By Shirley Dorsainvil + Photos by Richard Lecoin
There are certain artists who cannot be lumped into a specific genre. Saskya Sky is a free-spirited artist who contributes music to whatever genre “gives good vibes and makes people happy”. She is a woman of all trades who has gained recognition as an international Haitian-American recording artist, actress, and social media influencer. Born and raised in Haiti, she contributes music locally in South Florida. Saskya Sky’s artistic career began when she began singing at the age of eight. Her church-singing background built the foundation for her current vocal range and passion. But she credits her voice influence to Celine Dion, her unique style of singing to iconic French singer Fredrick Francois, and her aspiration for greatness to Michael Jackson.
The multi-genre artist gave HAITI OPEN the opportunity to explore her views on Haitian art, music, and culture.
What are the major influences behind your passion for creating music?
[Being able to] touch someone’s emotions [and] the ability to connect with others through it [is] a powerful thing.
We asked Saskya to consider her contribution to Haitian music and where it fits in. “I don’t like to categorize myself or my music,” she says. “I love to give good vibes, whether it’s from my presence, by doing comedy skits online or my music. My music is a vibe. It gives good vibes and makes people happy. I want everyone to enjoy my music.”
What are your thoughts on Haitian music and its contributions to spreading our culture worldwide?
I love Haitian music. I’m connected to it on a spiritual level. My father loved listening to Rasine . . . Septan and Tropicana. Those types of music will always bring me back to a perfect time in my life. We haven’t had a strong effect on the international market. The reason may be the language barrier, but our sounds have influenced artists all over the world. We just haven’t been recognized for it. I do believe we will get there someday.
Who is your idol?
I don’t idolize anyone. Different artists inspire me in different ways. I can learn something different from each of them.
Many women find being an artist in the HMI challenging. How would you say the HMI has changed by embracing women as artists?
The HMI has not changed with embracing women. There are some great female artists in the HMI. Some are far more creative than they are given credit for. I don’t see anyone rushing to concerts and taking time to appreciate us as they do [male artists]. I don’t see [female artists] often added to the lineups at festivals . . . you will hear about our looks, or our bellies are too fat in a dress, when we don’t have enough [physical assets] and when our names are linked to a guy or another woman. Rarely does the HMI produce successful female artists. It’s always one or two. The [majority] are men. “Invest in your music… stay consistent, have patience”
What is the best thing to happen to you so far?
She explains a mental pitfall that she has overcome. “Peace!” She mentions praying “for peace for a very long time. I prayed to be happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve smiled genuinely. I was not a happy person these past years. Depression and anxiety invaded my mind. I never publicly expressed myself for fear of being judged. So people would ask about my disappearance, and I would give different excuses. But the truth is, I was taking time off to work on my sanity. I prayed for peace, I prayed for happiness. And I’m thankful that I now have it.”
What are the major influences behind your passion of creating music?
The ability to connect with others through it. That’s a powerful thing. Touching someone’s emotions. Being able to make them said or happy, or excited. That’s major.
If you could work with any artist, who would that be?
It would be Chris Brown. I’ve always believed that he’s a living legend. He’s so underrated. Although he is a major superstar, I still believe that he doesn’t get enough credit for his abilities. He’s a young Michael Jackson in my eyes.
What is your favorite song that you have created? Favorite album?
My favorite song right now is my current song, “Chimen Lanmou”. I feel like I discovered a different side of myself when I wrote that song. A side that is cool and careless. A side that does not care about anyone else’s opinion. When I wrote Chimen Lanmou, I just went with the flow, I didn’t overthink anything.
“… don’t downgrade yourself to make it …”
Saskya advises upcoming artists to “invest in your music… stay consistent, and have patience.” She explains that the internet is fluid and there are multiple ways to make it. Because of this, she says, “don’t downgrade yourself to make it; don’t let anyone talk in your head; don’t listen to anyone who promises you the world.”
Peeking into her future, she hopes to be a worldwide, mega-superstar with a successful acting career. Check out the artist’s favorite single, “Chimen Lanmou” – and stay on the lookout for her next tour!
Haiti Open Summer 2018 Magazine Cover Story