NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Skip Monday (Kaylin Karr and Nathan Montella)
Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was Scranton indie pop duo Skip Monday on March 24.
The weekly winner receives $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun.
After 12 weeks, the 12 winners will face off against each other in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a vacation package that includes $500 cash, three days and two nights in Cleveland, Ohio to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Brewing Company, tickets to a Cleveland Indians baseball game, and a free recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton when they return home.
We asked 20-year-old Clarks Summit resident Kaylin Karr and 20-year-old Scranton resident Nathan Montella about winning the first round with their powerful acoustic performance of original songs.
NEPA SCENE: What brought you here to this event?
KAYLIN KARR: We love NEPA Scene and everyone involved in these events. We attended a NEPA Scene Open Mic at The Woodlands and absolutely loved seeing local talent, and participating. So, we really wanted a chance to be showcased locally and to be in the running to compete for the final prize.
NATHAN MONTELLA: Skip Monday performed at the NEPA Scene Mid-Winter Talent Showcase at The Woodlands, and it was great because a lot of talented people were coming to it. We heard about this one, so we wanted to try to be a part of it because it supports the local scene.
NS: How long have you been practicing your music?
NM: All my life.
KK: I’ve been singing my entire life, songwriting since I was 12, and playing the guitar since I was 14. Skip Monday was formed late 2014.
NS: What interested you in music in the first place? How did you get started?
KK: I have no memory of not being interested in music. I was singing to the radio as a toddler. Music has never not been my priority in life. It’s my passion.
NM: My dad is a drummer, so he was always taking me to his shows when I was little and letting me sit in and play, and it just came to me naturally.
NS: Is this something that you’re pursuing as a career or is it just for fun?
NM: I definitely want to pursue a music career with Skip Monday because we are both serious and hardworking musicians, and it’s great we are on the same page.
KK: This is absolutely our dream/career goal. But, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t fun.
NS: What was your immediate reaction or feeling when you won?
NM: I was really happy.
KK: We were thrilled. Out of 22 amazing acts, the audience chose us. We are still extremely grateful, excited, and humbled to be voted for the first week’s winners.
NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?
KK: We had some amazing fans who came to support and vote for us. On a larger scale, we hope that we were voted as the winners because people liked what we had to offer.
NM: I feel like when we play, we put out good energy, and I feel like people pick up on that. Also, the songs that Kaylin writes are really catchy.
NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?
KK: Spent to get an oil change for our tour bus, a.k.a. Kaylin’s car.
NS: Where can people see one of your performances next?
KK: We literally perform every weekend. You can see our schedule on our Facebook page.
NM: Yes, Skip Monday is really booked up now, which is great. For April, our local shows are:
April 3: Mountain Sky in Jermyn for the Crystal Skies reunion show, 7 p.m.
April 4: Ale Mary’s in Scranton, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
April 10: Bart and Urby’s in Wilkes-Barre, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
April 11: AfA Gallery in Scranton, 8 p.m.
April 24: Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
NS: Where can people find your music online?
Photo by Alex Seeley Photography
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.