It takes a powerful performer to stand out in music these days, with a surplus of talent and dedication needed as well. There’s a need to have focus, yet appeal across genres and age groups. It’s a rare combination, but such is the case with gifted musician, Skyler Lutes.
His music is rooted in reggae and island sounds, featuring songs that mix rhythms and melody, while also evoking ocean breezes and beach side celebrations. Focusing on guitar as the foundation of his music, as heard on his latest EP, Tidelines, Lutes has turned out seven tracks of hook filled, radio friendly gems, custom built for playing loud on warm summer nights, or anytime good vibes are needed. However, there is much more to his sound. He is a multi-faceted performer whose music will impress, whether you catch a solo performance or a full band set.
A native of San Diego, Lutes grew up in the surf scene of Southern California, honing his craft on the live circuit, touring throughout the U.S. as well as Europe, Canada and Argentina. He’s at home at gigs ranging from coffeehouses to outdoor festivals, where he’s shared the stage with the likes of Switchfoot, Pepper, Through The Roots, Barrington Levy, Mickey Avalon, and dozens of regional favorites.
Lutes is a multi-instrumentalist, who plays drums, bass, keys and guitar, as well as being heavily involved in production work, “but I really enjoy singing the most,” he said, “as it has the most emotion involved,” In addition to his solo career, he’s also been involved in several notable bands over the years, including Hawaiian group Makua Rothman Band, Riverside-based indie rockers Everything Said and multiple San Diego Music Awards nominees, the Defamation League.
Now he’s focused on his own music, with the recently released EP, Tidelines, building on three previous collections: the all acoustic, One Thousand Hours EP (2013) a self-titled album released the following year and After the Rain (2017). It’s all the culmination of a lifelong dream to have a life in music. He has been performing for over a decade. “I started my first band in seventh grade,” he said. “As kids, my friends and I would surf all day then play music into the night. I feel surfing and living in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood is a huge part of why my music sounds the way it does.”
Upcoming plans include several rounds of national and international touring, more writing and work on his upcoming third album. “Between the travel, the chance to create and meeting new people, music is the best choice I could have made with my life,” Lutes said. “Things have been good, but this is the year that things go to the next level.”
One listen to Tidelines, and you’ll agree, Skyler Lutes is well on his way.