Skilyr Hicks is a self-taught acoustic singer/songwriter who has taken the music industry by storm with her unique powerful voice, the depth of her lyrics, and the I-can’t-get-this-song-out-of-my-head…melodies.
Skilyr is often referred to as an “old soul” …a perfect description for a young solo artist with the enchanting ability to connect with all audiences. A local Augusta Ga blogger said it the best: “A real artist can take a song & not only make you hear the words, but make you feel, & believe the lyrics they are singing.” “She is able to connect with the songs she has written & they are so relatable to all ages.”
Skilyr Hicks was always full of creativity from the time she was a toddler...colorful alright...& maybe even a little misunderstood at times.
However, the depth of her creativity in its entirety, wasn’t discovered until approximately a year after the death of her father, when Skilyr was 13. Little did she know.... the once shiny new toy, yet barely touched acoustic guitar that laid dormant in her bedroom closet from Christmas of 2008...was destined to make its way back into her arms. Her mother & current manager, Jodi Simak-Cronk recalls the desperation she felt up until the crisp November evening in 2011....the evening that would forever change the course of Skilyr's life.
"After the passing of her father in July of 2010...Skilyr wasn't herself...she became quiet & reserved. She spent hours at a time in her bedroom & never wanted to talk about how she was feeling. I grew more & more alarmed as the days, then weeks, then months went by...never finding the words to bandage the shattered pieces. Then one evening in Nov of 2011, she came out of her bedroom...guitar in hand, determination in her eyes, and asked my husband, her stepdad, to show her some chords. Approximately 20 min later, she disappeared back into her bedroom...but instead of silence...I heard the vigorous strumming of guitar chords echo throughout the house...slowly but surely, coming together, as the seconds, minutes, & hours went by. That night...a guitarist was born...3 days later...a songwriter. Something came alive in her that night...it was as if...life was breath back into her soul. I knew then & there...she had met her destiny."
Skilyr Hicks had only one goal in mind...& that was to share her new found freedom with whoever would listen. To share...that once deafened voice. Within a few months, 13-year-old Skilyr Hicks courageously stepped onto a stage, & introduced herself as an acoustic singer/songwriter for the very first time. Even though she had resided in North Augusta, SC since the age of 7, it wasn’t long before social media shares would bring an invitation for a visit to her Ohio roots, in order to share a couple of her songs & do an interview over the airways...on 98.3 The Bull. A prediction was made that day, by local radio personality, Roger McCoy... “I believe…no…I know... that Skilyr Hicks is going to go on to play on stages across the nation”
It wasn't long after, she independently released her first album "Brand New Day". A CD release party was held at Mad Studios in downtown Augusta Ga. Magnificent support filled every nook & cranny. The distinguished and reputable music scene in Augusta Ga would come to embrace the young artist even further...the girl... local musicians they claimed: "came out of nowhere".
Skilyr would find herself elbow to elbow with adult nominees for local music awards that had been around for over 2 decades. She was voted favorite vocalist as well as all ages artist. Brand New Day was voted favorite album as well as favorite song. The glass engraved trophies still occupy a shelf in her living room today.... a great reminder of the embrace of an entire community. Even local newspapers & magazines were inspired to share the story of the young singer/songwriter who wasn't afraid to bare her soul.
Skilyr Hicks’ passionate desire to share her music, placed her on well over 100 platforms by the time she turned 14. It placed her feet on the historical beginnings & revisited stage of John Mayer @ Eddies Attic in Atlanta Ga, opening for various nationally acclaimed artists such as Lera Lynn, Barnaby Bright, Carrie Rodriquez, & Charlie Mars, & Jaimie Lynn Spears.
It’s found her at multiple intimate singer/songwriter venues such as, “Grocery On Home”, & “Downstairs Live” sharing the stage with Emily West, KS Rhodes, & Nathan Angelo just to name a few. Her musical journey placed her on a national platform…performing for thousands leading to millions…blinding stage lights & pointed cameras on Season 8 of Americas Got Talent in 2013.
San Antonio met her with open arms & a standing ovation. Howard Stern, Heidi Clum, Mel B & .... praised her performance...the 4 yes's & words "inspiring a nation...& I think we need to be inspired"...still echoes in the air. Even though she was eliminated in Vegas...she came home...the same hero she was when she left. Her face & story occupied multiple newspapers both local & National, print & online. Local News stations interview & relentlessly praised her accomplishments. Skilyr's music had now reached an entire world. Heart felt messages poured & still pour in... across the globe...& the downloads off her album Brand New Day of of ITunes reached a record high.
Even prior to Americas Got Talent...Skilyr had already grabbed the attention of National music industry personnel. Yet even so, Skilyr held out in order to be true to herself & her mission. The most impressive mentions on her growing resume include her heart for people & charitable contributions. “It’s about the moment…the moment when you know that you have had an impact in someone’s life, & in turn, realize that they have made a difference in yours.” “I just want to share my music with others.” (Skilyr Hicks) Folks....I haven’t even made it to high school on the Skilyr Hicks timeline. Skilyr had barely made it out of middle school by the time her Americas Got Talent Episode Aired. She was just the typical teen...baring her soul on the same stage as national acts then heading back to the classroom...& the volleyball/basketball court...& then sometimes changing out of her sweaty clothes in route to a charity event thereafter.
Skilyr Hicks has donated her time to a staggering number of benefits and fundraisers for various organizations such as Relay for Life, The American Heart Association, children with rare diseases, families of accident victims, Honduras Missions projects, & most recently the Kawasaki Foundation...teaming up with artists around the world to create an album in an effort to bring awareness & relief to the cause.
Album is set to be released in January of 2016. This album will also include featured tracks by Elliot Easton & Greg Hawkins from The Cars, Jackson 5 & XFactor contestant Mickey Parsons as well as Casey James from American Idol as well as the person responsible for bringing everyone together: Producer/songwriter/radio personality; Dave Harris.
Skilyr Hicks' dedication to the journey & the grounded nature of her persona, along with the support of her family, a mother that took on management, the countless number of people who have embraced the vision & donated their time, & the continuous outpour of support within her own community & around the world…has kept Skilyr Hicks on multiple platforms. Life... keeps those captivating lyrics and melodies continuously ringing in her ears. 17-year-old multi genre independent artist Skilyr Hicks, attributes her growth as an artist to God, the struggle, family, friends, & her dedicated fans that never gave up on her even when she's doubted herself.
"I don't make music, music makes me. It's my life, the breath in my lungs, and it's the steady beating of my heart. It has helped me to heal me when no one else could. It has helped me cry the tears that I was holding onto for so long. It has showed me that I don't have to put on this so called "metaphorical mask" that everyone seems to be putting on these days. That I don't have to hide my pain, that it's ok to show how you feel, it's Ok to be YOU. It has touched a deep part of my soul that before I never knew existed. Every song I write is a different story. It's not just lyrics and a tune, it's an expression of how I feel, it's the pain, it's the laughter, the tears and the heartbreak that I have known. It has touched other people in ways I never would have imagined possible. And just being able to make a difference in someone's life, even in the smallest way, is the most amazing feeling for me. I don't write songs because I have to, or because I'm expected to.
I write them because it's the one thing in this world that makes me truly happy. And I hope that one day, you too, will find that one thing." ~Skilyr