There aren’t too many people I’m impressed by, but I must say that Sky got a hold of me a few years back and I’ve been hanging on ever since. I decided she would be the first celebrity on the cover of USL Magazine for just that reason.
I first experienced her djing skills at the grand opening of The Atlanta W Midtown, some years back and was blown away. Picture this! There’s a beautiful hotel opening it’s doors to a chic list of clientele for the first time. Anyone who’s anyone posed about while you hear a melodic assortment of old school icons with funky djing techniques. What would you do? I’ll tell you what I did. I turned around to see who the hell it was in the DJ both. To my surprise, it was a fine ass white chic wildn’ out. My first thought was, where the hell did she come from and what is her name? So, I began asking everyone until I just went up to her and said, “Damn girl you’re hot. What is your name and do you have a business card?” Hey, that’s how I am. When I see something that intrigues me, I gotta know more about it. So, the next day I began to google this new found DJ called DJ Sky Nellor. So, here we are. DJ Sky is one of my top 5 DJ’s in the world and she’s the first to make the cover of my magazine. “Sky, thank you for that moment and I now let the people experience you for themselves and get out of the bucket.” -Patrick Kelly
Sky, when was it that you realized you had the qualities to be a successful model and what were some of your challenges in the early parts of your career?
Well, I didn’t think when I was a teenage, I wanted to be a model. Actually, that was probably the last think I wanted to do since my mother was a model and I wasn’t really interested, but a lot of people told me I should do it. Finally, a photographer just took me straight to an agency and they signed me on the spot. A few weeks later they shipped me off to Japan and it was an experience I still look back on and was like “how did that happen? And, how did my parents just say okay? But that was my training ground and it basically proved to me that I could do it, make a lot of money at it, become financially independent and also get to see the world. All I basically had to do was stand around and smile as well as be on time. Obviously, it’s more to the story, but that was basically it.
Quite often than not many young people getting into the industry only see the glitz and glamor and not the reality of it all. There’s a very slim chance someone is offered the same opportunities you had.
That’s true. It wasn’t something I thought about doing. They basically offered me the opportunity and my first shoot definitely made me question whether I was up for the challenge because you’re working with these professionals and they’re like “come on shoot this, do that” and you’re like, what… So Japan helped, because in Japan, they just through you into two to three jobs a day and you’re booked for 6 weeks straight. It was like going to school for modeling, at least it was for me. Literally, I was 17 and I came back to Australia and had made more money in those 6 weeks than the average person made in an entire year. So, I was like, “what do you want me to do next?”
So you basically had your first professional photo shoot before your first go-see?
Yeah, I mean, the agency definitely believed in me. They took me without any professional photos, booked me on a shoot with one of the teen magazines in Australia and I was like terrified, but each day got easier. When you’re that young, most of the time they just want you to be young, happy, smiling and cute all the time. It wasn’t until I got to Europe when they transformed me into not looking eighteen.
So it’s basically like a lot of the things you see on America’s Next Top Model?
Let’s just say that is made for entertainment. I love Tara Banks to death and she is someone I met in the early part of my career whom I adore and she is awesome. But, they definitely make up some odd challenges; challenges I never had to face in my entire career of being a model. So, I guess I got off easy. A lot of that stuff is for entertainment purposes on TV. However, you do find yourself in some situations you just have to make a call on it; whether you’re comfortable with it or not. That world is obviously out there and will put you in some odd situations. It’s definitely not your regular 9-5.
There is a stigma out there that models aren’t smart?
Actually, that’s not necessarily a stigma. I’d say I know a lot of stupid models (laugh). There are the ones out there who have incredible intellect and went to college and have done other things with there careers, but there are definitely ones out there where you’re like, “hello, is there anyone home!” (laugh) Anyone! (laugh)
Now you’re known for being the infamous face at Guess. How was it being a cover model and were there any out of the ordinary experiences you care to share?
When the option came about, my agency called and said you’re on option for Guess and I was like, what. When you’re in this crazy, crazy world, that’s like a huge campaign to get including a Vogue cover… So when they said I was on option, there was dead silence on the phone and they proceeded to say “well, don’t get your hopes up, there’s like a million people on hold for this job. It would be amazing, if you get it, but if you don’t, keep it moving.” So when they confirmed it, I think I was like still in shock. We shot on-location in Miami and when we arrived immediately the crew was alerted that there was a hurricane (Andrews) coming to Miami. So I thought awesome, so I get the gig and we’re probably not gonna shoot because we have to get the hell out of Miami. And everyone just looked at each other and said, “do you wanna get up at the crack of dawn and try to get some pictures and then just get the hell outta here?” I was like, “sure!” Literally, the crew went bananas and we shot the whole thing until the crew was like we’ve gotta get outta here before the whole thing is a complete mess. So, while we were shooting for those 4 hours, in the back of my head I was like, “this is probably not gonna see the light of day.” My agency was so happy, they were telling all my clients that I was gonna be in the Guess ad and I was thinking, it’s probably not gonna happen now; I just need to get home where I was safe.
It really didn’t hit me until it came out and I was like “oh, it made it.”
Are there people you met while modeling that you have lasting friendships with?
Yes, the first girl I met at my agency and went to Japan with; we’re friends on Facebook. She has an entirely different life now. I’m still in contact with so many people I spent time with in so many different countries, all over the world. Tara became hugely successful, started America’s Next Top Model. She called me up and was like, “I want you to be on the show.” I definitely have wonderful friends from everywhere.
Let’s talk about the fights. Where there any girls that was in stiff competition with you who just didn’t like you or was envious of your looks, confidence and how you carried yourself?
I don’t think I had any one-on-one issues with anybody and if people had issues with me, I never got to here about them. The only time I was ever terrified was during one of my first fashion shows in Milan when Tara and Naomi were not tight. Tara came up to me and said “you’re going after Naomi and I’m after you. Naomi is gonna hog the runway so I need you to hold your ground and not let that girl mess it up. I’ll be right behind you, if there’s trouble.” This is not the thing you say to someone who has just come from Australia and have never done this thing before, but we got through it.
So we can all read about your start as a DJ, but what was your thought process in you pushing yourself to take that dare from your friend and were there any influences (alcohol to brave the wave); as we all need from time-to-time or was it just pure confidence?
I think honestly, I should have started Djing when I was a teenager. Even before I started modeling full-time, I use to go to clubs and be the obnoxious b#tch; going up to the DJ’s and asking them to play what I wanted to here. I would like to apologize to every DJ who I’ve been a brat to.
So, I was the model on the road that would be mixing records and making mix-tapes for friends. I wish it (Djing) had come to me much earlier. The fact that a friend had to say “okay, you don’t like what this guy is playing, you complain all the time about music, you should get in the booth and learn how to work the equipment and we’ll hire you, because we want you to be happy.” Of course, they also wanted all my model girlfriends to come to the party. So it was a win-win situation for everybody, once I actually got into the booth and played.
In your BIO online, it says that Blondie, Rick James and Prince are some of your influences. Can I summarize that you’ve also taken a bit of their tenacity and flare in personality which fuels who Sky Nellor is? What is the definition of Sky Nellor?
Yeah, that’s a few of my influences. I have absolutely no idea what the definition of Sky Nellor though is. You’ll have to ask someone else that question. I guess my friends would say I’m a loyal B#tch. I don’t know (laugh). I don’t like to be put in a box so I’m definitely not gonna try and define myself right now.
I first had the opportunity to hear you play at the Atlanta W Midtown Grand Opening Party a few years back and I must say I was utterly impressed. Honestly, I felt like I was losing my mind. It was like I was on drugs and just wanted more and more of it. Where did you get that style of Djing and is it just plain talent or something you honed as you progressed in your career?
Okay, it’s definitely not plain talent. Once I decided that I was gonna do this, I wanted to be taken seriously and didn’t want to be some random, wanna-be DJ. I sat down with my music. I sat down with all my dad’s records and I was like, “this is all the sh#t I love. This is all the sh#t that makes me happy. So hopefully, it’s gonna make other people happy and I’m gonna do this! My goal was to make everyone in the room have as much fun as I’m having.
You played a party for our President Bill Clinton, what was that experience like and did you get to meet him? If so, what was your impression of the Ex-President?
I don’t even know if I should answer this question, but the party was arranged for someone else in his office. I don’t remember names, but I remember that I just wanted to go and knock it out. There were a lot of suits and I was just playing the background music . That was really all that it was. It was really people in his office offering advice on what they wanted to do and I was providing the soundtrack. I was just really lucky to be in the room, really!
So The Black Eyed Pea is one of my favorite musical groups because they dare to be different and their music is sensational. This is the reason I like you as well because you all have that “I don’t really give a damn type attitude. And you do your thing, it’s hot and successful. What was it like playing for The Black Eye Pea and hanging out at the party?
We were all on the same flight and I think we spent more quality time on the plane than at the party because they arrived at the VMA’s to perform and I was in the booth on stage. Nike was one of the sponsors so we all got to make custom sneakers afterward. I think that was the most quality time we had together. Besides that, it was very chaotic. I’ve done tones of other events and parties with all of them and with Fergi, separately. They are ultimately awesome!
You’ve also played for Puffy as well, what is it like just hanging with Puffy?
It’s surreal hanging out with puffy. I met him 15 years ago and he was just putting his name on the map with Biggie. To see the person he is now; he has always been one of the most driven people I’ve met in my life. I don’t think the word “no” exist in his vocabulary. And everything that you read about and all the things that he does; it’s probably bigger! The stuff that goes down, you just keep thinking, is this really happening? Yeah, it’s really happening (laugh)! I even took my mom to one of his parties in the Hampton’s in a helicopter and she was like, “how is this possible?” I said mom, “this is what happens when you work for Sean “Diddy” Combs, mommy (laugh).”
Which artists out now has caught your eye musically?
You know, when I read over this question, I was thinking of how sad I was of the death of Amy Winehouse. Special people like that don’t surface as often as I think they did back in the day. With that said, I’ll always opt to play something old than new because I don’t often find a new artist that I’m wowed by. But I did have a wow moment while watching The Voice. Dia Frampton, she covered Kanye’s “Heartless” and she got my attention for that entire song. I got goose-bumps and I went “okay, okay, you got me.” So when she decides to put something out, I’ll probably check her out. Part from that, I’m just waiting for D’Angelo to drop another record. That will make my year! “When you come across such ridiculous talent, you wait!”
I know that you’ve done your mix-tapes, but have you ever thought about coming out as an artist?
No, because I can’t sing and I can’t play an instrument. I think to call yourself an artist, you should be able to do both.
Exactly, but has that stopped a lot of people from coming out with albums?
No, but the perfectionist in me wouldn’t allow me to make a mockery of the artist that I’ve grown up with and consider to be icons. These are the same icons I’ve cried my heart out to and danced for joy, since the day I was born. It wouldn’t be something I could do. My mother was like “honey, just dance around and lip sing and you could be the next Kylie Minogue.” I wouldn’t be satisfied because that wasn’t what I was put on this earth to do.
Let’s talk about Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker? Now, I wasn’t privy to seeing the episode so I’m going to need a little help. How was it during that entire experience?
That whole entire show is fake bullsh#t! I wish I had received that information before signing on. Basically, my friends were like “you’re not the most social of people darling. You don’t make a lot of time for people outside of your work and your life. And while we love traveling around the world with you and we have a blast; you need to date or at least go on a date.” They called and said would you like to be on the show and my girlfriends were like, yes she would. “This would be like good for you and it would really push you out of your comfort zone. Do it!” I thought that it would be some sort of realness to this opportunity, but it was fake; phony. It was crap! I should have run. I was basically at the mixer seeing how I could get outta there. That was my wonderful experience meeting a bunch of phony people, wanting to be on television. “I had a stupid, naive, blonde moment that week (laugh)”
Let’s talk about dating. What is it like dating and would you date someone with less zero’s behind their pay check? The reason I ask is because people are caught up on this ridiculous gesture that they’re not going to date outside of their class, their surroundings; outside of the people they hang out with.
I don’t know! I really don’t know where Mr. Right is? I’d say anyone smart enough, secure enough; if you’re out there, you should call me. “Money ain’t a thing as Jay-Z would say and love is all you need!”
But still, what is an ideal guy for Sky Nellor? You’re walking on the streets of NYC and a guy catches your attention, what do you see?
If a guy is going to catch my eye, he would have to be charming and witty, be smarter than me and ultimately challenge me. Honestly, I’m not gonna date you because of what’s in your bank account or how good looking you are. I need something substantial and you gonna have to be able to entertainment me and keep up with me or it’s not gonna work.
Were there any challenges in any past relationships because of who you are?
That’s the biggest challenge. People meet me, they get to know me, they find me intriguing and they get a glimpse of my life and they say “no thank you.” Apparently, I’m a lot to deal with. I think it’s always been that way. I’m fiercely independent! I’m not really gonna rely on you for much and I have a schedule I don’t wish on anyone. Besides my friends, who are very understanding, the average guy just looks at my schedule and say “and when are we gonna have dinner…” My work life and my career is not conducive to dating, apparently.
So, thee Sky Nellor is a very successful model and DJ who combines her beauty, charisma and talents to package and brand the infamous DJ Sky Nellor. You’ve traveled the world, played at all the hottest and exclusive parties and events as well as rub elbows with all the elites in fashion, music and entertainment. What’s next? What gets you out of bed every morning and having you waiting in anticipation to just get a glimpse of it?
My alarm clock wakes me up every morning (laugh). It is the most obnoxious sound. I basically make a list of all the things I want to accomplish for that day and that is just a challenge or goal I set for myself. It pushes me because I wanna get those things done and start crossing them off the list. That may sound quite boring, but it is what it is.
No, I don’t think it’s boring at all. That is a part of success; writing the things you want to accomplish down on a list and crossing them off, once they are accomplished.
Is there anybody out there you haven’t worked with that you want to work with?
I’m sure there are, but I don’t think about it like that. I take everything day-by-day and regardless if you are a somebody or a nobody, it doesn’t matter. I want you to have a good time. I look at my job as showing up and getting you going. Whether you (Patrick) felt like you were on drugs and you wanted more and more or whatever; that’s how I want people to feel. Honestly at the end of the night and I’m a sweaty mess and you’re a sweaty mess and everyone is behind me giving me hi-fives; that’s when I know that I’ve done a good job.
Any shout outs?
Shout-outs (laugh)! I would like to shout out to Stevie Wonder. He came to a party in New York, that I do on Monday’s at Mr. H and that gentleman, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and actually hugging, made my night. He made my night very long because he did not want to leave the venue until 4:30 in the morning when I was about to take off my shoes because my feet was really starting to hurt. But, just having him there and knowing that he was having such a really good time, and did not wanna go home; he definitely gets my shout-out. “It was a moment and definitely something I won’t forget!”
Sources: skynellor.com and Daniela Federici