Seven-time San Diego Music Award nominee Gayle Skidmore has written over 2300 songs since she began songwriting at the age of 8. Her natural ability and innate passion for music made her music career inevitable, and her tumultuous life has given her plenty of inspiration.
Translating her experiences into song has been more than just personally fulfilling. Gayle Skidmore won Best Pop in the 2015 San Diego Music Awards, Best Pop Album for “Sleeping Bear” in 2014, and Best Singer-Songwriter in 2013. After moving to The Netherlands, she won De Best Singer-Songwriter van het Groene Hart in 2017. Classically trained on the piano from the age of 4, Gayle Skidmore also plays over 20 other instruments, including the mountain dulcimer, banjo, folk harp and balalaika.
Growing up in a musical family in San Diego, California, Gayle was fascinated with music from the start, recording little songs with her sisters from the age of 3. The early loss of her uncle and several childhood friends sparked an intuitive turn to songwriting as a way to process and cope with these events. Gayle started performing these songs in local San Diego venues at the age of 14, and finally recorded her first E.P. at the age of 18.
As she began to pursue music more seriously, something that she had always done instinctively became more focused and intentional. Music became a way for Gayle to bring healing into her own life and the lives of others, growing in importance as she waded through an ever-growing mountain of loss and several traumatic events. She continued to record her music and soon started her own record label, Raincoat Records.
In 2020, Gayle Skidmore released “All My Life,” a single she co-produced with Jeff Berkley of Berkley Hart, at Jason Mraz’s OhmGrown Studio. “All My Life” features Clare and Olivier Manchon (of Clare & The Reasons), as well as a profusion of San Diego talent. Gayle Skidmore has released three full-length albums with accompanying self-illustrated, crowd-funded colouring books, as well as over 20 other independently released projects.
Her last full-length, The Golden West (vinyl album) was recorded with her then beer sponsor, Ninkasi Brewing at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, OR, Amusement Park Studios in Lubbock, TX, Singing Serpent Studios in San Diego, CA, and legendary studio Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, CA. It features a range of styles and the singular theme of moving on from heartache and loss. Music Friday Live’s Patrick O’Heffernan said it well:
“Gayle Skidmore sings in the line between artistry and accessibility, between whimsy and earworms, between what is and what fantastically can be.”
As a composer and session musician for a boutique licensing company, Gayle Skidmore has placed songs with Facebook Japan, Facebook Moments, Disney, Target, Honda, Safe Auto and many others, branching out into a wide variety of styles. Her solo project has been placed on HBO,
several commercials and films, including “Little Women.”
Gayle’s dedication to her craft has paved the way to opening for the likes of Jason Mraz, Lisa Loeb, Grant Lee Phillips, The Jamestown Revival, Kate Voegele, Greg Laswell, Tyrone Wells, Sean and Sara Watkins, Sam Phillips, and Coeur d’Pirate. She has recorded with such artists as The Softlightes, Bushwalla, Jason Mraz and Tyrone Wells, and continues to explore new styles. Her song “Only Ever You” features Dave Catching of Eagles of Death Metal on guitar. Recently transplanted to The Netherlands, she continues to enchant with her singular, transportive style, and her heartfelt performances.
Gayle Skidmore finds endless inspiration in the whirlwind of life, has never experienced writer’s block, and is always experimenting with new formats. She spent 2019 and 2020 releasing a new song every single week on Patreon, and in 2021 is creating new videos. She’ll be releasing several new projects in 2021. Gayle Skidmore’s love of whimsy is evidenced by the visual elements she adds to music, which includes three self-illustrated colouring books, as well as acting as creative director for several of her music videos. Germany’s prominent newspaper, the Seuddeutsche Zeitung, named her “Die Schutzpatronin der Gartenzwerge,” the Patron Saint of Garden Dwarves, which she proudly vaunts. When she isn’t busy learning a new instrument, singing, painting, or writing lyrics and melodies, she enjoys swing dancing and studying theology. Gayle has been known to bake cookies and make origami for her fans.
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