Brittany Sky

When one thinks of New York, one thinks of Manhattan. It was in the streets of apple’s largest borough – Queens – that its inhabitants witnessed the rise of greats like Roxanne Dhanté, Nas or even Nicki Minaj. Brittany Sky, multi-hyphenate dj-actress-model-tv and radio host, and one of the boroughs most bubbling natives assures us that it’s culture’s motto remains the same: if there ain’t a path yet, we will make one.

Cast by no other than Heron Preston himself, Brittany debuted in a Nike campaign in 2013, the same year she featured as the protagonist the music video of Kendrick Lamar track featuring Drake, ‘Poetic Justice’. Our day-in-and-out reality changes at such galloping pace these days, that, sometimes, we forget to take time and consider just how much the world has changed. Five years ago, it was unimaginable to think that a hip-hop artist, such Kendrick Lamar would have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for an album named ‘Damn’.

“My mum always told me never to do something that I couldn’t explain to my kids later. Whenever I think of doing something outlandish, I always think of that sentence.” – Brittany pauses – “[Poetic Justice] was a very controversial moment in my life. The original lead girl that they cast was on set too, and she was just the opposite of who I was. I have always been a bit of a tomboy. It was imperative for me to be my most authentic self.”

It was incredibly fresh to see someone offering no other than herself in a music video, and its novelty is what possibly what helped it stand out from the rest. In conversation, we reminisce about the importance of radio in NYC’s culture, and her time at radio station Hot 97.

“They believed in me from really early on and I really, really appreciate them for that.”

Hot 97, one of New York City’s most prominent hip-hop radios, arose circa 1993, powered by the street-level sounds of the emergent Wu-Tang Clan, the speciality show of a young Funkmaster Flex, and the first radio station champion a woman speaking about the culture: Angie Martinez. A pillar of NYC’s community to this day, and home of some of radio’s most iconic radio personalities such as Ebro Darden, Peter Rosenberg and Laura Stylez, which all worked alongside Brittany during her time at the station. Working as a producer for the Morning Show, she soon started to carve a way to help the culture from the within.

Carefully honing her craft as a Dj, over the years, Brittany has amassed a large following, has provided noteworthy sets and mixes for the likes of the Carters, Queen Beyonce and King Jay-Z, festivals such as Coachella, giant brands such Youtube, Google, Beats By Dre, Adidas, Mass Appeal, Revolve.

She keeps an up-to-date-to-the-minute-playlist on Apple Music, and a carefully curated Youtube channel. The Sit-down, one of her Brittany Original Youtube series, interviewed music-industry professionals, featuring Spanish Harlem’s Bodega Bams to Roc Nation’s SVP, Lenny Santiago, offering valuable knowledge as to how the industry works behind the curtain.

“I felt that there was not enough appreciation for them at the forefront. So I started to interview those people.” – She advances – “There are these kids that look up to these people. There are so many other cool jobs behind the scenes that you can get to do pretty much the same things that an artist gets to do.”

Her YouTube platform accounts more than 32.000 followers, offering a broad range of content: from her Djying to make-up tutorials, to ‘how to travel Asia cheap’ and many other of her travel-logs. She’s been to London too. You can see her at Wireless Festival (both last year and this year). Having recently relocated from New York to Los Angeles, she shared how travelling has not only broadened her horizons, as it has given her a new perspective on life.

“I didn’t really know what was out there until I started to travel. It opens your eyes to new things. Cues, cultural traditions, experience as a whole.” – She proceeds – “You realise that less is more. I need to maximise my time within a city. I’d rather stretch my money as far as it can go to get a good experience, versus staying in a nice hotel.”

Following her a natural instinct that has kept her on the forefront of music, fashion and culture, as we part terms, she declares that there’s a new project in the works. Even though that’s still shrouded in a veil of mystery, she left us with a casual flare of insight.

“I want to show young girls that they don’t need to follow the traditional route to be successful. I’m not a layer or a doctor. I’m a creative.”

Words by Catarina Ramalho / Photography by Jack Alexander

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