Pop R&B newcomer Skylar Stecker’s career has kicked into high gear.
In the empowering title track for her new album, Redemption, released Friday and available on all streaming platforms, the 16-year-old independent artist uses her personal anthem to inspire young women to “go after what they want.”
“When people use the word ‘redemption,’ it’s usually in the context of ‘wanting redemption,’ or ‘waiting for redemption,’ but what I say in the song is: ‘I’ll be my own redemption’….I’m not going to sit around and wait for things to happen for me,” she tells PEOPLE of the inspiration behind her new album and track. “Instead, I am choosing to stay positive, work hard and push forward regardless of what’s going on around me.”
And that’s just what she’s been doing. The young singer and actress hails from Madison, Wisconsin, and is fresh off a successful past few years growing her fanbase by performing over 100 National Anthems at sporting events throughout the United States. In the midst of that, she scored a No. 1 song on the Billboard dance chart, for her remake of “Sweet Dreams,” featuring JX Riders. On the big screen, she recently starred in Super Fun Night opposite Rebel Wilson.
Stecker is kicking off the new year with big goals, while using every day to better her artistry and grow her career. “I have a lot to prove and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet of what I want to accomplish,” she says. “I want to be one of the greats and am looking forward to working my butt off to accomplish that!”
“In my generation, I feel like we can get caught up on depending on others to make things better for us or focusing too much on the negative things in life,” she continues. “Instead, we need to learn to pick ourselves back up and be our own redemption.”
Describing her lyrics as “powerful” and “honest,” Stecker has placed her vulnerability in the past, as she uses her music as an outlet to releases her emotions. Adorned with words like ambitious, young, significant, fake, stupid and many more, the video illustrates feeling and emotion.
“This year I made it my mission to open up and be honest with my fans and people who listen to my music and share my experiences and thoughts,” she says. “Not just for them, but it was therapeutic for me as well.”
Stecker discovered her love for singing by mistake during a school talent show at 9-years-young, draws inspiration from some of the world’s most influential female vocalists like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.
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“I’ve learned that being a women in any industry can be a struggle, and being a young woman in music can make it extremely challenging at times,” she says about what it’s like to pursue a career in music as a young woman. “I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to deal with people who overlook my ability and belittle my ideas in order to try to make me feel naïve and insignificant, [but that] is why I wrote ‘Redemption.'”
“Being a woman in the industry is also very empowering!” Stecker continues. “We are standing up for ourselves, supporting one another, and making big changes in the world. It’s really cool to be a part of that change and to be working alongside other women who are amazing role models in this industry.”
Speaking of support, Stecker feels “so blessed” to have unconditional love from her family.
“My parents are both from Wisconsin so our entire family (besides us) are there,” she says about what she misses from back home in Madison since moving to California seven years ago. “I definitely do miss not being able to see them all on a regular basis and having our huge family around.”
“My favorite thing about being here [in California] is that I am now surrounded by so many musical people from all over the world!” Stecker continues, adding, “having the sun shining all year round isn’t so bad either.”
Redemption is available now on music streaming platforms.