23 year-old singer-songwriter and viral sensation Gabi Sklar is back with a new track, “Thank God.” The track reflects upon a toxic relationship that knocked the light out of the singer, and how thankful she is now that it is behind her.
The Long Island, New York born-and-raised singer has always felt called to pursue music, and found her first talent manager when she was only 13 years old and singing at local show cases. Sklar later made her foray into the industry professionally through TikTok.
The singer began posting powerful covers of popular songs from several household names, ranging from Dolly Parton to Elvis. She gradually began taking requests from fans in her comment section, and branched into covering contemporary artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Lana Del Rey.
Will you still love me when i’m no longer young & beautiful?
The Gen Z singer’s soft spot for classic rock and all things old school places her in a unique position–combining her own musical stylings with the viral vigor of her generation. In a unique turn of events, Gen Z has seen numerous viral pop culture moments centered on the oldies–most recently, a particularly spellbinding performance of Fleetwood Mac‘s “Silver Springs” recorded live in 1997. The track went viral due to its subtle nod in Prime Video’s “Daisy Jones & The Six”, a book-to-television adaptation from Taylor Jenkins Reid and Hello Sunshine. The show is loosely based on the real-life saga of Fleetwood Mac.
Sklar is thankful for these surprising viral phenomenons, as they continue to have a positive effect on her creative freedom and her personal friendships. “I would always joke around say to my friends, ‘don’t pass me the aux cord because you’re not going to like my music’. And that’s what it was at the time– Fleetwood Mac and all these different things, and now it’s so funny because that’s what they have on their playlists thanks to TikTok.”
Outside of the nostalgia trends, TikTok has also become a home to rising contemporary pop acts. Chrissy Chlapecka, a fellow 23-year-old artist, rose to fame at first for Ariana Grande impressions, then for her self declared unapologetic “bimbo” feminism and queer liberation. Chlapecka has released several smash hit singles, beginning with the self love anthem “I’m So Hot.”
Sklar’s harnessing of these two different TikTok demographics shines through in the soulful yet decidedly online “Thank God.”
The Music Behind “Thank God”
While Sklar’s style leans more into contemporary pop music, it contains all the emotional catharsis of the greats she covers. The track was cowritten with Anton Göransson and Isabella Sjöstrand.
“With ‘Thank God’, in particular, I had a lot of unresolved feelings that I never felt I could write about at that certain time. I think I had just been feeling the weight of getting out of a toxic relationship and the beginning of that healing journey with myself, and I never addressed it until that point,” said Sklar.
“So I think now I’m very ready for releasing it into the world, because I know there are so many other people that can relate to that feeling of being involved with a narcissist, or just having a toxic period of your life, and that first breath of fresh air after that period’s over.”
“He [Brown] says to just try to be a sponge. You always have so much room to grow in every room that you walk into. You never want to be the smartest person or feel like you know everything. It’s important to be open-minded and even if you’re in a good session or a bad session, whatever you weigh that to be, every day is valuable,” said Sklar.
When it comes to her influences, Sklar goes stone-cold music sober during her creative process. “Sonically I am trying really hard to just do my own thing. I don’t listen to any music in my creative process, it’s the best thing for me because instead of maybe subconsciously being influenced by melodies or themes, I just really dig into myself creatively,” said Sklar.
“Career wise, I really admire Adele and Lana and Dolly. I think there’s definitely some 50s and 60s elements in the music as well, so it feels timeless.”
Sklar is additionally working on her upcoming full length album, which she hopes to be an immersive experience for listeners.
“I want them to maybe feel like they can relate to different elements, whether it’s the heartbreak, whether it’s the healing, or it’s ‘I feel like a boss today’ and I’m ready to put on my heels and go out.” said Sklar. “Every day is different and every day we can be different people and play up those characters. So I just want every song to be a little world that anyone can get lost into, no matter what they’re going through.”
“Thank God” is out on all streaming platforms now.
This interview has been edited condensed for clarity.