“Growing up, I was always around music; my father was a musician, I started playing guitar at 8, and I’ve been on a musical journey ever since,” said Jack Skuller, a freshman at Stevens who also happens to be a successful musician.
Skuller is currently pursuing a major in Music Technology to “focus on the both the technological and artistic elements of music,” as well as a concentration in electrical engineering. “Coming to Stevens, engineering attracted me, and it allows me to focus on the other half of technology,” said Skuller.
Towards the end of his sophomore year at Weehawken High School, Skuller was given the opportunity to tour with Radio Disney, which he did until his graduation from high school. “[It] exposed me to so many different audiences around the country that were not expecting my kind of music at a Radio Disney concert. I had to win them over, and was ready for the challenge. The experience expanded my versatility as a performer and my ability to interact with a crowd,” said Skuller.
According to Skuller, songwriting is about “being stupid and free, experimenting, really letting the pen do the work. Lyrics come before guitar parts; and they come from real places, be them personal or based on the world around me. Often, I have to write 50 songs to get one good one.”
Skuller’s roommate at Stevens is also a musician, rapper X-Phaze. “Having an established, different type of musician as a roommate blossoms great art. We both record in the room; it feels fresh and open. I’m glad I can share my own musical art with another musician who’s just as talented. That way, we both learn from each other,” said Skuller.
Skuller attributes much of his success to his parents, who have acted as his support system. Although they were nervous about their son pursuing a musical career at first, once they recognized music was his passion and he was talented enough to be successful, they became invaluably supportive. “My dad is a musician, and he’s acted as a mentor, especially on the performance aspect of my music, said Skuller, “My mother is an artist as well; I’ve grown up in an artistic and knowledgeable family.”
In 2014, Skuller received the coveted Buddy Holly Prize from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, an award given as a tribute to the legacy of Buddy Holly.
Skuller has recently released new singles “Hard To Want” and “Can You See Me,” produced by Grammy-nominated Joel Hamilton (Pretty Lights, Tom Waits, Norah Jones, and The Black Keys). Both are out on iTunes and Spotify and have music videos on YouTube. They were released on Mint 400 Records.
Skuller will be performing on April 18 at Guitar Bar Jr. on 11th Street in Hoboken.