Childhood & Early Life
Skylar Katz was born in Melville, New York, on December 12, 2004, to Mike and Fran Katz. Her father was a doctor and, her mother was a homemaker. Skylar grew up with her three siblings.
Her parents were huge fans of rap music and listened to rappers such as Biggie and Tupac. Skylar developed an interest in singing when she was 5 years old. While her parents listened to the rappers of the 1990s, Skylar became fascinated with modern-day rappers such as Nicki Minaj and Drake.
However, becoming a rapper was not something she wished to do in the future. Initially, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor. However, she eventually drifted toward things that were not related to academics.
While growing up, she developed an interest in basketball. By the age of 10, she had played with three different traveling teams. At that time, she was just exploring her passions but eventually decided to make a career in music.
She also watched a lot of TV and was highly inspired by talent-hunt shows such as ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘American Idol.’ In 2016, when the new season of ‘America’s Got Talent’ was announced, she decided that she would audition for it.
She did not tell her parents about it and recorded and sent her audition tapes. However, she later stated in interviews that it was not easy fooling her parents. Although she was too young to be on the show, her performance at the audition was appreciated. Thus, at the age of 11, she was on the biggest American talent-hunt show.
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She mesmerized the judges with her first act, the song ‘Fresh,’ which was originally written by her. The judges praised her performance. The video of her performance became viral, gaining more than five million views. The judges and the audiences of the 11th season of ‘America’s Got Talent’ regarded her as one of the brightest singers on the show.
Simon Cowell, one of the most brutal judges on the show, stated that Skylar was the “coolest 11-year old in the world.” This terrific beginning helped her reach the ‘Judge Cuts’ episode.
The ‘Judge Cuts’ episode was the eighth episode of the season, and she performed on the song ‘Party Ain’t a Party.’ The song was jibe on the culture of partying and the effects of social-media platforms such as ‘Instagram’ and ‘Snapchat.’ This performance was also adored by the judges, but it was not good enough for the judges to send her to the quarterfinals. However, her popularity had already shot up by then. Soon, major record companies began approaching her.
Skylar also established her own ‘YouTube’ channel, ‘Sky Katz.’ Her first ‘YouTube’ video was her cover of Nicki Minaj’s song ‘Monster.’ The video received a good response and gained more than half a million “views” within months of getting uploaded.
She also uploaded covers of songs by artists such as Lil Mama and Rakim. In October 2016, she uploaded her first official music video. It was for her first official original song, ‘Haters.’ The video was widely shared by her fans and garnered more than a million views.
Soon, she started getting invited to perform at several major events. Some of such events were a ‘New York Knicks’ game, the ‘Rookie USA Fashion Show,’ and the ‘Winter Film Awards.’ She also kept her ‘YouTube’ channel active, with her cover versions of songs by several famous artists such as Saweetie, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. She often stated in her interviews that Nicki was her favorite rapper.
In late 2016, she announced her debut album, saying that it would be released sometime toward late 2017. Around the same time, she performed at the ‘Constitution Park’ in Larchmont, New York. She has also performed at venues such as the ‘Allegria Hotel’ in New York, ‘Camp Chipinaw,’ the ‘Healthy Guru Expo,’ and ‘5 Spot’ in Brooklyn.
Skylar has often stated that she would want to bring old-school rap back to life, and according to her, the only way to do it is to find a perfect balance of the new and the old styles and to create a fusion.
She has also actively opposed the highly liberal American gun laws. In her song ‘Long Way to Go,’ she has emphasized on the need to suppress the gun violence that has become prevalent in America. She keeps herself in the limelight by performing and by sharing her old videos from ‘America’s Got Talent.’
She made her acting debut with the role of ‘Tess,’ a street-smart teenager, in the 2017 ‘Disney Channel’ sitcom ‘Raven’s Home.’ It was a spin-off to one of the most successful ‘Disney’ shows of all time, ‘That’s So Raven.’ The show has received good critical response.