Jessica Skye`s passion for music and movement has taken her across the globe, teaching yoga by day and DJing by night, and enchanting crowds with her eclectic soundscapes.
Through her music, Jessica aims to create a safe and nurturing space for her audience, where they can let go of their inhibitions and find a sense of flow. Her love for music is palpable in her sets, where she blends a range of genres from house and eletronic, creating a musical journey that transcends boundaries.
Her latest single, ‘Virgo Rising,’ which features steel drums, showcases Jessica’s ability to transport her listeners to a place of tranquillity and serenity, where they can completely surrender to the music. In her own words, “I always want to find a sense of escape with music, and the steel drums were just the ticket for this record… As it was all coming together, I was having visions of being on a palm tree dotted beach, dancing in the sand at sunset… I can’t wait to have that moment in real life.”
Join us as we delve into our interview with Jessica Skye and uncover the challenges she overcame in pursuit of her career, the valuable insights her Instagram content offers her followers, and how she learned to prioritize self-care.
photography by Aaron Farley
What inspired you to merge your love for DJing and yoga, and how do you think the two practices complement each other?
Most of my life decisions are underpinned by choosing things that bring me joy. Music and yoga both started as hobbies, until I took the leap to pursue them as careers back in 2012, always with the intention to combine the two. I would record mixes for DJ sets, and then I’d record mixes to play in my yoga classes. Everything from deep house, trip hop and super chilled ambient sounds.
The thing that inspires me the most is holding a space for people, so they can relax and release. Although it took me a couple of years to realise it, this is one of the main parallels between the two worlds of DJing and teaching yoga. It’s kind of the same job in that respect.
You’re channeling so much of your own energy to hold a space for people. You’re reading the room. Dialling into the vibe. At the same time, people are tuning into you and your energy. There’s an exchange happening… Part of you is leading and another part of you is responding.
What are some challenges you’ve faced while pursuing a career that merges two seemingly polarised worlds, and how have you overcome them?
Sleep sleep sleep. While I’ll always talk about how much I love the parallels between these two worlds, the times at which they operate can be the polarising part. Teaching yoga by day and DJing by night can leave you feeling totally jet-lagged and sleep deprived. The only way to overcome it is to be respectful of your body and be mindful of your health (mental and physical).
At the start of any creative career, especially if you are working for yourself, you sometimes have to say yes to everything. You hustle hard to create opportunity, build the rapports, show up and also have the reality of paying your rent, so you work hard.
There was also a period when I was working on a radio show in London (Capital Weekender with Ministry of Sound), my slot was 2am – 6am on a Saturday. So I was literally getting ready and leaving to go to work at 1am (unless I was already out and going straight from another gig). After my slot, I’d be getting home at 7am, sleeping for 4 hrs, then getting up at 11am on Sunday morning to teach yoga. As much as I loved doing it all, after a while, I totally burnt out and had to learn from my mistakes in order take better care of myself.
” I had to learn from my mistakes in order take better care of myself.”
Your music and DJ sets have been described as creating “a safe space for people to unwind and find a sense of flow”. Can you tell us more about your creative process in curating sets and producing music that achieves this?
When it comes to creating music, I’ll usually have an idea of how I want a record to feel and even where I picture it being played.
When I think back to stand out gigs and even some of my favourite nights out, the common denominator will be special moments in the set. It could be a break out with emotive strings or keys, something that creates some space, disrupts the flow for a moment and pulls you out of your head and into the music. It’s always the dream to create a track that will stick out in someones mind as that ‘special’ moment. So every time they hear it, they’ll be transported back to those good times.
When it comes to DJ sets, I try to keep everything in key as much as possible, making sure the tunes sound good next to each other and there’s a sense of flow between tracks, but also moments that pull back to create some space. When records seamlessly go from one to the next and create an arc of energy, you can take people on a journey with you. And that’s always my intention.
Your new single ‘Virgo Rising’ has just been released today. Can you share with us the inspiration behind the song?
I’m super excited about this track and it was definitely a turning point in my production. Covid forced an unplanned break from music, and I think in that time my musical taste changed and evolved. I actually started this track a couple of years prior, so when I reopened the project, I was coming to it with a completely fresh perspective and idea of where I wanted to take it.
Every element is intentional. I love ethereal vocals, for me, they’re almost prayer like, super soothing and can transport me out of my body. So you’ll hear them a lot in my music. The same goes for emotive strings, pads and keys. I always want to find a sense of escape with music, and the steel drums were just the ticket for this record. As it was all coming together I was having visions of being on a palm tree dotted beach, dancing in the sand at sunset… I can’t wait to have that moment in real life.
“I love ethereal vocals, for me, they’re almost prayer like, super soothing and can transport me out of my body.”
What role do you think music plays in helping people find a sense of calm and inner peace, particularly during diﬃcult times?
Music is such a power tool. The right song can bring to mind your favourite memories and can help you find a little escapism in your day… Especially if you need to reset your mood. This is the inspiration behind my album coming later this year. There are volumes of research on the eﬀects music and sound can have on your mind and body. But that aside, you know what tunes make you feel good, give you more energy or help you to relax. I’d say keep those songs in your locker for when you need to break out an emergency feel- good track.
You’ve toured extensively around the world, how have your experiences of diﬀerent cultures and communities influenced your music and DJ style?
Every territory and city is diﬀerent, and it be a real eye and mind opener.
The music can be diﬀerent, as can the club culture and how people interact with you and each other. I think it’s normal to be influenced by the clubs and crowds you’ve played to over the years, it can be how you find yourself and also define your sound. Or it can work the other way around, where you’ll gravitate to the cities where your sound fits.
Berlin has always been my favourite city to play in. The club culture is something else, and my experience of it has alway felt like people are just there to have fun which I find incredibly liberating.
“Music is such a power tool. The right song can bring to mind your favourite memories and can help you find a little escapism in your day.”
As someone who has been successful in both the music and wellness industries, what advice would you give to aspiring female artists who want to create a meaningful impact in their respective fields?
My biggest piece of advice to anyone is to be honest with yourself and pursue what you love. My grandad would repeatedly tell me to do what makes me happy in life, so my whole career across music and wellness has been guided by that. Most of us have to work, so if we lean into things we’re passionate about it becomes more of a duty (as oppose to just a job) and gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction. That’s always been really important to me.
Success means different things to different people. But when you love what you do, you’ll always do your best, always be happy and always have longevity.
Your Instagram page is full of beautiful moments. How do you choose the moments you share on your Instagram page, and what do you hope your followers take away from your content?
Instagram is a creative space for me, and a place where we can all express ourselves and share a part of ourselves. I think my purpose, or at least, my intention with everything I do, is to help people feel good whether that’s through music or yoga.
So when I post something I’m usually either simply expressing how I feel or sharing something that makes me happy, in the hope it inspires someone to do something that fills their cup too.