Justin's Ramblings         Natalie Rhea Riggs         Aaron Bentley



posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in BANDS

    In a world that many look upon as filled with negativity, a society plagued by glass-half-empty perspectives, it is always refreshing to find genuine surprise and enjoyment without the fear of social media retaliation or someone's predespostion as to why you should be unhappy.  Such a surprise to me happened to me this past Saturday.  A very tight knit group of friends gathered together to share some laughs, drink some beverages, and write some music.  I was part of this group.  There were no cameras, no smart phones open to post about the happenings, just some amazing fellowship happening in person and in the moment.  It was refreshing, cleansing, and purposeful. Another person in attendance was Skylar Payne, and that night I gained a full understanding of how much music means to him, and the depths as to which it affects him personally. 

    No stranger to music and the grind of being a performer, Skylar has been a prodigy of the Ft. Worth music landscape for several year, staking his claim on the scene at several well known local haunts.  Writing new music and performing it on stage is like a therapy session [for me]... whatever is going on, I can write about it with real emotions and through performing, I can cope with whatever has been thrown my way.

    One of the biggest things that impressed me about Skylar were his influences, or what influences him you might say.  As far as specifics go, I don't have any one band or artist that I can call a main influence; I like to listen to several artists from the same period of time to get different perspectives on different topics.  Right now it's Allen Stone, Marc Broussard, Lake Street Drive, Amos Lee and a few others...   Continuing on the same path as many of the artists before him, Skylar coninues to pay his dues weekly, playing some of the same stages as many Texas greats before him, Skylar understands the importance of keeping the audience engaged and playing familiar music to segway into his new stuff.  I consider it the greatest form of flattery for an artist to cover another's song... by putting that song on an album, it can only help music as a whole by widening the range of art people would normally hear. 

    To group Skylar Payne's music into one specific genre, classification or style would be an insult.  Skylar brings brash- earthy vocals, a gripping ability to engage his audience, and an undying devotion to his craft.  You might say Skylar is best artist you've never heard of.  Through brilliant lyrical composition, Skylar Payne's music is starving to be shared and enjoyed by those on the outside.


    When asked what advice he would have for other musicians who are looking to follow their dreams, Skylar had this to say. It's a lot of hard work, stay humble, no one is better than you and you're no better than anyone else.  Write/play/sing from the heart and you'll find your way.

No stranger to hard work or writing from the heart, Skylar will continue to impress and succeed.  Relatability.... it helps people thorugh hard situations in some cases. There's no greater feeling than someone legitimately invested in a song that you literally had to break down and cry to write. 

    I'll leave you guys with a look at one of the songs that shows that emotional charge and attraction.



    You can't change the world without first trying to change yourself.  Adopting a positive outlook amongst a negative atmosphere is one step you can take in the right direction.  Life isn't easy, it takes hard work, dedication, a willingness to fail and start over.  A deep desire to be the best you that you can be while learning how to understand differences and accepting change is part of life.  Not everything will go your way- you have to roll with the punches.  Once you can find that happy medium and make the effort to better yourself, the chance to succeed will grow exponentionally.  Get your head out of that smart phone and digital world and experience life around you, as it happens.  A life that can best be viewed from the ground up.  A road less traveled, and one you can find once you exit off the fastlane and turn off on those sidetracks we like to call, Texas Red Dirt Roads.


For more on Skylar Payne: CLICK HERE


Aaron Lee Bentley


twitter: @aaronleebentley