It’s hard to believe a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter who also happens to be rap superstar Eminem’s right-hand woman is just scratching the surface, but in the case of pop seductress Skylar Grey, the top of the mountain is within reach but is equally of no concern. On the tail of the September release of her third record Natural Causes and in midst of a headlining tour, Grey has her sights set on something bigger than success or what comes next. Skylar Grey is living in the now- this week she heads to Southwest Detroit to perform live at El Club on October 4th.
“I used to be very prone to depression,” confesses Grey. “I realized I didn’t know what the word “happiness” meant, so if I was going to find it first I needed to define it. After lots of therapy and self help books, I decided happiness has the same definition to me as success;” she continues, “I get to be creative for a living and I’m the happiest I’ve been.”
Grey resides in Utah where she can see the mountains every morning upon waking. Not what you’d expect from one of the most sought after musical sensations, but for Grey this is the epitome of living her truth. Born in a small Wisconsin town Grey developed a love for music early performing in a folk-duo with her mother. As she continued to grow as an independent artist, her career lead her to Los Angeles where she was signed and would record her first record under her birth name. Grey, though, grew increasingly disconnected by the L.A scene and found herself living in the woods in Oregon where she cursed off a career in music in hopes of finding happiness and reconnecting with nature; her lifeblood.
It was during this internal transformation/demon-fighting peril that producer Alex da Kid reached out and caught Grey’s attention, signing her to a production deal on his label KIDinaKORNER. Through this collaboration Grey made serious waves and solidified her name by writing the iconic heartbreak duet, “Love the Way You Lie” for Eminem and Rihanna.
A worldwide success, “Love the Way You Lie” earned number one spots on over 26 charts and several Grammy nominations. Grey went on to co-write “Coming Home” by Sean Diddy Combs, “Caste Walls” by T.I and Christina Aguilera, “I Need a Doctor” by Dr. Dre (on which she was also a featured vocalist) and most recently “Cannonball” alongside X Ambassadors.
“I learn something totally unique from each artist or writer I work with. I used to hate writing in the same room with others because I felt pressure having to deliver on the spot. But in time I learned that even the best songwriters have bad ideas sometimes.” Grey explains. “I have stopped worrying about every note or word coming out of my mouth being genius. If you don’t allow yourself to experiment you will always be stuck in a rut and never know what else you might be capable of.”
Grey returns to her roots with Natural Causes, an album that defies pop genres and is heavily nuanced with light and dark without, ironically, the indecisive Grey area. Causes’ lush production gives space for Grey’s sincere and unchained vocals to swell and wilt accordingly as the finely woven fabric of the record as a whole reveals Grey’s beautifully tortured experience. “There was a period of time when I made music that went against my natural instincts a bit because I was trying to make my music more accessible. This time I just wanted to make music for me, so I didn’t hold back when it came to complex harmony and experimental sounds,” she says.
It can’t be ignored that the reunion between Grey and Eminem is a shining moment on the record with “Kill For You” a Bonnie and Clyde-inspired track that tugs on the dark heart strings of anyone who has ever loved, lied and mislead. It’s not all gloom, though, as Causes explores the intricacies of being delicate with oneself and instills quiet bursts of hope amidst the chaos. Though Causes does not follow a distinct trajectory or a discernible path that is easily categorized, there is no question that Grey has fearlessly found herself (and has moved mountains to do so.)
Skylar Grey performs at El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy, Bar 5pm, Show at 8pm. Follow her on Facebook.
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Special VIP Meet & Greet Package for $100 (Includes – 1GA ticket -Meet & Greet with Skylar Grey -Photo Opportunity with Skylar -Early Entry into venue -Signed set list -Commemorative VIP Laminate -Limited Edition Merch Pack) or VIP Merch Bundle FOR $49 (Includes -1 GA Ticket – Early Entry to the venue – Signed set list). http://ticketf.ly/2bdGnBO
ALL AGES / Wood oven pizza + Beer / Cocktails /Club Mate + Topo Chico on deck!
// Words & Interview by Jerilyn Jordan. @_volcano // An untamed writer with an insatiable affinity for vivid descriptive detail and pushing the boundaries of traditional music journalism by infusing her own life experiences and beautifully tortured observations. In addition to her music coverage, Jerilyn also writes heartbreaking and comedic autobiographical essays that likely originated as sporadic sentences written on bar napkins.