8 at school talent shows. At 11 he began playing gigs consisting of his original songs at clubs like Maxwell’s in Hoboken. He received critical acclaim, with mentions in teen magazines and finally a hit song released on Walt Disney Records.
Skuller’s father is a musician, a patron singer-songwriter of over 30 years, so music was always being played around his house growing up.
“A lot of Beatles and a lot of blues stuff,” Skuller said in a phone interview. He also said that his parents took him to shows when he was in a stroller, and he knew music was what he loved.
His biggest inspirations come from the ’50s and ’60s. He is inspired by musicians including the Kinks, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles.
“Love is a Drum” was one of the first full length songs Skuller wrote, and it has proved to be his biggest success. Daniel Ray, producer for the Ramones, produced the song with him when he was 13. Over time it has been recorded and recorded and changed shape and sound. It was finally released on Walt Disney Records, which was what started his relationship with Disney.
“It all centers around my music because that’s honestly my main passion and focus.” – Jack Skuller
As Skuller’s star rose, he began working on new tunes.
Skuller says that although his new song, “Someone Else,” appears to be about a typical relationship with a girl, in reality it is about “online predators,” fake personalities, and how people get sucked into emotional connections that don’t really exist.
Skuller spoke at length about dangerous forms of communication and having others taking advantage of them.
Skuller also recently acted in a short film called “Trapped” that is now the finalist in a worldwide competition. He doesn’t want to pursue acting or video-making as a career, but he’s always trying to learn how to do more. He writes, co-produces, makes recordings, and even made the video for his new single.
“It all centers around my music because that’s honestly my main passion and focus,” he said.
To celebrate the release of his new single, Skuller reached out to his fans on Twitter. He gets messages every day from fans all over the world, from people in Spain to Argentina to Denmark. He said there was a great reaction online to the new single.
Tornadoes on his tour
A few years ago, Skuller competed in “The Next Big Thing,” a national talent competition sponsored by Radio Disney. He was a finalist, so he toured all over the country playing his music.
“That was really exciting, unreal,” he said.
The touring had to be scheduled around his school week, so almost every weekend he would fly somewhere on Friday, do a show on Saturday, come home on Sunday, and then go right back to school on Monday. He went all over the country, including to Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, and Minneapolis.
Skuller said that he loved the experience, and he has wanted to go on tour since the beginning of his professional career, so it was really exciting for him and he learned a lot.
“I studied on the road,” he said. According to him, it was easy balancing touring and his schoolwork.
He spoke of one of the weirdest things that happened to him while on tour. He was playing a show in the Midwest at a football field and there were tornadoes on either side of the town where the show was. The show was just about to start when the entire audience had to hide under the bleachers. The power went out and he began to perform acoustically.
The show went on eventually, four hours late, but he said the audience was really “revved up” since they had been waiting for so long.
Skuller said his family has been his biggest supporters. He also said his fans that have supported him all over the country and all over the world have been motivating.
He had a little advice for young people who want to get into music like him.
“It has to be something you’re serious about because it takes a lot of work,” he said. “It has to become your life and who you are. That’s really the only way to get anywhere.”
In the future, Skuller plans to record and release more songs and keep playing shows. He will be working with Musicians on Call this summer, an organization that brings musicians to the pediatric ward of hospitals to play at the bedside of patients.
He played at Sinatra Park in Hoboken on July 18 at Hot Tunes in the Summer, where popular local musicians performed their versions of popular songs, and played at The Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., on Aug. 16.