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After hurdling life’s obstacles, Hub songstress now ready to launch career

Frederick Ellis Dashiell Jr.
After hurdling life’s obstacles, Hub songstress now ready to launch career
(Photo: Tarek Reed)

After hurdling life’s obstacles, Hub songstress now ready to launch career

K’Loni Sky revels in her exoticism. Her 5-foot-8-inch frame is thin, all legs, but her smile is the draw. Wide and inviting, Sky’s grin — like her personality — is memorable.

It’s the smile of someone who believes she’s doing what she’s meant to do and leading an inspired life. Even Sky’s name seems heaven-sent — in Hawaiian, “K’Loni” means “from the sky.”

“I am blessed with talent, and I’m excited to use it,” said the aspiring singer and songwriter.

Though she looks and sounds like a professional, Sky, 27,  is new to the local music scene, and she is beginning to become a presence.

“As an RandB artist, she’s making her mark here in Boston,” said Courtney B., afternoon radio DJ at TOUCH 106.1 FM.

Born in Roxbury, Sky lived in Mattapan and grew up writing poetry. She attended Newton North High School, where she was involved in theater and dance troupes.

“I loved high school, it offered me so many opportunities to develop my talents,” Sky said.

Amid her poetry writing, Sky found her singing voice. At the age of 13, Sky wrote a poem titled “The girl who killed herself.” While revising and editing the poem, Sky realized that she was singing the words.

“I caught myself singing as I was writing, and I thought, ‘This could be something,’” Sky recalled.

Despite discovering her talent, Sky did not pursue singing in high school, focusing instead on “just writing and rapping.” At home, however, her family pushed her to showcase her skills at every opportunity.

“My mother has always been very supportive of my singing,” said Sky.

She remembers several occasions when her mother would drag her out at family cookouts and other events to sing.

“My cousins and I would sing En Vogue,” Sky said. “I always sang lead.”

Just two months after graduating from high school in 2000, Sky decided to marry her high school sweetheart. Five years later, she divorced her husband, who she declined to name.

“I was young and thought I was grown,” Sky said.

Sky began to attend Quincy College in the fall of 2000, just as she was starting a budding modeling career. The two conflicted, however; working as a promotional model during her freshman year often kept her from attending class as a full-time student.

In 2001, Sky chanced upon what was to be her breakout moment. A modeling and talent company based in Florida reached out to her and offered her work if she could get to the state.

“They told me, ‘Come to Florida and we’ll take care of you,’” she said.

But before she could move south, Sky became pregnant with her son, Aaron. At that point, Sky had to make tough decision — move to Florida and pursue modeling with a newborn son, or stay in Boston and finish school. She decided to finish her education.

“I still went to class despite being pregnant,” Sky said. “I was so big I couldn’t fit in the desk chairs.”

In 2002, after Aaron was born, Sky applied and was accepted into Blaine Hair School. Before starting high school, Sky worked at Claudette’s Hair Studio in Roxbury, run by her grandmother. Sky started out as the receptionist and “shampoo girl,” eventually working her way up to her own chair and clients.

“I remember her running around the shop with a broom, sweeping up hair when she was 10 or 11,” recalled Claudette Smith, the salon’s owner.

In 2003, Sky completed her program at Blaine with a 97 percent average and became certified as a Class I cosmetologist. Despite being able to open and run her own salon under her license, Sky returned to work at Claudette’s.

For five years, between 2002 and 2007, Sky did nothing more with her music than sing in her church choir. She focused on raising her son and working as a hairdresser.

“I felt discouraged because life wasn’t going how I planned,” Sky explained. “I wanted to be on stage, to be a star. I thought [that] by then, it would have happened.”

During her time away from the stage, Sky transferred to Eastern Nazarene College and completed her associate’s degree in business management in 2006.

The following year, she started to once again view music as a viable career path. She connected with local rap group Dillan and the Norfolk Littles through her cousin Dewayne Anderson. Dillan asked her to come up with a hook, or the chorus, to a rap song the group was recording.

“I received the track at 10 o’clock, and by 11 o’clock I called him back with a hook for the song and a second song,” Sky said. “We went into the studio the next day and laid down both tracks. It was at that point that I knew I could do something with music.”

Since then, Sky has worked to kick-start her career, performing at Romans/Tigers Den in Brockton, as well as the 50 Mics Tournament to help get her name out in the urban music scene.

Her work paid off this year with two award victories at the 2009 New England Urban Music Awards — Best RandB Single for “Ooh La La!” featuring Dillan and the Norfolk Littles, and Best Female RandB Artist.

“It was an honor to be voted on by all the people,” Sky said. “I wanted to cry when I heard my name called.”

Moving forward, Sky is putting the finishing touches on her debut album, “Controversy,” slated for release on July 14.

With buzz growing about the new release, Sky says she is optimistic about what the future holds.

When it comes to her music career, “the sky is the limit,” she said, showcasing her trademark smile.

For more information on Sky, visit http://www.myspace.com/klonisky.

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