Ray-Ban X Justine Skye | Performance at the Grove
This past Wednesday, Ray-Ban celebrated the opening of their first, walk-in location in Los Angeles at The Grove. Irrevocably entwined with music and popular culture at its core, the unveiling featured influencers such as Justine Skye, and DJ duo Simi & Haze. The Ray-Ban lifestyle is one where expression and creative spirit collide, forming a rich history that comes alive in the experiential store atmosphere.
On Wednesday night, Justine Skye gave a charismatic performance at the grove. Complete with back up dancers and a dynamic disc-jockey duo, the massive crowd of mall goers were more than captivated by the spectacle. Before the show, I met up with Justine in the greenroom to discuss iconic Ray-Bans, her album ULTRAVIOLET, and the powerful women that inspire her.
FLAUNT: How did you get involved with Ray-Ban? As a singer, songwriter, actress and model—how to you balance/ combine the worlds of art and fashion?
Justine Skye: When they reached out it was a no brainer because I grew up with Ray-Bans, they were my first pair of real shades. I feel like, for a lot of people, there first pair of real shades are Ray-Bans. I would collect them and they were like my babies! Shades are so important to me and Ray-Bans are just classic, they’ll never go out of style no matter what. It's a part of fashion as well, and fashions a part of music because we have to wear clothes!
Flaunt: What is your favorite style of Ray-Ban? How do your sunglasses impact your personal style?
JS: My favorite style would have to be the round, I mean I love these. I’m not really an aviator girl but these are the ones for me because their tinted frames, their not too dark, so their cool.
I feel like a good pair of shades finishes off the outfit. Especially during the daytime. Sometimes in the nighttime it's a little obnoxious, but sometimes you just gotta be a little obnoxious!
Flaunt: Your debut album ULTRAVIOLET debuted in January—can you describe the process of touring with this album? Highs and lows? Challenges and rewarding moments?
JS: Touring was definitely a learning experience for me as an artist. I learned a lot about myself and the people on my team. I also learned a lot about my fans, who I appeal too, and what I need to do better for the next time I go on tour. It was really dope, it was such a great experience! I’m back in the studio now, working on new music and I can’t wait to go get back on the road.
Flaunt: I read that you began working on that album in 2016—there’s a theme of love, self-possession, relationships—what did you hope to achieve with this last album? What do you hope to bring into your next project?
JS: Well.. [chuckles] I feel like something that I missed out on is just me as a person. I talk about love a lot, which is what most music is about, but I feel like there's so much going on in my life that I need to touch on those aspects as well to allow for people to understand me more, just to know that I’m not a sad girl that cries over boys all the time [laughs].
Flaunt: In your music I am reminded of Destiny’s Child (Beyoncé), Aeliyah, and even a little Missy Elliott flair—who have been your biggest musical influences?
JS: Well those are definitely some of my hugest influences, and Pharrell and Justin Timberlake... I was born in 1995, so I grew up listening to all of that. Whatever my mom was listening too really influenced my taste in music as well. When I started to listen to music on my own I would listen to pop and R&B so that's the world that I live in when it comes to the type of beats that I choose to use in my music.
Flaunt: What are your biggest non-musical influences (maybe something that would surprise your fans)?
JS: Strangely, because I’m obsessed with her as an actress, Angelina Jolie. I just want to be as badass as her. I wish I knew her personally and just from the outside looking in, she looks like nothing can defeat her. She's just so cool. And Naomi Campbell, like a lot of women… they just appear so strong and nothing, nothing phases them. Their very straight forward and hard working, they get to the point with everything their doing, they don’t sugar coat anything. Sometimes I can come across as being a bitch, but I mean… What did someone say to me the other day? It was very… It was like… I forgot. Someone said something to me last night but I didn’t go to sleep until 6 o’clock in the morning so I got lost. If I remember it I’ll definitely let you know.”
Flaunt: You’re originally from Brooklyn, now living in LA—how have these places influenced your style and music? What inspires you about each place? What do you miss when you’re gone?
JS: When I’m in New York, something that I miss about LA is the mountains and the open space. When I’m in LA, something that I miss about New York is the nightlife, being able to walk around and not have to drive everywhere. When I’m home... I went home the other day for the first time in a long time and I just walked around my neighborhood for hours and oh my god, it changed so much. There's an apple store and a whole foods and all this stuff and malls, all these apartment buildings... and i'm just like what is happening? But it also lets me know that I’ll always, no matter what, live in Brooklyn, that's where my heart is.
Flaunt: Does your style change between New York and LA?
JS: No, my style is consistent pretty much anywhere I go...consistent in decisiveness because my style is really just based on however I’m feeling. Sometimes I’m all over the place, but for the most part I’m either a tomboy or I’m like a princess, those are my two worlds that I live in or, um, three worlds… tom boy, princess and then that sexy girl.
Flaunt: What’s next for you? Musically, professionally, or otherwise?
JS: I’m working on a new project right now, I’m going to the studio right after this. Yea and I’ve just been going on a lot of auditions as well too. Acting is something that I’m really passionate about as well. I did my first movie last summer, so just focusing and getting my creative juices flowing and being the most authentic me I can be.
Flaunt: How's the crossover from acting and music? Do you want to merge them?
JS: Yea I would love to do a musical thing, growing up I was always in a bunch of musical theatre and I went to performing arts schools so it's just been in my blood from day one. For a long time I kicked acting to the curb because I was focusing on my music. Then a role came about for me and they were like, we want you to play this co-lead and I was like I’m sorry what? I wasn’t taking it seriously and after that it kinda jus like lit this fire in me to be like you know, what maybe i should look into this some more as well too. I don’t want to box myself in to one thing. I’m an artist, I’m an entertainer at the end of the day so it’s not just limited to only music, even though thats my first love and that's my passion and that's where I give my 100% to.
Flaunt: What is the last song you played on your iPod?
JS: The last song I played.... Well, I don't even have an iPod because I’m a #withgalaxy, but the last song that I listened to was a song that I literally just heard this morning, it’s called Wamp Wamp by this artist named Valee [laughs and begins singing the song].