Think Skylar Grey, and think an uber-soulful, White girl that today’s top Hip-Hop rappers and producers want to collaborate with. What you might not know is that Skylar, at a low point in her life not too long ago, actually lived in the woods and was on the brink of destruction.
Those solitary, dark moments may have been exactly what she needed to feed the creative beast within her. AllHipHop.com caught up with Skylar Grey recently to find out how she re-emerged, why Eminem made her break into tears, and what drives her as a “heavy hook hitter:”
AllHipHop.com: Thanks for taking a few minutes with AllHipHop.com. The first question I want to ask for our audience is – well, I know that you started out as an artist as Holly Brook, and now you’re Skylar Grey – what’s the difference, and why have you changed your name?
came back into the
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I was going to say that people might remember your association with Linkin Park a few years back, and you’ve eluded to the fact that your sound has changed. Do you attribute that to getting older and just experiencing more life? What specifically caused the change?
Skylar Grey: Yeah. That is exactly it. My experience with that was basically, after I signed that deal with Linkin Park and Warner Brothers and broke with them, it’s like everything felt apart. For a few years, I was thrown into a downward spiral – financial stress, personal relationships were crumbling, too, so it was just a really difficult time. I ended up living in the woods alone, and I had writer’s block because I was so depressed, I couldn’t write any songs anymore. I was just in a really bad place.
But, then I think I took control of my life, and I didn’t rely on anyone else to support me. I could have asked my parents for a little bit of help, but I didn’t want to do that because I needed to do it myself. It was very empowering to rebuild my life from the ground up.
AllHipHop.com: Wow, OK, well I know you were signed at a young age. I kind of liken artists like you to being old souls just waiting to be discovered. These days, how have you managed to transition through those tough times and get back to making good music?
Skylar Grey: The good thing about having all of these bad experiences is that it’s really good inspiration for music. Everybody in the world has bad experiences, and so I think that the songs are based on experiences that people can relate to.
And then, you know, writing “Love the Way You Lie” for Rihanna and Eminem, I was still living in the woods when that happened, so I was a lot stronger as a person at that point. I was taking care of myself, and I had Pro Tools and figured out how to record my music, so I was really self sufficient at that point. I was still in Oregon, so “Love the Way You Lie” came out and basically my life did a 180.
Skylar Grey’s “Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna and Eminem
By Seandra Sims - AllHipHop.com