#YMXINTERVIEW | In conversation with viral new artist SKANDRA

Everything she needs is a small vintage synth and her talent. Nothing else. Alexandra Duparc is one of those person born to be a musician. Starting her journey at the young age of 12, she recorded with Frusciante, she toured the world with artists such as PJ Harvey, YOKO ONO and many more before starting her carrier as a film composer for over 30 movies and approaching the world of video games as a narrator. Her story is proof of how determined and hard worker she is. We had the fortune to discover her new single “RIVERS” after the track went viral on TIKTOK and reached over 1 million plays on Spotify. A modern and catchy electronic song with passionate vocals destined to become the point of start of her new journey. The one of SKANDRA.

YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals.

SKANDRA: I’ve been making music since I was twelve years old. I’ve been in bands, scored films and found myself over and over again until arriving here as Skandra. I wrote all these new songs in the corner of my old living room in a house my friends nicknamed “The Treehouse”.

YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?

SKANDRA: I have quite an obsession with vintage synthesizers. So, my sound has naturally been founded in those. Elevated and fine-tuned, it’s evolved into electro-pop.

The Official Music video has already reached more than 200000 views

YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far? 

SKANDRA: The people in my life. Relationships, the intimate details of someone’s being and even the reactions I find myself having are what I study and get inspired by in making art. I love spotlighting the underrated and touching on the uncomfortable. I love seeing flaws and growing from them.

YMX: You recently released “RIVERS”. Can you tell us how that project came about?

SKANDRA: “Rivers” began as an acoustic song I wrote on a rainy day. It was slow and almost waltz-like. My friend, Aaron from the band Twin oaks, added some electronic elements to it. Sean from Dead Sara turned it into what many have called a “sad banger” and Travis Warner produced it into its final form. The song has been through quite a lot, the poor thing.

YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts in general took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking? 

SKANDRA: As hard as it’s been, I’ve tried to make the best of it. I’ve noticed that when the world stops for any reason, no matter how horrible the reason is, we have a moment to reflect on what is important. We reevaluate. We are tested and maybe even work harder. I founded and run an organization in Los Angeles called Treehouse. It’s an art community that has popped-up monthly for over 5 years. We expose underexposed artists. When the pandemic hit, we canceled all our live events planned for the year. I launched the Quarantine Concert on Instagram. We had over 50 thousand musicians partake including Walk The Moon, The Griswolds and Meg Meyers. It was beautiful seeing all this intimate creation. Later, we began interviewing artists on their work through a series called Dialogue. We focused on spotlighting Black voices. I fundraised for families in Guatemala, the LA Food Bank and the NPAP. Now, Skandra has been launched into the world and having gone viral on TikTok and garnering over 2 million streams across streaming services, we’ve got a wonderful road ahead. Helping others as much as possible and keeping myself productive has been the key to getting through this insane year.

YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone? 

SKANDRA: I like writing songs alone and once they’re ready for development, working with other people. The right people.

YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around?

SKANDRA: I’d say I’m looking for those who enjoy the music to pass it along to someone else who may enjoy it as well. I. always love receiving recommendations of new artists by those who’s taste I trust.

YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself? 

SKANDRA: Performing live has always been a way to express myself. It’s a shared experience. It’s cathartic. I love intimacy and getting through emotions together.

Anna Azarov Photography

YMX:  Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)

SKANDRA: We just spent 10 days in the studio and I have some great songs in development. We’re off to Paris and I’ll be creating tons of content from there. I foresee a lot of releases coming throughout the end of the year. It’s been a wild ride so far and I just want to make art for the rest of my life.