“….because I grew up with such a diverse musical background, I get bored if I’m in one genre for too long. And so it’s important for my soul to keep expanding and evolving….”
 – Skylar Grey, Aol.

Aol.‘s Emily Rella has published a new, exclusive interview w/ Ms. Grey, wherein they discuss her past in the world of music and her new open-ended project Angel With Tattoos!

Check out a portion of the interview below, and click the Aol. logo to read the full piece!

Interview w/ Skylar Grey | Aol. ::
“….Grey has decided it’s time for another reintroduction — or rather, a return to her original roots….

She’s….performed alongside and written songs for everyone from Eminem to Jay Z, wrote and performed the theme song for new Hulu show “4 Weddings and a Funeral” and was recently nominated for a 2019 VMA for in the Video for Good category for her collaboration with Jamie N Commons and Gallant on “Runaway Train.

AOL Entertainment met up with Hafermann to chat about her latest project, “Angel With Tattoos, why now is the right time for a musical pivot and how she’s used her alias identity to her advantage….

Is that usually how the songwriting process goes for you?

Sometimes the artist is in the room and I’m collaborating with them and sometimes I get asked to pitch a song — so I write a song at home and send it in. They’ll give me some verbiage that’s like a direction, because whether I’m writing a song for another artist or for a movie there are always a few words that they’re looking for. Sometimes there will be a song reference but it’s weird because even with all that direction, sometimes the song ends up going to somebody else. It’s not necessarily what they want, but it’s a song and it’s good and it can live somewhere else. So I never feel like writing a song is a waste of time … and when I’m writing for somebody else it’s important to put myself emotionally in their shoes. So I can write it from a very personal place even if it’s for somebody else.

When I write something that isn’t personal, to some degree, you can see through that .. it just sounds like I tried to do something that doesn’t feel authentic. So definitely working my own emotion into it and finding a way to relate to whatever the story is. Everybody’s got a different story, but a lot of our emotions are the same. And being able to relate emotionally to what’s going on in someone else life, I think it just makes for a better song.

Definitely, and your first single “Shame on You” off your newest project “Angel With Tattoos” is a manifestation of all the positive emotion that you’ve been experiencing. Tell us a little bit about how it all came to be.

I spent a year doing sessions with different writers and producers trying to figure out what my next move was as an artist, sonically. During that time period, I was dating Elliot Taylor, the love of my life, and so I was very in love and very inspired to write love songs. And then I met [songwriter and producer] Dave Bassett, and it was honestly just one of those sessions where [I expected it to be] another session with another stranger and didn’t have high expectations for it. And then we went in there and sort of effortlessly just started writing music and we found this sound that was kind of throwback to my childhood because I grew up listening to Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac. And so we stumbled upon this sound that just felt very natural and took me back to my roots. And so I did a lot more sessions with Dave [Bassett] and put together this project. And “Shame On You” is the first song on the project called “Angel With Tattoos” which is something [my boyfriend] Elliot calls me….

This is also your first project as an independent artist. Why was now the right time to make that switch?

I brought these songs and this project to Interscope, my record company, and they weren’t really on board with the vision I had. We weren’t really seeing eye-to-eye creatively and I felt so strongly about this music that I wanted to make that we decided to part ways. I got to take the music with me, so that was a great, amicable split. But you know, that kind of delayed things as far as putting music out … these songs were actually written quite a while ago.

I just kind of flow with the energy of the universe. and this just felt right — I was making music and in love and happy. A lot of things I’ve put out in the past before have been very dark and somber and I was depressed so that makes sense — now I’m happy and in love and I’m writing this really feel-good stuff.

Do you think you’ll stay in the folk-rock scene from here on out? Are hip-hop hooks a thing of your past?

I have a lot of fun doing hip-hop stuff and I’ll never stop doing it — I’ll never stop making rap hooks, I think it’s so much fun. But because I grew up with such a diverse musical background, I get bored if I’m in one genre for too long. And so it’s important for my soul to keep expanding and evolving … working in all the different genres that I have, I’ve learned so much as a songwriter. I really think I’ve grown. And now being able to apply what I’ve learned from those things to the sound that is my roots, I feel like it’s creating better work. Going out there and learning what I can and bringing it back….”

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