Justine Skye is preparing to make 2017 her year to shine. The singer/songwriter/model just signed with Roc Nation and has already released a new EP, 8 Ounces. The title of the project is a reference to the average weight of a woman’s heart. It’s an apt description for the EP’s exploration of Skye’s own experiences. The nine-track project was produced entirely by superstar production team The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. Of the experience working with the dream team (no pun intended), Skye shared, “The-Dream was like my diary. I would sit there and talk his ear off about all my guy situations; he would just turn my stories into songs.” The result is a deeply personal EP that finds Justine dishing on the good, the bad and the ugly in her quest for love and understanding.
The first track of the project is “Love Song,” where young Skye is all in her feelings over a crush, lamenting, “You got me acting like a girl / But not enough that I ain’t me.” She knows how this “song” is going to end from jump, and it’s not going to end well. However, on “Still,” there is the promise that a former lover can always come back, as Skye sweetly and matter-of-factly sings “I’m still yours / Whenever you want to come back / I’m still yours / Just like that” over synthesized horns. In fact, on “Girlfriend,” Skye promises to be the bestest girlfriend, stating that she’ll be "Michelle Obama, even when we leave office,” over frenetic drums over an atmospheric synth backdrop.
One of the bright spots and dopest moments on the EP is “Tonight.” On the barely over a minute track, Skye asks, “Tell me do you dream in the mirror? / Tell me has it become clearer to you,” atop a rock guitar-led '80s-era beat. Unfortunately, it’s just an interlude. Then there’s “Jezebel,” which isn’t an interlude, but a short departure from the relationship focused project. Here, Skye takes a little time to address her haters on the ‘Gram “Internet thuggin / Avatar muggin’” in the DMs doing the most.
The EP goes back to business as usual on “Too Young To Die,” a shifting electronic groove where Skye proclaims she’s too young to be feeling bad over some dude doing her wrong or treating her like the second fiddle. The theme of settling for second place continues on the track “Strangers” where Justine is going through the motions of being the other woman, starting the song with the lyric, “Second place, second place, now that you got me baby boy, better go ahead and fix the race / Don’t hesitate.” Next up is “Fun,” a short, bouncy whisper of a song where Skye promises to be the best chick ever, some way, some how, with Wale sharing a guest verse.
Finally, the EP ends with the revenge anthem “Agenda.” Here, The-Dream’s influence is more apparent in the lyrics, as Skye lets her ex boo-thang know that “I showed up with this agenda / I'ma be the one you remember.” The song utilizes a varied structure to the arrangement and lyrics, with a more experimental edge.
8 Ounces is an impressive piece of work. The synth-heavy production is solid and Skye’s vocals are on point, showing range and depth. However, will it help the singer/songwriter break out from the rest of the PYTs out here trying to make their name in the music game. We aren’t sure. While Skye shares her experiences in love, which are personal yet universal, we aren’t sure if there’s anything unique that makes the Brooklyn-native standout enough to become a household name. However, for anyone not up on game on the rising star, it shows her definite potential.