The Skins Might Just Be the Future of Music

The Brooklyn band’s genre fluid blend of pop, funk, rock and R&B is unlike anything else.

By Randi Bergman

The future of music looks a lot like The Skins. The Brooklyn-based band is a post-genre blend of pop, funk, rock and R&B and is blowing up our Spotify playlists faster than you can say Hotline Bling. In the first few months since releasing their debut EP, they’ve opened the VFiles runway show, played SXSW and collabed with D.R.A.M. on their latest single, “Bury Me.” Comprised of three siblings—Bay Li on lead vocals, Kaya Nico on vocals and bass and Reef Cole on drums—and two friends, Daisy Spencer on guitar and Russ Chell on guitar and synth, the band is all about inclusivity and having a good time. And it shows. We caught up with them to learn more.

All photos courtesy of the Skins Instagram.

You have such a versatile sound; can you speak to your musical influences? Have those influences changed in the years since developing your band?

Russell: We all have different music influence from classic rock to R&B and soul to hip-hop and of course pop. Punk too. We’ve found an opportunity in pop to blend all those styles into a sound that is new and fresh that is universal to all types of people, who by the way have also been exposed to all those genres.

What is your name about? The first thing we assumed was that you were a punk band…

Daisy: That’s funny because we started out very raw and punk rock inspired. That’s the headspace we were in when we named the band. But now it’s taken way more meaning. Our fans have helped us to redefine the meaning of The Skins, which is diversity and universality. It is not only shown through our sound but who we are as people.

Do you put a lot of thought into what you wear for performances and videos?

Kaya: Yes. And we aren’t bashful about it. We are artists and express ourselves through fashion as well as music. It’s all created, curated and condoned by us collectively. The Skins are about self expression and fashion is like a second skin.

How did the collab with D.R.A.M. happen?

Bayli: Damn! D.R.A.M is so amazing. He brought a light and poppin’ vibe to the dark mysterious mood that “Bury Me” is. We loved collaborating with him. He understood what counterpart was needed. We are genre fluid and so is he. His versatility is what attracted us to him.

How might the festival circuit impact or inspire you guys?

Reef: We are about to start our first bunch of festivals this year. When we write music, we are always thinking about big shows, big crowds and hooks that people can sing along too, so get ready for an anthemic summer.

What are you dreaming 2017 looks like?

Bayli: More music. Bigger shows. More life and more love! We’ve done the work, now it’s time to share with it you guys! We can’t wait to welcome you into our world.