For the last couple of months we’ve been slowly hearing the name Skylar Grey and she has slightly being grabbing our attention with her sultry vocals, especially after she lent her vocals on Diddy Dirty Money’s “Coming Home”. But it wasn’t until she emerged out of no way during Eminem’s Grammy medley, muttering the words “I’m about to lose my mind”, that she commanded our full attention.
Grey is no new kid on the block, she has previously released an album under the alias Holly Brook in 2006 called “Like Blood Like Honey” and also featured on Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go”. During this period of her life Grey was signed onto Linkin Park’s record label Machine Shop Recordings.
However, this newly 25-year-old decided to ditch her old moniker for Skylar Grey. She recently explained to Entertainment Weekly (EW) in details the concept behind her name change. She states that first of all grey is her favourite colour, but the meaning goes deeper than that. Grey points out that she was going through a hard time a few years back emotionally, unsure of where she was headed with her life, and feeling like she needed to simplify it a bit.
“One of the things that I thought might help, is if I went into my closet and threw out everything with color in it. So, I did that. I went in and I threw out everything that had any bit of colour in it, even brown. I just threw it away. I was left with grey, black, and white” Grey tells EW.
“And it really simplified my life. I didn’t have to think about what I had to wear everyday because everything matched”.
Grey who currently resides in Oregon further explains that her new hometown is the inspiration behind her first name Skylar. Grey says she’s not a fan of sunny weathers and Oregon has a very rainy climate. So when her manager suggested the name Skylar to her, it just felt right.
Grey debuted her new stage name on Diddy’s “Coming Home” late last year, which was followed by her lending her vocals on Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said” and Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor”.
Grey is not just a gifted singer, but is also a talented songwriter. She wrote Rihanna’s anthemic chorus in “Love the Way You Lie”, for which she accomplished the coveted feat of being nominated for two Grammys this year. She has also written all of her verses in Coming Home, I Need a Doctor and Words I Never Said. Grey also wrote T.I. and Christina Aguilera’s song “Castle Walls”.
She is currently working on her upcoming album set to be released later this year with producer Alex da Kid, who recently worked with Avril Lavigne.
Judging by her eclectic sound and exceptional song writing skills, Skylar Grey is a name we are going to be hearing a lot of this year. Her ‘dark-girl’ image is a breath of fresh air from the gaudy female acts – such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Ke$ha – which we have been seeing a lot of lately.
“I’m not a big fan of trying to be a sex symbol or any of that stuff because I really like the music to speak for itself”, Grey says.
If Britney Spears is the comeback kid on 2011, Lady Gaga the top diva of the year and Adele the not-to-miss act of 2011, then it is only appropriate that Skylar Grey be the breakthrough artist of the year.