Toronto musician Skye Wallace has just released a brand new single, “Tough Kid”. The song was written during a moment of burnout after hustling in the music industry for so long and marks their production debut, working alongside Hawksley Workman. We caught up with Skye to chat about the new music, what it was like to produce for the first time, and their superhero alter ego.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Tough Kid”.
Skye Wallace: Tough Kid is a vibey banger heralding the death of fear. I wrote a small piece on release day about the song and how its creation and release has been extremely cathartic and revelatory for me:
“New releases have always found me in a state of worry over whether or not people will like my new work, and when I heard Tough Kid come together I remember not caring in the least if people liked it or not because I did. (Don’t get me wrong, I DO REALLY CARE and hope you like it, but not at the expense of caring for the art first or absorbing needless stress into my body on release day.)”
It felt good to believe in something not because I created it to fit somewhere, but to 100% fill my cup as an artist and to know that I was all in on it.
From The Strait: This was your first time producing your own music, what was that experience like? What made you want to take on a producer role? (And what’s it like to collaborate with Hawksley Workman?)
Skye Wallace: I’ve loved Hawksley’s work for a long time (Hey Rosetta!’s Into Your Lungs was extremely formative for me) and going into the studio together was somehow anything but daunting – we got along immediately (I think we’re both pretty similarly weird people, which is great) and he goes into creating with such a willingness to diverge from the pack and go with your gut. That ethos was a big part of what made me feel ready to take the reins as co-producer.
I always had hang ups with feeling like I wasn’t good enough to enter this role with music creating, but working with Hawk made me recognize that producing is a lot like songwriting, that there’s no real “correct” way of doing it, and to have a less experienced view of things can lead to some beautiful accidents and interesting ideas. I’m getting my confidence, skill, and knowledge up in the area, but I’m excited to keep experimenting and learning!
From The Strait: What’s your favourite – and least favourite – thing about being a musician?
Skye Wallace: My favourite thing about playing music is the places you get to go and the people you get to meet – I’m out on a tour of Europe right now and it’s wild the places you get to travel to that you probably wouldn’t end up in otherwise
From The Strait: What are some bands and artists you’re listening to most these days?
Skye Wallace: I’ve been obsessed with Hemlocke Springs, Fever Ray, Men I Trust, Jungle, Kennyhoopla, Akintoye, ALWAYS down with Turnstile, and that new Slowdive record rules
From The Strait: If you were a superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Skye Wallace: If I was a superhero I would be Gritty, the powerful dead-eyed mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, but my power would not end with bone-crushing strength and integrity, I would also be extremely telekinetic.
Check out “Tough Kid”, the latest single from Skye Wallace!