Songs of Innocence and Experience: Prince Albert Singer-Songwriter Returns With Fresh Perspective

By Scott Roos


It's been close to a decade since Prince Albert based singer-songwriter Kayleigh Skomorowski released her debut record entitled A Little Something For Everyone. It was very much an angst riddled affair that dipped it's toes sonically in the turgid waters of the early 2000's post grunge scene. It's piano driven alternative pop rock along the same lines as Vanessa Carleton or perhaps even Paula Cole with vocalizations that tip their cap to Chantal Kreviazuk. It's a lean, young and hungry record meant to introduce a very talented, driven, poised and confident artist to the world.


"The young woman who wrote the first album was pretty angry and hurting (as we all are in our 20's). A Lot of that music was generated from unsuccessful relationships and frustration with the world. I didn't know how to write music that wasn't directed at someone or something that pissed me off or disappointed me." explains Skomorowski, "When I was young I was reckless and ignorant but I was also an artist, and I'm really proud of some of what I was able to create from that space."


Unfortunately, A Little Something For Everyone ended up being Skomorowski's only release (a least for a very long time) as she recorded the record just as she was graduating University. Teaching music gave her a renewed and altogether different creative outlet and eventually landed her a coveted music teaching position at Ecole St. Mary High School in Prince Albert.


"I finished A Little Something For Everyone as I was completing both of my undergraduate degrees. The actual release show happened in the first few months of my first teaching gig. The next few years of my life were really focused on my professional identity. Teaching (Music) can be a very consuming profession, and as I poured myself into developing a band and choir program my creative self was really drawn into that, so my songwriting sat tucked away," says Skomorowski.


There was also marriage and two children. Basically, as the old adage goes, when it came to Skomorowski's songwriting, "life got in the way".


"It wasn't until my first maternity leave in 2016 that I started to write again. I think it was the time at home, being away from my creative outlet (the music program), and the huge shift in my life that allowed me to tap into that again. I've written off and on since then, but only ever as a means to work through whatever I was dealing with in the moment. COVID has pushed me back into that space again, seeking an artistic outlet, almost half of what's on the album was written since March 2020. Part of that was due to increased time with my family but just also out of creative necessity. I think a recording and releasing was always on the timeline for me, but COVID definitely pushed things forward and allowed me to generate more material in a way that was natural," says Skomorowski.


The end result of this journey is a rediscovery of Skomorowski's identity or perhaps more aptly put: an evolution or realization of her new place in her world. Call it an epiphany. Call it an inner struggle of innocence vs experience. However you may want to characterize it, Skomorowski is now on the cusp of releasing her sophomore outing called Stay Wild. It's a record, based on the initial single and title track available on her youtube channel, that boasts quiet confidence and an overall sense of maturity in her songwriting.


"What's written now comes from my identity as a mother, wife and teacher, sometimes looking back on those same experiences from years ago with new eyes and the wrestling inside between those two selves," says Skomorowski.


"There's two sides to the coin," Skomorowski continues, "The first and likely most obvious is how most of my songs about my kids are attempts to freeze them in time. I want to remember how they are, who we are together, in this moment. The other side of the story is in pausing to absorb this moment with my children. I see what I've lost as I've grown, and there's a connection to my former self (the one who wrote the first album) that I don't want to completely lose in this new identity."


It's a exciting time for Skomorowski as many have seen her slowly emerge into the spotlight as an artist here in Prince Albert and this sophomore record is highly anticipated by many in the community. She was set to perform this past summer at Chesterfest Couch and Music Festival but COVID had other plans. Since then she's completed Stay Wild and is now set for an album release show at the EA Rawlinson Centre For The Arts on April 7th. It's been good to see many taking a positive spin on the COVID downtime and getting creative again - including Skomorowski. Patrons of the arts will have the opportunity to see the end result of this creative spark in a setting that local artist often might not have the opportunity to perform in.


"I remember being taken for a tour of the (EA Rawlinson Centre For The Arts) by a colleague when I first moved to PA and I remember standing on that stage and thinking how badly I wanted to share my music in that space. It's a beautiful space with great sound and feel, and I'm really hoping we will be able to have some of an in-person audience if it is safe to do so, but I'm also excited that anyone can watch the stream from anywhere," says Skomorowski.


The EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts has just released their full slate of shows this season entitled "Safe & Sound" tickets will be made available for all shows starting Monday, Dec. 21 with limited capacity for in person seating and also pricing for their phenomenal multi-camera live streaming service. NSMZ will be chatting with several of these artists in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, tickets for Skomorowski's April 7th album release show can be purchased here:

www.earc.ca/kayleigh-skomorowski



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