If the name Skellytn isn’t a familiar one to you (yet), prepare to have your dome blown as she comes roaring out the gate with a massive 8-track album on Reid Speed’s Play Me Records that’s hitting on all cylinders.
Aptly titled, Neurocomputer, the album is a sci-fi influenced neurofunk heavy-hitter from start to finish that channels the likes of Noisia and Black Sun Empire but flips it up in her own unique way.
While Skellytn has been making steady moves over the past year with a series of well-received releases on Space Yacht, Emengy, Drama Club, and of course, Play Me, no one could have foreseen the up-and-coming artist dropping a sizzling album on the masses that is sure to go down as an instant classic.
While it’s worth noting that this is the first full drum and bass album from an American female artist EVER in the history of the genre (!), the attention the album is receiving is strictly about the heavyweight tunes designed to crush even the most battle-hardened dancefloors.
To celebrate the release, we thought we’d sit down with Skellytn and not only introduce her to the Bassrush masses but give you a glimpse into the future of drum and bass.
We’re mad stoked about this album you’re about to drop on the masses – the first dnb album from an American female artist EVER! When you let that thought sink in what kind of thoughts and feelings come to mind?
I’m really excited about this album, it’s my largest body of work to date. It’s really an honor to have teamed up with Reid Speed and Play Me to bring this whole concept to life. I really hope this inspires more women in the electronic music world to start taking over, we need more women producers, artists, DJ’s, booking agents, promoters, etc. in the scene.
Before we get into the album proper, take us back to your roots and what role music played in your life.
I’m an L.A. native, born and raised. I’ve lived here my whole life and music played a big part in that. Many artists and bands I loved always had an L.A. tour stop. My first concert was 2008’s My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade tour. I grew up listening to a lot of rock like Iron Maiden, Rush, System of a Down, Linkin Park, etc.
Around what age do you remember being exposed to electronic music in general? Did you have any idea that your future would involve music in some way?
I discovered electronic music thanks to Limewire. Some of the first artists I listened to were Skream, Benga, Deadmau5, Headhunterz, etc. I was pretty young when I got into it, but it wasn’t until 2013 when I first heard Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” for the first time. When I got home from school I Googled: “How does Skrillex make his music?” and at the age of 16 I had decided that is what I wanted to do music for the rest of my life.
When does production enter the picture?
I got my first DJ controller in 2015 and I started producing music shortly after that. I had no formal training, no music background, no gear. Just a laptop, headphones and YouTube tutorials. I just started making songs and releasing them for free on SoundCloud.
After about 4 years of self-taught music production and dozens of songs under my belt, I decided to attend Icon Collective in 2019. Formal training is what pushed my music to the level of quality I had been craving it to be at for years. I’m genuinely happy I went, and am truly grateful for the experiences I gained there.
Bring us up to the present – tell us how you entered Reid Speed’s orbit and at what point talk of an LP started to take place.
I released my first EP titled ‘Fall’ with the Play Me family in April of 2021. Many months later around September 2021 Reid had reached out to get me back on Play Me for another release. I remember texting her something along the lines of: “I know this sounds crazy, but I’m working on an album.” I had gone over to her house to work on a collab between the two of us and I started showing her a list of potential songs for the album. I started explaining the concept album with the story I wanted to tell.
Reid was on board from the start. I feel so grateful for her supporting my vision and truly allowing it to take shape the way I had envisioned it. I am very lucky to have Reid in my corner, she is an incredible friend and mentor to me.
Tell us more about the concept and perhaps even the meaning behind the name of the album. It feels very cinematic so I imagine films as well as music have influenced or shaped it.
In terms of the title, a neurocomputer is a type of computer designed to mimic the action of the human brain by use of an electronic neural network, so you can see how the album plays on themes of cyberpunk, high-tech dystopian landscapes, and the constant blurring lines between humanity and machines. I am definitely inspired by the likes of films like Bladerunner, Akira, Matrix, and Star Wars. I have been crafting and developing these themes and world-building for a long time, incorporating them into my sound and identity.
Conceptually it’s impressive but even more importantly, each tune stands on its own as a proper banger. Speaking of which, where do you go from here? What’s next on the horizon for you project-wise?
I’ve got some singles lined up that I’m very thrilled to put out as well as some upcoming collaborations with Reid Speed and Doctor Werewolf.
Any final shout-outs or advice to other up and coming artists hoping to follow in your shoes?
I wouldn’t be here without Reid and Aaron from Play Me, two of the most incredibly bad-ass and supportive people. I’m very grateful to be tuned into the pulse of Los Angeles underground drum & bass culture. Thank you to all of the pioneers in the UK who paved the way and set the standards in drum and bass for someone like me to even come through and create a body of work of this caliber.
Skellytn’s Neurocomputer is out now and available for streaming/download so lock yours in here.