By Published On: December 12, 2023Categories: Personality features, Stories, The Arts

Story By Hannah Goldfinger

Photos Contributed By Skylar Saufley

 

Elvis might have died in the 70’s, but he’s still serving as musical inspiration today. Skyler Saufley decided to become a musician after hearing Elvis’ music as a 12-year-old. 

“So, I think I was 12 when I started playing,” he said. “You know, my folks, they weren’t really into music. … I was just never really into music growing up. But then a buddy of mine, he showed me Elvis, and so I thought that was like a new thing. You know, a 12-year-old kid seeing that, it’s like, I saw that and was like ‘I want to get a guitar, I want to learn how to play.’”

For a while, that was what Saufley did, he learned how to play Elvis songs. But soon after, that same friend introduced Saufley to Muddy Waters. 

“I knew that that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. 

Saufley said he’s always taken his music seriously, maybe too seriously. 

“I think that I’ve always been like that, but as far as my show, I’ve really been working on, organizing and figuring out my thing” he said, 

The performer was 15 to 16 when he had his first paid show. 

“It was in this little dive bar, it’s in Columbus, but they had to sneak me in because I wasn’t old enough to get in there,” he said. 

At the time, Saufley’s band consisted of friends. But as time went on, he cultivated the musicians that fit well with his style. Now, Saufley has a revolving band. 

“Now I just kind of pick up people, like if I’m playing closer to Montgomery or Auburn, I’ve got people in the area I’ll use and then if I’m playing toward Atlanta, I’ve got people up there that I’ll use,” he said. 

Saufley said his music is upbeat and energetic. 

“I’m all about goofy tricks on stage and everybody dressing sharp, anything you can do to get people to quit looking at their phone and look up at you,” he said. “… When people are up, and dancing, and having fun and paying attention, you play better.”

He said he’s really learned to embrace his style, as well, not worrying about what people think. Perform how he wants, wear what he wants, look how he wants. 

“You get too caught up in worrying what other people think,” he said. “One, you don’t really do what you want to do and then the other thing is, people kind of dig you more for it, doing your thing.”

The local-based musician has played all over, he said. And he’s met a lot of people doing that. 

“I do think this is cool,” he said. “I don’t have any recordings out or anything to really help me get the gigs. So all of the gigs that I’ve gotten have just been word of mouth, which is kind of a good thing. 

“I’ve been able to play up in Philly, and Delaware, and all over Florida, Mississippi, and all over Georgia, and Alabama and just all over this part of the country. It’s all just been people telling other people, ‘Hey, he’s good.’”

This past April, Saufley was inducted into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame. 

“I appreciated that people thought highly enough of me to want to do something like that for me, but the other end of it is, I don’t feel like I’m old enough to deserve that,” he said. “I’m 28 years old and I feel like I know more people, like a drummer buddy I play with, he’s in his sixties and he’s been playing this music longer than I’ve been alive, and he’s not in there. So, I feel like a lot of people have done more to deserve it.”

He did say he was proud of the accomplishment, however. 

For the future?

“I really just want to play for as many people as I can,” he said. “Right now, I’m able to make a living doing it, and I’d like to keep doing that and maybe do a little better.”

Find Saufley’s profile here: www.facebook.com/SkylerSaufleyMusic/ for more on his shows. 

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