Over breakfast in Los Angeles Skylar Grey discussed her career, name change, Eminem, her tour that brings her to the U Street Music Hall in the District Monday and her new heart-breakingly good new album “Natural Causes.”
Q: How did you go from being Holly Brook to Skylar Grey?
A: I went by Holly Brook, which is my first and middle name, for a while as a solo artist. I got a record deal and put out an album under that name. Then things kind of fell apart for me. I went broke.
I decided to leave my record deal because I wasn’t happy. I fell out of love with music during that time period. I had writer’s block for a good period. Then I moved to a cabin in the woods in Oregon. Lived on basically nothing. When I was there I rediscovered my love of music. Nothing forced anymore. I was not trying to please the industry. I wrote a song called “Love the Way You Lie,” which blew up for Eminem and Rihanna.
Q: How did you come to collaborate with Eminem?
A: After I left the music industry and moved to that cabin, the only deal that I still had in place was my publishing deal. Once I started writing music again, I reached out to my publisher and said, “I realize that I really have to make music work for me as a career because I can’t do anything else.” She was very receptive. She introduced me to producer Alex Da Kid. The beat for “Love the Way You Lie” was one of the first things he emailed me to write to. I don’t know how it got to Eminem. Maybe through Alex’s management.
Q: Why didn’t you sing the hook on “Love The Way You Lie”?
A: I wrote it with myself in mind to sing the hook. I’m grateful that Rihanna did it. I love her. She’s a badass!
Read the full interview here.