There aren’t too many people I am impressed by, but I must say that Sky got a hold of me a few years back, and I have 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 deejaying 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 its doors to a chic list of clientele for the first time. Anyone who’s anyone posted about while you hear a melodic assortment of old school icons with funky deejaying techniques. What would you do? I will tell you what I did. I turned around to see who the hell it was in the DJ booth. To my surprise, it was a fine ass white chick 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 are hot. What is your name and do you have a business card?” Hey, that is how I am. When I see something that intrigues me, I have to know more about it. So, the next day I began to google this newly found DJ called DJ Sky Nellor (skynellor.com). So, here we are. DJ Sky is one of my top 5 DJ’s in the world, and she is 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 did not think when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a model. That was probably the last thing I wanted to do since my mother was a model, and I was not interested, but many people told me I should do it. Finally, the 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? Also, how did my parents just say okay? However, that was my training ground, and it proved to me that I could do it, make much money at it, become financially independent and also get to see the world. All I had to do was stand around and smile as well as be on time. Obviously, it is more to the story, but that was it.
Do you think many young people are getting into the industry only see the glitz and glamor and not the reality of it all? Is there a very slim chance you are offered the same opportunities you had?
Yes, I do. It was not something I thought about doing. They offered me the opportunity, and my first shoot made me question whether I was up for the challenge because you are working with these professionals, and they are like “come on shoot this, do that” and you are like, what… So Japan helped because in Japan, they just through you into two to three jobs a day and you are booked for six weeks straight. It was like going to school for modeling, at least it was for me. I was 17, and I came back to Australia and had made more money in those six weeks than the average person made in an entire year. So, I was like, “what do you want me to do next?”
So you had your first professional photo shoot before your first go-see?
Yeah, I mean, the agency believed in me. They took me without any professional photos and booked me on a shoot with one of the teen magazines in Australia. I was so terrified when I started to model, but each day got easier. When you are that young, most of the time they just want you to be young, happy, smiling and cute all the time. It was not until I got to Europe when they transformed me into not looking eighteen.
So is it like what you see on “America’s Next Top Model?”
Let’s just say that is 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. However, they make up some unique 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 are comfortable with it or not. That world is of course out there and will put you in some odd situations. It is not your regular 9-5.
There is a stigma out there that models are not smart?
That is not necessarily a stigma. I would say I know a lot of simple models (laugh). There are the ones out there who have an incredible intellect and graduated college and have done other things with their careers, but there are ones out there where you are like, “Hello, is there anyone home!” (laugh) Anyone! (laugh)
Now you are known for being the infamous face of 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 are on option for Guess, and I was like, what. When you are in this crazy, crazy world, that is 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 do not, 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 are probably not going to shoot because we have to get the hell out of Miami. Also, 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!” The crew went bananas, and we shot the whole thing until the crew was like we have 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 going to be in the Guess ad, and I was thinking, it is probably not gonna happen now; I just need to get home where I was safe. It didn’t hit me until it came out, and I was like “oh, it made it.”
Are there people you met while modeling you have lasting friendships?
Yes, the first girl I met at my agency and went to Japan with; we are friends on Facebook. She has an entirely different life now. I am still in contact with so many people that 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 have wonderful friends from everywhere.
Let’s talk about the fights. Where there any girls that were in stiff competition with you who just didn’t like you or was envious of your looks, confidence and how you carried yourself?
I do not think I had any one-on-one issues with anybody and if people had issues with me, I never got to hear 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 are going after Naomi, and I am 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 will be right behind you if there’s trouble.” This is not a 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 have been a brat to…
So, I was a 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 do not 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 will 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 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 have also taken a bit of their tenacities and flair in personality that fuels who Sky Nellor is? What is the definition of Sky Nellor?
Yeah, that’s a few of my influences. I have no idea what the definition of Sky Nellor though is. You will have to ask someone else that question. I guess my friends would say I am a loyal B#tch. I do not know (laugh). I do not like placing myself in a box, so I am not going to 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 is definitely not obvious talent. Once I decided that I was going 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. These records are all the sh#t that makes me happy. So hopefully, it is gonna make other people happy, and I am gonna do this! My goal was to make everyone in the room have as much fun as I am 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 do not even know if I should answer this question, but the party was arranged for someone else in his office. I do not remember names, but I remember that I just wanted to go and knock it out. There were many suits, and I was just playing the background music. That was all that it was. It was 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!
So The Black Eyed Peas 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 do not give a damn type of attitude. Also, you do your thing, and it’s hot and successful. What was it like playing for The Black Eye Peas and hanging out at the party?
We were all on the same flight, and I think we spent more quality time on flying 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 have done some other events and parties with all of them and also with Fergie, separately. They are ultimately awesome!
You have also played for Puffy as well, what is it like just hanging with Puffy?
It is surreal hanging out with puffy. I met Puffy 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 have met in my life. I do not think the word “no” exist in his vocabulary. Also, everything that you read about and all the things that he does; it is probably bigger! The stuff that goes down, you just keep thinking, is this happening? Yeah, it is 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 with the death of Amy Winehouse. Special people like that do not surface as often as I believe that they did back in the day. With that said, I will always opt to play something old than new because I do not often find a new artist who wows me. However, 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 will probably check her out. A part from that, I am 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 have done your mix-tapes, but have you ever thought about coming out as an artist?
No, because I cannot sing, and I cannot play an instrument. I think to call yourself an artist; you should be able to do both.
Exactly, but has that stopped many people from coming out with albums?
No, but the perfectionist in me would not allow me to make a mockery of the artist that I have grown up with and consider to be icons. These are the same icons I have cried my heart out to and danced for joy since the day I was born. It would not 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 would not be satisfied because that was not what I was placed on this earth to do.
Let’s talk about Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker?” Now, I was not privy to seeing the episode, so I am going to need a little help. How was it during that entire experience?
That whole show is fake bullsh#t! I wish I had received that information before signing on. My friends were like “you are not the most social of people darling. You do not make much time for people outside of your work and your life. Also, 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 push you out of your comfort zone. Do it!” I thought that it would be some realness to this opportunity, but it was fake. 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 fewer zeroes behind their paycheck? The reason I ask is that people are caught up on this ridiculous gesture that they are not going to date outside of their class, their surroundings; outside of the people, they hang out with.
I do not know! I do not know where Mr. Right is? I would say anyone smart enough, secure enough; if you are out there, you should call me. “Money ain’t a thing as Jay-Z would say and love is all you need!”
However, what is the ideal guy for Sky Nellor? You are 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 am 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 is not gonna work.
Were there any challenges in any past relationships because of who you are?
That is 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 am a lot to deal with. I think it has always been that way. I am fiercely independent! I am not gonna rely on you for much, and I have a schedule I do not 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 are not conducive to dating, apparently.
So, the 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 have 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 just to get a glimpse of it?
My alarm clock wakes me up every morning (laugh). It is the most obnoxious sound. I 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 do not think it is boring at all. That is a part of success; writing the things you want to accomplish down on a list and cross them off, once they are completed.
Is there anybody out there you have not worked with that you want to work with?
I am sure there are, but I do not think about it like that. I take everything day-by-day and regardless if you are a somebody or a nobody, it does not 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 is how I want people to feel. Honestly at the end of the night and I am a sweaty mess, and you are a sweaty mess, and everyone is behind me giving me hi-fives; that is when I know that I have 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 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 starting to hurt. However, just having him there and knowing that he was having such a really good time, and did not wanna go home; he gets my shout-out. “It was a moment and something I will not forget!”
Checkout Sky Nellor’s at www.skynellor.com
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 USL Magazine