We had the good fortune of connecting with Skyler Heck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Skyler, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
As a creative individual, the things that inspire me most are often times just existing in my day-to-day life. I’ve found that when I’m able to be truly present in the moment that there are ideas competing for my attention everywhere I turn. Inspiration can come as easily as trying to capture the feeling of riding your bike on a warm summer’s day as the sun filters its way between the leaves of the trees overhead as it spills on to your face, or it can be as complex as trying to narrate a specific instance of your own personal story that you feel like may provide a way to inspire others and help them grow. Anything and everything can be an inspiration, but for me to act on pursuing that feeling, it must compel me with an intensity that I cannot forget.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
F-ETHER started as a solo project of mine nearly a decade ago, with the premise being that I wanted to find a way to capture and portray the feelings that come with the complexity of human emotions and our existence, as both individuals and as a collective, in life. I love working with computer music as a medium because it creates such a contrast to the organic existence that humans embody, and it’s a peculiar way to display the human experience itself. I love being able to take the time to write instrumental music with the computer as my main instrument because it provides an infinite number of ways to really display what intrigues us as humans and artists. It doesn’t limit our ability to create to one medium that we are well-versed in, but allows for a way to level the playing field and dabble in a little bit of everything. It creates variety for the average musician, and I think that’s such a great way to be able to experiment and push the boundaries of what people are listening to! I’ve wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember, but it’s taken a lot of work and self-discipline. I’ve never been the person that was able to pick up an instrument and naturally play; it’s always taken me a bit of extra effort to get things sounding how I want them to. I’ve spent years refining my craft, with loads of trial and error in the process, but am finally coming to a place where I feel confident being able to use both my computer and music software as a medium that flows naturally. I used to view it as an obstacle and a ‘means to an end’ so to speak, but I’ve really begun to embrace it for what it is. To anyone trying to do something similar, I’d say that there are a reason for these clichés that exist. “Practice, practice, practice” is a huge thing to keep in mind, but at the end of the day if you don’t love what you’re doing (be it creatively, in your day-to-day life, or something else) then don’t do it. If it doesn’t feed your soul, then don’t waste your soul feeding it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take the time to get out of the city and enjoy the mountains a bit. We’re surrounded by a beautiful landscape, and using it as a pretty backdrop just feels so wasteful to me. Get up in there! Do some hiking, splash in a creek, and look at all the greenery. That’s one of my favorite things to do, and I’m assuming my friends would love and appreciate that as well. I’d probably take them over to my favorite skatepark, Ulysses Skatepark (which happens to be in Golden) just to check it out. We’d probably skate some spots around town and see the city that way. One of my favorite restaurants is Chada Thai, but I also always sure to take people over to City O’ City. I visit Make Believe Bakery next door to there pretty often myself, as well. If they’re the drinking type then I would 100% be sure to take them to my favorite spot, Fort Greene; that place feels like a home away from home. If times were normal and the city was open, then I’d definitely try to see a show or two while they were in town. Ophelia’s is always a cool place to see a show, but if it was a more popular artist then I hope they’d be playing at the Mission Ballroom. Other than that, I’m mostly a homebody, so I’d likely be sure to set up a cozy space at home and do some cooking and hanging out with friends in my neighborhood. The best types of vacations are the ones that don’t stress you out, I do know that much.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to give a shoutout to all my friends that have supported me through the years, and especially to those that continue to support me to this day. Without the network of support and inspiration that I’ve been surrounded with none of what I do now would be possible. A big thanxx to my community at Evergroove Studio for supporting me since day one; Brad Smalling for teaching me so much through the years, Jenny Smalling for always creating a home away from home for me, Ethan Kotel for having been a friend from the beginning that is always giving me the harshest critiques because he believes in me, and to Ethan Klein for always being the wizard behind the scenes that can help me bring my vision of performance to life. I also want to shoutout a big thank you to the entirety of the Denver music community and everyone that has been a part of it through the years. You have all pushed me to grow as a person and as an artist in too many ways to list, and I am extremely grateful for that. Each of you continues to inspire me, even in our weird times now, and I can’t wait to see all of your faces again soon <3
Other: Mastodon: https://mastodon.online/@F_ETHER
Photos by Alicia Welu, Adrian Encalada, and Mikey Troglia