Skye Townsend Skye Townsend

Fresh Face: Skye Townsend Talks Beyoncé Impersonations + "8 Days A Week"

8 Days a Week. She plays Jade-Taylor, a college co-ed struggling to achieve her dreams. Much like herself in real life, Townsend wants to make it known that she works her butt off to get where she is and insists that it is not her father’s celebrity that got her this far.

“It’s frustrating when people say I’m only where I am because of my dad. I never booked a meeting because of him, I never asked him to make a call. I believe as an artist its important to take this journey on and take all the hurdles that come with it because it builds character.”

Get to know Skye as she gives it to you un-cut and direct. Her playful personality, raw talent and consistent laughter are sure to win you over. -Lathleen Ade-Brown

 

Do you feel like you’re a celebrity?
I think it is such a joke how much attention I’ve gotten. I’m so blessed and so grateful, but I look at myself as such a joke. [Laughs] I don’t take anything too seriously. I’m just having a good time. When I get letters, and people refer to themselves as fans, I laugh hysterically because I feel like I have not done anything to deserve any of those titles yet. I've just begun. The web-series of course is something to talk about, but YouTube? I just make videos. I’m very uncomfortable when people come up to me and recognize me because I’m just so goofy. They’re always like, ‘Are you Skye?’ and it makes me so uncomfortable. It’s amazing, but it’s really strange.

When did you realize you could impersonate Beyoncé so well?
I was hanging out with one of my really goofy friends, and he was like, ‘Let’s act like we’re on The Oprah Show. You’ll be Beyoncé, and I’ll be Oprah.’ So he starts doing it, and I didn’t realize I could do the voice until that moment when he was like, ‘Today we are here with,’ and I [snapped into character] and said, ‘Beyoncé.’ It freaked me out because Beyoncé came out of me. I always knew I could do voices, but I never tackled celebrity voices.

How would you react if you found out Beyonce saw your video impersonating her?
I have no idea [Laughs], but I have a Beyoncé video I did two years ago that has almost a million views and everybody says, ‘There is no way she hasn’t seen it.’ I’m so nervous though, because I’m a huge Beyoncé fan. I mean, I look up to her so much/ I don’t want her to hate me. It’s all good clean fun. I say everything you want Beyoncé to say [Laughs].

Did you ever meet Beyoncé? Your dad directed Carmen: A Hip Hopera that she starred in.
Yes, but I was a huge Aaliyah fan at the time. This was about 1999. I was not crazy about Beyoncé, so I went on set and she tried to shake my hand, and I just didn’t care. My dad was like, ‘This is Beyoncé,’ and I was like ‘Hi,’ [Uninterestingly]. I really regret it now! [Laughs]

Tell us about your daddy/daughter moments.
My dad and I, we have really grown a lot, every talk that needs to be had is had. We are very open. The only time it gets difficult is when it comes to work because we think the same way, we argue the same way and we will prove points the same way. It’s literally the same person talking to themselves but proving something different. Otherwise, we get along well.

What don’t you like about the entertainment industry?
I don’t like how people disregard celebrity’s personal business. When there were issues between my parents or something, it is kind of upsetting that the media hops on it before the parents do. I always feel for kids who are going through divorces in the public eye because they are finding out news through the web instead of their mom and dad. People are writing articles before the family can have that talk.


Have you considered college yet?
I just finished high school in June. I did the whole process--filling out the applications, and I got into about four or five out of the six schools I applied too. It was always in the plan, but right now I’m taking a year off because they’re a lot of projects that kind of hopped into the plans that weren’t there before.

Tell us more about the 8 Days a Week web-series, why should people watch it?
We shot 10 mini episodes, and it’s pretty much an extended pilot if you play it all the way through. Depending on the comments and the feedback, I guess that’s what the network is looking at. We are still waiting on word, if it’s going to be picked up. I have a lot of faith in this project. I think it's really positive, [and] it shows a lot of different colors, not just black youth. It has a lot of potential. People have had nothing but good things to say about it so far.

What do you think about everyone’s negative opinions on BET Networks?
The biggest problem is people of color are always picking on their own people. There is no reason why people shouldn’t be supporting BET, when they are trying to bring back sitcom television and support black girls with Black Girls Rock. They’re trying to do something positive. I’ve always been encouraged to be respectful of people who are trying to do things that I'm trying to do. It’s tough enough to be black. BET has so much positive programming; there is no reason why we shouldn’t be backing them up.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Because of my dad, I’m into a lot of older music. Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday. I think a lot of the artists out today are pulling from them. Chrisette Michelle and even Beyoncé. But I love Bob Marley. I think, lyrically, he is on a whole other world forever. I have nothing but respect for Beyoncé. She’s a one-man show. She is one of the only artists out right now that still has showmanship.

What’s your advice for people your age on breaking into the industry?
I think people need to learn how to take advantage of their resources. You don’t have parents that are in the industry? Fine. You don’t live in LA or New York? Fine. You still have the advantage of the internet, and that’s all you need to get attention. But get an honest opinion to see if you’re really meant for the industry.  There’s so many people who you see on shows like X-Factor, they waste all their money and time because no one was ever honest with them, like ‘you have potential in this but work on that.’ YouTube is great for [giving honest feedback] its important to have honest opinions, take advantage of the internet and build yourself.

What beauty products are you using?
I’m terrible when it comes to my skin, I literally just use like water and Dove soap [laughs] if I’m really peeling I’ll put on some moisturizer [laughs] Some people try to endorse products and I’m just like, it’s Dove soap!

Describe your style.

I am too much of a hippie at times, I get in trouble for being too much of a hippie, my mom is like ‘are you really not going to wear a bra with that shirt?” I love Lisa Bonet, I just love like the really edgy, big hair, nose ring, I love when people are really laid back and can look edgy. I’m usually the one wearing the spiked out boots and the dress in comparison to the Louboutins because I cant afford those yet [laughs].  So you’ll probably catch me in my combat boots or moccasins.

Lastly, what other projects from you can the fans look forward to?
I recently was just sent two different scripts. I can’t release the details yet, but it’s very exciting to me and flattering. I am looking to get into film. Of course, 8 Days a Week if that gets picked up as a series. I’m very excited! As far as music, I’m either going to be dropping a song [and] a video, or I potentially might be signing. It depends on where the wind blows

 

Lathleen Ade-Brown is an entertainment reporter and freelance writer based in New York City.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Yvette Nicole Brown and Gabourey Sidibe were some of the actresses who were vocal about the treatment of actors of color when faced with beauticians in Hollywood.
Getty Images

Celebrities Use #ActingWhileBlack Hashtag To Point Out Pitfalls Of Hollywood's Beauty Scene

While being a working person of color in Hollywood is something to admire, those fortunate enough to be working in these spaces often have difficulties finding the right person to do their hair and makeup with the right amount of diligent care.

Model Olivia Anakwe took to Instagram earlier this month to detail the issues she faced before a runway show, when she was disrespected by haircare professionals who refused to work on her textured hair.

"Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others?” she wrote. “It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class."

The hashtag #ActingWhileBlack began to spread on social media over the weekend, and people of color chimed in to share their stories.

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown shared that she often carries her own hair extensions and clothes for shoots, and that having stylists who are untrained in black beauty often runs the risk of them looking bad later on. Oscar-nominee Gabourey Sidibe shared a similar sentiment.

Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell hit the nail on the head in her tweet about the issue with not hiring the right people to work with ethnic hair.

“If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair,” she wrote on Mar. 11. “Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.”

Check out some tweets from celebs on this issue below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin

A post shared by Olivia Anakwe (@olivia_anakwe) on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:07am PST

#ActingWhileBlack Makeup & Hair in one bag. The other bags are filled with clothes because some wardrobe stylists don’t know that cute clothes exist in sizes larger than size 10. “Here try on this mumu, I know it’s a little big, we’ll just belt it!” #ActingWhileBlackAndChubby https://t.co/gl3b64Omtj

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

If they don’t have the budget to hire a black hairstylist for me, or won’t, I just get the director to agree that my character should have box braids or senegalese twist.

— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) March 11, 2019

PSA: If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair. Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.

Congratulations on advancing to the next level of inclusion! https://t.co/A1Q9ZpvXmH

— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 11, 2019

Continue Reading
Kim Kardashian is seen on February 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

Kim Kardashian Credited For Making Crimped Hair Cool Like Beyonce, Janet Jackson And Naomi Campbell Don't Exist

Spring is nothing without doses of cultural appropriation from those out of touch with black culture.

Insert Vogue, who decided to give props to Kim Kardashian for bringing back crimped hair on Friday (March 15). The businesswoman has been on the move lately, rocking a mix of kanekalon and yaki ponytails during fashion month, Chance The Rapper's wedding and other Kardashian-related events.

“What makes this look so modern is that the front is sleek,” explained her stylist Justine Marjan. “This gives a cool contrast to the texture.”

The texture? 

With many trends from the aughts coming back to the mainstream, this is one that hasn't really gone anywhere. But black beauty markers (layered gold chains, perfect baby hairs, name chains) paired with media ignorance and the Kardashian's own fascination with black culture has made it okay for her to receive all the props.

But we can't forget those who have slayed kanekalon, yaki and crimped styles like...

Janet Jackson

The singer's look for her comeback has been a uniform-like one, with Ms. Jackson rocking all black and her now signature ponytail.

Beyoncé

This. was. last. year. How could anyone forget this? The entertainer rocked various styles of kanekalon hair for Beychella.

There was also this amazing look at Serena Williams' wedding.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Nov 19, 2017 at 9:01am PST

Ruth E. Carter

The Oscar-winning designer made the look all her own while on the red carpet for Black Panther. 

Nicki Minaj

Fans of the rapper are aware her early looks included fun crimped and wavy styles. When she made to move to ditch her color wigs in 2014, she's kept the crimped styles close to her heart.

And we cannot forget about our queen, Naomi Campbell

She's owned the look her whole career, from the runway to the red carpet, Ms. Campbell has always been on the forefront of casual beautiful looks.

Social media also got wind of Vogue's post, including actor O'Shea Jackson who like many of us, is just over it.

Maaaaaaan come on now. Come ooooon now. Bringing it back? Vogue stop this https://t.co/FEGSw3GM9V

— Stone Cold Shea Jackson (@OsheaJacksonJr) March 15, 2019

https://twitter.com/SassySouthpaw20/status/1106642402448732160

https://twitter.com/riridotxo/status/1106924628851728384

Perhaps there's a bit of truth of the theories of fashion outlets trolling readers but this just deserves a permanent eye roll.

Continue Reading
Video Screenshot

'Boomerang' Episode 6 Recap: Homecoming

On this episode of BET’s Boomerang, the love story between Bryson and Simone begins with a flashback to their freshman year of college. After several years of not seeing one another since their childhood, Bryson is shocked to see a slick-back pony-tail wearing Simone insert herself into his class during a presentation. Nothing has changed with her. Even pre-bob and with Bryson rocking a sharp Steve Harvey-like hairline, even from their younger days, they have always been the dynamic duo of marketing strategy. The product featured this week: Pro-Black T-Shirts.

The devastation of not having his secret love in his life spills over into their sophomore year when a beanie-wearing David and Crystal are happy in their fake hood love. By this time, a rapper named Prisoner has all of Simone’s attention and this makes Bryson big mad. The man can’t even hide it. In an apparent fit of jealousy, he calls Simone out for living under her father’s shadow, in front of everyone. It’s safe to say that sophomore Bry struck out badly.

This isn’t just about Simone and Bryson; they’re not the only ones who’ve made transformations over the years (and I’m not just talking about their hair ‘dos). In his earlier life, Ari was less eccentric and more focused on making his family proud as a young black man in college who isn’t running on BPT for class. Ari was as straight as 180 when he’s first put into a situation where he’s forced to confront his sexual identity. As big and bad as he looked while working as a “rough & tough” bouncer at a nightclub, a flirtatious patron sees right through that persona.  After being charmed by the man who helps him realize self, the rainy night sets the tone for a steamy kiss between the two in the front seat of Ari’s car. The look on Ari’s face is a blend of fear, then relief, then ultimately bliss as he seemingly reminisces on his random but welcomed encounter. Although he enjoyed it, Ari didn’t seem to embrace his identity totally. That same year, we see a less hood-David changing more into the Christian we now know and Ari isn’t buying it. Something about this “we can do all things in Christ mentality” rubs him the wrong way. Facing one’s true self is tough.

Junior year, Bryson has a much better barber but things haven’t changed; he’s still checking for Simone. She and Prisoner are still dating if you want to call it that. Prisoner is the type of dude you’d expect to see Simone date in college. He’s flashy, has money, probably doesn’t even go to the school, and he’s rude AF. As Simone and Bryson reconnect for the two millionth time, Prisoner’s pimp tone telling Simone to hurry up is a strong indication he’s not here for their friendship. In analyzing the hair, it’s clear that Simone is not herself. Seriously, at this point, she’s rocking a glueless lace wig.

With her new hairstyle, she realizes that she made the mistake of loving a man more than herself. Prisoner is officially a dub. To celebrate her revelation, she finds herself drunkenly wining and grinding on her childhood bae, Bryson. Does this look familiar? Well, think back to last week when they were doing the same in the parking lot before 5-0 arrived. Because she couldn’t hold it, Simone ends up using Bryson’s bathroom which leads to a very sober thoughts-type of conversation in the bedroom. It is recognized that Bryson has always had a thing for the kid and Simone regrets that she never said anything about her feelings. His commandeering attitude (like the day she walked into his class freshman year) reminded her of the Different World “Strangers on a Plane” episode. It was an iconic one because it’s where Dwayne and Whitley’s love story began. That’s a telling comparison.

With that being said, Simone always felt Bryson was the Dwane to her Whitley. Unfortunately, the timing was always off and just when we think the two finally catch up to one another, cue: the vomit. Poor Bryson. Did someone do brujeria on this kid? He has the worst luck. But, like the gentleman he is, he takes care of his queen to make sure she’s all comfy in her drunken slumber. He whispers, “I love you Simone Graham,” but on the wake up it looks like sis suffers from sudden amnesia. She pulls the “best friend” card, making it clear that it’s friend zone from here on out. Prisoner’s trifling friend calls to offer to take Simone out to eat and in an act of “let me solidify that Bryson knows this is going nowhere,” Simone agrees to go out with her ex's friend. Once again, a blue-balled Bryson is left sorting out his feelings that Simone continues to perpetually confuse.

It’s important to note that the story of Brymone is not a new one. We’ve seen it in many action movies, comic book flicks, and on “Strangers on a Plane” where the geeky male character is overlooked by the badass female, only to win her affection in the end. Nice guys don’t always finish last, but in Bryson’s case, could it possibly be heading in that direction and is Simone even the heroine worth winning? In browsing through what is essentially the best years of any young adult’s life, Simone had many times to figure out if Bryson was the one for her and yet she chose to ignore her feelings. Unlike David, it’s not like she found Jesus; she hasn’t yet found herself.

One thing she does know is that she cannot lose Bryson because it’s possible she may love and need him more than she’d like to verbally admit. He’s no Prisoner or no flashy member of the entourage. He’s the “gentleman who wears tuxedos and makes sure his homegirl is safe” type of dude and unfortunately, that isn’t one Simone is interested in, for now.

Continue Reading

Top Stories