'Raven's Home' Star Sky Katz Discusses Her Hip-Hop Influences & How She Stays Grounded (Exclusive Q&A)

That’s So Raven was just about everyone’s favorite 2000s Disney Channel show, so it’s no surprise that Disney ultimately decided to create a revival. Raven’s Home, which follows Raven’s and Chelsea’s lives as single mothers in Chicago, made its debut in 2017. Season 2 of the series premiered on June 25, and all the show’s best characters were back in action, including breakout star Sky Katz, who plays neighbor Tess.

At just 13 years old, Sky Katz is an actress, rapper and philanthropist, and she’s sure to have even bigger things coming in the future. Sky chatted with Her Campus about being a part of the Raven’s Home cast, her rap music influences, her new single “Fall Back” and more.

Her Campus: Season 2 of Raven’s Home came out this week! I’m sure that was very exciting for you. I know this is the second season, so you’ve already been there for a bit, but what’s it like working on the spinoff of such an iconic show that was so big in some people’s childhoods?

Sky Katz: When I found out I got it, I was freaking out, but I would’ve still been freaking out if it was any other show. But since it’s the spinoff of such an iconic show, I was even that much more excited and grateful that I got it, so it’s just crazy. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting and I’ll be like, “I’m on a Disney show! This is crazy!” If you told me this years ago, I would never believe you. It’s crazy. I’ve always wanted this, but I don’t know. Being here is different than thinking about it, which is really cool.

HC: Did you watch the original?

SK: I did, because I have older siblings [that are from] that generation.

HC: Working with big stars like Raven Symone—she’s a household name, everybody knows her—must be insane, but it does seem like everyone in the cast gets along really well. Do you have any favorite memories from set, or from hanging out with the cast?

SK: We just found a basketball court on the location where we film—a basketball hoop, not necessarily a court. Now the whole cast goes to play there, and it’s so much fun.

HC: That’s so fun! And it’s great that while you’re working, you also get to have fun at the same time, because most jobs are not like that.

SK: Yeah, and working is fun, honestly! Mostly with the people in the cast.

HC: Beyond acting, you’re also a rapper. You put out your own music, you were on America’s Got Talent and you’ve been rapping from a very young age. You’re still very young, but an even younger age.

SK: Yes, a whole lifetime ago! [laughs]

HC: I wanted to ask you about that, because most kids, when they’re young and they want to try a new art form, they usually go to singing or a more traditional type of music—so what drew you to rap and hip-hop, specifically?

SK: My parents are from Queens, and that was their environment. So they always played me rap music, and everyone in my family loves rap music. I loved it, and they loved it—but I loved it. It just had that effect on me. I wanted to be a rapper. There’s things you can express through music [that] I feel like you can’t express through talking, I don’t know. It has an effect on me and it gives me a feeling that not a lot of other things do.

HC: And in terms of the music that you grew up with, who would you say are your biggest influences?

SK: Well, Nicki Minaj is part of the reason that I started rapping. I love her attitude, I love her sass, I love how bold she is.

HC: Is there anyone you would like to work with in the future, if you could do a collaboration?

SK: Selena Gomez.

HC: I think that could happen! I mean, she’s a Disney star, too, originally.

SK: I guess so! I guess, if I could compare myself to anyone, I would want to be Selena Gomez. Not with the genre of music, but the way she came off of Disney and blasted off.

HC: Yeah, I think she’s a really great role model for that because she really came into her own and made it her own thing.

SK: Exactly.

HC: In terms of being a Disney star, too—people always talk about Disney stars because it can be so difficult to start a career and be in the public eye all the time, when you’re so young—is there anything that you do to stay grounded? Because I know things can get crazy really easily.

SK: Well, actually—self-promo here for a sec, but a song I just recently came out with called “Fall Back.” The music video came out: I directed it, for the first time, it was crazy. But it’s really about falling back to reality and staying grounded ... no matter where life takes you. So I feel like I spread my messages and words through music.

 

𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐍𝐎𝐖 𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐊 𝐈𝐍 𝐁𝐈𝐎

A post shared by sᴋʏ ᴋᴀᴛᴢ♡ (@skykatz) on

HC: I think that’s a great way to do it, because it’s still very productive as well. Another thing that I thought was really great about you is that you have this platform now, you have a level of fame, and you use it for a good cause. You’re an ambassador for the Sunrise Association.

SK: Honestly, I was honored to have that experience. There was an ambassador there, also—not the celebrity ambassador, but the ambassador that went to the camp there. She went to the camp, her and her siblings, and seeing the way Sunrise made them so happy… I don’t know, I just love seeing people happy and making people happy, and spreading good messages does that.

HC: Can you explain a bit about what the Sunrise Association stands for and what they do?

SK: Sunrise is a summer day camp that allows kids with cancer and their siblings to go to camp with no fee, and it’s the only day camp that does that across the world ... so it’s very special and means something to me and all the kids that go there. And the parents as well, I mean, could you imagine?

HC: Yeah, and I think the fact that there’s no fee is really great because when you’re a cancer patient, obviously, you have to pay for so many things.

SK: Yeah! There’s so many fees for kids, obviously. And this really helps. It’s great because it always cheers them up.

HC: I was looking through your Instagram, and I noticed that you have a really great sense of style. You were talking about the “Fall Back” video, and I know in that you were wearing a bright yellow fur coat.

SK: I was the stylist for that, too! Thank you!

HC: You were the stylist for it, too? That’s so great. I’ve seen you wear a purple leather jacket, and all these bright colors and patterns, and I think it’s really cool that you’re not afraid to be bold and go there. Where did you get your sense of style? What’s your inspiration for that?

SK: Well, growing up—I’m still growing up, I don’t know what I’m saying. [laughs] I always steal my sister’s clothes, so she’s someone whose fashion sense I look up to. I feel like you can tell people apart from their fashion and it says things about them that they don’t.

HC: Are there any fashion trends that you love or hate right now?

SK: I honestly love everything! I can’t be specific, but everything is special in its own way—you know what I mean?

HC: Yeah! I think, like you said, it depends on the person and what they want to say about themselves.

SK: 100 percent!

Erica is a feature writer, news and entertainment writer, high school editor, and editorial intern at Her Campus. She is a sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University, studying English and creative writing, and also writes for the Columbia Barnard chapter of Her Campus. In her free time, she can be found searching New York City for trendy dessert places, watching Vine compilations on YouTube, or dancing with Columbia Orchesis, a student dance group. She has very strong opinions about gender equality (for), pineapple on pizza (against), and the Oxford comma (for). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @ericaakam.

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