“….just as long as it’s good quality and creative, I admired it and wanted to understand it better. I just nerd out and that’s why I think I’ve worked in so many genres….”
– Skylar Grey, PAPER

PAPER‘s Claire Valentine sat down and chatted with Ms. Grey and beau/songwriting partner Elliot Taylor at a recent Skylar Grey show – topics covered include genre-morphing, staying inspired creatively, working as a female songwriter in the industry, and upcoming music!

Check out a few excerpts below, and click the lovely photo underneath to access the full interview piece!

Interview w/ Skylar Grey x Elliott Taylor | PAPER ::
“….Grey is a singer whose voice is as recognizable as it is ubiquitous, having lent hooks to some of the biggest songs over the past 10 years…. But Grey is doubly talented as a highly sought after songwriter….

Though she’s perhaps best known for her work with rappers and at one point had a recording contract with Linkin Park’s label imprint, Grey got her start in folk, performing professionally in a music duo with her mother called Generations as a child. Now Grey is committed to returning to her roots, delving back into the folk music she grew up in and rejecting the stress and claustrophobic repetition of life in LA as an industry songwriter for the freedom and serenity of life on a sprawling ranch in Napa….

I heard you were planning to put out a new album soon.

Things are changing in this industry—do you put out an album or just put out songs? We’re just trying to figure all that out right now. With the new music, I’m going back to my roots which are a lot of acoustic and folk-inspired music from my childhood. I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac and stuff like that. I miss that era in music, and then also I’m just really a fan of strong lyrics and storytelling and singing about true things. So, there’s a lot of story-telling in my songs, straight from my diary. This is the love of my life, Elliott, and I write pretty much everything about him these days, so it’s a lot of love songs.

So, lyrically it’s very personal?

Very, very personal.

These days, do you work with a writing partner?

I’ve been working with Universal for ten years or something like that, and they are constantly sending me sessions where I’m going in with a producer or an artist or going in with a writer, it’s always random stuff. I love to be home in Napa and have a studio there, and in the past I loved working in my own studio and locking myself up in the room. But more recently, I’ve been writing with Elliot a lot and he became my songwriting partner, that happened naturally. We wanted to be around each other non-stop, and I didn’t want to lock myself in the studio and not see him for a few hours. I want him to be involved.

Do you find that you’ve made friends with other women in the industry or found a supportive community among females songwriters?

It’s definitely a male-dominated industry, but there’s been a lot of amazing women that I connect with. It’s very supportive. You think going in that it’s going to be really competitive, but songwriters tend to be good to each other—one of the qualities that you have to have as a songwriter is that you have to be fun to work with and if you’re going to be negative and competitive no one will want to work with you. People are very supportive in this industry. It’s like a little family in a way….”

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