A Conversation With Skylar Grey: Refusing To 'Look Down'
  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015

  • Posted by: Vince Brigante

Skylar Grey is a badass with the voice of an angel. With a host of hits for others and herself under her belt, the career of Skylar Grey (nee Holly Brook) has been nothing but successful. We had the chance to speak with her for a little bit where we talked collaborations, a carefree writing process, and if Thom Yorke could slip a punch from Billy Corgan.

Skylar Grey began performing in a duo with her mother, singing folk songs. She started her career under her actual name (Holly Brook,) and had some seriously notable hits. Remember the 2006 absolute banger by Fort Minor, "Where'd You Go?" Well, the poised voice that sings the chorus, is Skylar Grey. A couple of years down the road Eminem comes out with this musical blockbuster "Love The Way You Lie," and under those credits for writing the song, is again, Skylar Grey. Her last album Don't Look Down featured punk legend Travis Barker, and of course, long-time collaborator/friend: Eminem. But on her upcoming record, Grey said she's trying to limit the collaborations. "I don't really wanna do a lot of collabs this time around because this music is so authentic to me; it's like the first time for me, that I feel like I'm putting out music that really rings true to my core." She also asserted that this record won't be like anything she's previously done: "As opposed to a lot of stuff I've done in the past where, you know I'd put myself in other people's shoes in some of the lyrics, this one is just me. It's super pure authentic me."



Grey's last album came out in 2013. And typically when you talk to an artist about their writing processes, they give you some long winded answer about how they spent two months in London really trying out different tones and unique vocal effects. But that's not the case with Skylar Grey. She's more focused on the piece being fluid. "Quality over quantity," she said, "I don't really have rules when it comes to writing." This is a mindset that's really missing from a ferocious music industry that Grey really seems to have her feet on top of, as if it were an ottoman. For Grey, it's typically just keyboard, microphone, and garageband although, that's not her only approach to writing. "Sometimes I'll start with a line I love," she says. Grey reveals a new track title from her upcoming record, "Gone Fishin'," which started with a lyric. What's equivocally awesome about Grey, is her content concoctions. "I like to get in the psyche of things that are really fucked up, like situations that are fucked up, and I try to get in there and figure out what that feels like, and a solution to make that situation better."

She's never been one to shy away from controversial content. For all her old school fans, it's not difficult to remember her dark presence on underground rapper Apathy's "Victim," when she went by Holly Brook. With Grey promising a seriously intimate fresh new record, we're sure there will be some shadowy content, as well as luminous ones to be expected. "I think music has the power to really effect a lot of people," she says. We agree. We'll just let her storytelling, well, tell the story.



Skylar Grey's passion for music is thriving. She's an artist in the truest form. From her collaborations, to her songwriting abilities, and her sheer vocal vigor, Grey is a renaissance woman and her new album can't come soon enough. So when doing some research, we stumbled on a video of her covering one of our favorite Radiohead songs, "Idioteque." Grey has also cited the Smashing Pumpkins as another one of her influences. It got me thinking; what would happen if Corgan and Yorke were to duke it out in a ring? "Initially I was gonna say Billy Corgan, but then I was thinking Thom Yorke might be like, super squirrel-y," we laughed, "he'd be fast." New nickname: Thom "Quickhands" Yorke. "So I'm gonna have to go with Thom Yorke," she said. A good choice, might we add.

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