Natasha Ishak

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Bushwick artist Skela released 10 new singles, in the span of 20 weeks, under her record label Red Music. Each song was released with its own visual interpretation. Some might call it a visual album, but the indie-songstress thinks it’s more of a mixtape. The exciting endeavor is known as Project 10, now entirely available to stream on Skela’s Youtube channel. One of the tracks, “Linda,” captures the artist’s life in Bushwick.

“I wouldn’t call it an album because I kind of associate albums with being one cohesive thing, mission and message, and I don’t think that was Project 10,” Skela told Bushwick Daily over the phone. “It was more like a project of experiencing and trying out different sounds, creating music videos with friends.” Gal pals Rachel Turley (creative director) and Zoe Kraft (director and editor) both appear in behind-the-scenes extras from the project.

Skela performing, courtesy of Skela.

Despite being a low-budget production, Project 10 successfully shows off Skela’s range as a vocalist, songwriter, and creative talent. The mixtape feels like a moody collection of reflections with low-tempo poetic verses in “Heartbreak & Liquor,” “Blue Eye’d Girls Club,” and “I’m Not Hungry.” But fans can still expect to bop to fun pop dance tunes like “Holy” and “What’s Wrong With Me.”

Project 10 may have been born from spontaneous experimentation, but the music videos—all shot within six days using camera phones and DSLRs—express a very distinct style. The DIY vibe to the videos offer fans an intimate glimpse into Skela’s regular days in Brooklyn, where most of Project 10 was filmed.

Courtesy of Red Music.

“There’s just something about walking the streets of Brooklyn that seems to be something that is just so beautiful on screen and in photos,” she said. Bushwick locals who watch the music video for “Linda” might recognize a few places in it. For “Linda,” which talks about toxic relationships and features soothing vocals from fellow artist Dylan Matthew, Skela wanted to take the group back to her old stomping grounds to shoot (she now splits her time between Bushwick and Los Angeles).

“Capturing Bushwick wasn’t something we planned, but it was literally essential because that’s just what my life looks like,” Skela said.

The Boobie Trap and Nicandra’s along Irving Avenue are among the Bushwick hangouts featured in the scrapbook-like video.

“In a wonderful way we glamorize things like music and movies and art, but like I was saying, sometimes it’s just those small moments in New York that make the most visually compelling content… people trying to shoot music videos in bodegas. [laughs] You know? Those certainly aren’t glamorous, but there’s something about them that everyone seems to find so genuine,” Skela said.

If you’ve listened to Project 10 online, you can soon catch the indie artist performing live in the neighborhood. Skela will perform a mix of songs from the project and some old fan favorites at Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn on Feb. 9.

Cover photo courtesy of Red Music.

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