by Whitney Ullman
photo: photographics photography
Skylar Grey is known for writing some of the most popular songs we hear today and has worked with celebrities such as Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Diddy, Eminem and more. Being nominated for 5 Grammy's is no easy feat but Grey talked about her music history which led her to where she is today.
Also during our interview, Grey spoke about a real-life scary experience with a ghost. Check it out:
NJ.COM: Welcome to Atlantic City and The Pool After Dark, are you so excited to be hosting tonight?
GREY: Yea I am really excited this is my first time in Atlantic City?
Oh it’s your first time? Are you having fun?
GREY: I am except it’s been so rainy. I know we are on the water but I haven’t even seen it..the fog totally clouded my view so I didn’t even get to see the water.
That is a shame are you going to be here tomorrow to check out the time?
GREY: We’ll see, I have to leave in the morning so hopefully I’ll get to check out something.
That’s cool. Talk to us about your name, you were born Holly and now it’s Skylar, where did it come from?
GREY: Well I had a whole career as Holly Brooke and then my whole life just kind of turned upside down for awhile. And when I came out of it, I needed a new name to represent my new life in music and personally. So, Skylar Grey is what I came up with. Grey is my favorite color and represents a lot of stuff for me in my life, and Skylar...is like grey skies, and I spent a lot of time in the woods in Oregon where it was raining all the time. So actually, the weather here [laughs] I feel like I brought it. It just follows me.
Now you had a folk beginning doing a duo with your mom, how did you transition into this?
GREY: Originally I was doing folk with my mom, kids songs. It was not cool at all, my peers made so much fun of me, but my sister was into 90s grunge so I would steel all her CD’s. Then I discovered Eminem and kind of hid it from my parents because I didn’t think they would want me listening to that kind of language but that was the first time I really embraced hip-hop because I saw a huge story telling art. That’s why I am jealous of rappers, because I can’t just fit all those words into a song that’s just sung. So I had this vision of collaborating with rappers, so that I could get the story across but also get the emotion across. When I heard the Dido/Eminem song, Stan, it was so great because it mixes two completely different world together, so then that’s kind of like what inspired me for many years. And Eminem was one of the people on my list of people to work with and I got to.
What was that like working with Eminem, that must’ve been so awesome?
GREY: Yea it was a dream come true, absolutely, and he’s just a pleasure to work with.
And what about some of the other celebrities, like Rihanna and Dr. Dre?
GREY: Yea Rihanna ended up singing the song I wrote for Em first called “Love the Way You Lie”, and then I worked with Dr. Dre through Eminem. I got to go to the Grammy’s with them. It just kind of sparked a whole line of things. I worked with Diddy on a song called “Coming Home” which was huge.
Was Diddy easy to work with?
GREY: Diddy was really nice to me. I’m usually really shy, so everybody always comments on how shy I am. At first he always gave me S#*& about it, but now that the ice is broken. It’s all good, we’re cool.
Ok, now talk to us about Celebrity Ghost Stories, was that true [Grey claims to have been sexually assaulted by a ghost]?
GREY: YES, I had a really bad experience, and I don’t even know, it’s so bizarre and it sounds so crazy for me to say that I was raped by a ghost, but I don’t even know how else to describe it. I didn’t even see the ghost, it was like I felt it, it was the weirdest thing.
Do you know who it was, was it someone that used to live there?
GREY: Well, it was in an old hotel in New York, so I’m just assuming it was something just lurking in that room in that hotel.
That’s crazy, well hopefully in this hotel you don’t have the same experience.
GREY: I don’t know, it is pretty creepy though [laughing].
Whitney is an on-air multimedia personality, and works behind the scenes helping businesses gain extra exposure, through her WIN Promotions video production services.