Skin Diamond has had an incredibly successful career unveiling her body, talent, sexuality, and undeniably intoxicating presence for the world to behold. But as Raylin Joy—singer, songwriter, and artist—she unveils something different and far more powerful: her soul.
Returning back to her roots, Raylin Joy reveals that talent isn't only skin deep; It is an all-consuming passion that resonates and reverberates throughout not only her body, but now ours. For the first time ever, you can hear Raylin Joy sing live in New York City. Only having begun her (already successful) music career earlier this year, Raylin Joy is making headlines in the music world she now calls home. Whether you know her as Skin Diamond or Raylin Joy, one thing is certain: The girl's got talent.
Who is Raylin Joy in 10 words?
"Time to stop pretending. Time to start transcending. Catapult into a dream, feel it burst at the seam."
I know that that isn't 10 words, but it's something I wrote in my journal a long time ago and I feel like it reflects this moment in my life pretty well. That and I tend to be awful when it comes to following rules. I usually create my own.
I have to say, everyone at Filthy absolutely loves your tribute to Amy Winehouse. How influential was she on your interest and style in music? What made you choose that song in particular?
I've just always been a fan of her music, I guess because I empathize with her so deeply. In my opinion, she brought soul back into the mainstream in a way that was usually only seen in old school female singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Her raw talent is truly inspirational. As for the song choice, it's from her first album Frank and it's not as widely known as some of her other records, but I feel it really shows a fundamental part of her personality! She was often distracted from life by the men she loved and I think that maybe it ultimately helped lead to her downfall. There's definitely a lesson in that.
Have you found any difficulty in promoting your music as Raylin Joy but still being recognized as “the artist otherwise known as Skin Diamond?”
Honestly, I feel like this transition was always going to come about in some way or another, as it's my real birth name. "Skin Diamond" is and will always be a part of my personality. If you were to take all of the sexually deviant sides of my personality and put it into one person, you will find "Skin Diamond." She's become an alter ego of mine! But there is A LOT more to me than just sex, which is another reason why I wanted to go back to my real name. But I will always embrace "Skin" as the cool nickname that I always wanted to have in school. I was a geek with little to no friends, so I was never given the honor of earning one. I eventually made one up for myself, and it worked out pretty well! As for "the artist otherwise known as Skin Diamond," I didn't make that up... whoever made the flyer for my concerts did! But it's understandable, and I obviously don't mind the comparison (laughs). I'm going through a transitional period right now, so I'm sure it will take a little time before people start recognizing me by my real name as well.
Can you describe your first experience in the recording studio? Did it feel like the start of something big?
I was incredibly nervous, as I had never really sung in front of anyone before! But it was a fear that I was determined to conquer. The first few times—as I built my confidence—were not easy for me. But ever since I met Ben Cole (who I write all of my music with now) something clicked with us right away and he has been a huge part of building my confidence now to the point where I'm beginning to play shows and writing songs in a multi-million dollar Hollywood studio! In fact, the first time we ever hung out, we wrote a song together and it was the best I had ever sounded. He pushed me past my comfort zone in a way that allowed me to open up more. It's been a really crazy experience and I'm so happy I took the plunge and gave a stab at something I had always secretly dreamed of doing, but never thought that I could until now!
How does sexuality intertwine with music, and how did you incorporate this into your music video for your hit single “Fire”?
I wasn't really thinking about sex when I wrote "Fire." To be perfectly honest, I was inspired after catching myself keeping my eyes open while I made out with my boyfriend and I thought, "That'd be a cool song!" But of course our relationship is very passionate, so sexuality ultimately comes into play. That's why when I had the idea for the music video, I wanted it to end on that naughty note. We are so disgustingly in love, but we're also just a couple of perverts, ha!
Which three musicians would you just love to collaborate with?
One of my favorite lyricists of all time is Sia, who I've adored since her time working with the band Zero 7. The way she writes speaks to me on a level that I feel like the thoughts could have come from my own brain! I'm also a big fan of Jack White's work for obvious reasons—the man's a genius! And I'm not gonna lie, I'm a huge fan of the South African rap group Die Antwoord. They influenced me A LOT when I first moved to LA and I love their attitude when it comes to being free and doing what makes you happy even if people think you're a weirdo!
Has music always been a part of your life and your career?
Absolutely! Singing is one of those things that I've always done to make myself happy, and I think that there is a lot of magic in music. It's ability to stir emotions deep within people is an amazing thing, and to be able to create something that harnesses that magic is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.
Tell us about your involvement with Showtime’s Submission.
Submission was such an honor to be involved with because I was eager to be a part of something that was trying to portray the world of BDSM in a better light than other recent mainstream productions have tried to do. But there was a vigorous auditioning process before I could call the roll of my character "Dylan" mine! For me, it was another adventure to lead me into other worlds beside just being in porn and it came about at the perfect time when I was already starting to bore with my current situation and seek other new challenges.
Why do you believe BDSM raised in popularity after Fifty Shades of Grey was published? What should we know about BDSM—and how it is portrayed in Submission—that we may not know already?
I think Fifty Shades (even though I DETEST that book/movie) opened doors for a lot of people who would otherwise have been too scared to look through it. Because it became so mainstream, suddenly BDSM wasn't as taboo of a subject and more people wanted to try it. So in that respect it was a good thing; but if you do your research you will find that the story line is a little too closely resembling another film (Secretary starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jack Spader) about a young shy girl who becomes secretary to an equally shy, yet slightly devious character by the name of E. Edward Grey. Sound a little familiar? But like I said. There is a reason why people are so drawn to that world. I don't think it's a bad thing to want to explore it in a SAFE and consensual way. It can even build confidence, as shown in my favorite movie Secretary which influenced me HUGELY when I was diving into the world of BDSM for the first time.
What difficulties do you find in juggling three successful careers as an adult star, actress, and singer? Do you see them all as the same art?
They are definitely not the same kinds of art (laughs). But that's why I like it. I like doing things that are new and exciting. For a long time that was the world of creating adult movies and exploring my sexuality as a young budding woman. But now that I feel I have gotten everything I could out of that world, the shiny-ness has begun to wear off, and I feel like I need to try something completely different. That's where song writing has come into play. As for acting, I've always loved to act (my dad was also an actor for many years) and I want to go back to honing my skills in that respect. There is always so much to learn!
What responses have you had from your “Skin Diamond” fans to your new “Raylin Joy”endeavors? I noticed you have two separate social media accounts for the two. Why is that?
Honestly I couldn't care less about what people might think about me wanting to go back to my true name. Because at the end of the day it's who I am and always have been! I never stopped being "Raylin," I just wasn't ready for the world to see all of me in that way yet. Unveiling your body to the world is one thing, but unveiling your soul and who you really are is quite another. I created the other account to try and show that. The only way to break an illusion is to shatter the glass completely.
Where has your favorite performance taken place so far?
I haven't ever performed my music live other than an open mic... so I don't think I have enough experience in that area to really have an opinion yet. I'm just about to do my first ever showcase performance in New York (the first of many many more). But my favorite concert that I attended EVER was to see Deftones for the first time in 2015. Not only is it because they are INCREDIBLE live, or because I've been a fan of theirs since I was a teenager and first beginning to rebel, but it was also Ben and my first date and we've been inseparable ever since. So you can say it had a pretty big impact!
What is the best performance advice you’ve ever been given?
Don't think about it, just feel the music!