“….I do just sit at the piano and play. That is at the core of everything I do….”
 – Skylar Grey, Idolator

Idolator‘s Mike Wass has just published his latest interview w/ Ms. Grey!

They chat about her brand new open-ended album Angel With Tattoos, writing for Céline Dion, and her 2006 Fort Minor collaboration Where’d You Go (released under her previous artist name Holly Brook).

Check out a few excerpts below, and click the Idolator logo to read the full-length piece!

Interview w/ Skylar Grey | Idolator ::
“….I recently caught up with Skylar to discuss her new project, which came about after an illuminating session with producer Dave Bassett. She also opened up about the subject of the exceedingly gooey love songs — her fiancé and now-collaborator, Elliott Taylor. Other topics of conversation include writing a song for Céline Dion’s new album, an upcoming collaboration with pop/rock veterans Train and her memories of featuring on Fort Minor’s 2006 hit “Where’d You Go.….

When did you decide to write stripped-back, folk songs? It’s so different to your recent material.

It happened organically. I had been doing sessions with a lot of writers and producers, not for myself but for other people. Actually, at that point, I had made a decision to just go down the road of being a songwriter and not really focus on my artist career. Then, out of the blue, I got a call from Interscope saying they wanted to make a new album. I was surprised because my last two albums didn’t do so well. So I continued doing sessions, but started trying to figure out what I wanted to create.

Those sessions can be a little bit exhausting because you’re meeting somebody new every time. It’s like you walk in, you talk for maybe 15 minutes to break the ice and then you start getting emotional and writing a song. It can be really awkward and a little bit exhausting. I had come to a point where I was just over it. Then I had this session set up with a guy named Dave Bassett, who I didn’t really know much about. I was burnt out from songwriting sessions and wasn’t really stoked to go.

Then I get there and we started writing a song. Totally, out of nowhere, we stumbled upon the sound. He started playing the guitar. I started singing. It immediately brought me back to this feeling of my childhood, listening to Carole King and Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac. I was so happy that I had gone through with the session and discovered the sound. I knew I wanted to make a whole project with this sound. I played it for my A&R person and he loved it. So I did more sessions with Dave. We just continued building this project.

Anyway, I took the batch of these songs to Interscope and said, “I’m ready, here’s my album.” They were like, “We’re not really feeling it.” So I was just like, “I’m so into this sound right now that I’m not going to shift my course. What are we going to do here?” We decided to part ways. It was very amicable. They let me take my songs with me. Those are the songs I’m now releasing….

In one of your older interviews, you said there might be a solo version of “Walk On Water” on the album. Is that still a possibility?

I did record it. I just have to figure out the release of that. It’ll probably come out on this project eventually. This is an open-ended album. I’m putting out these five songs first because they’re the most complete. I don’t want to wait any longer. I don’t want to wait for five more songs to get done, to be able to release these songs. I’m just putting them out. As I write more songs in this style, I will keep adding to the project. In the meantime, I’m always working on different styles of music. That’s why I call this a concept album….

I have to ask you about “Where’d You Go. What are you memories of that release?

That song I didn’t write. I was signed to Linkin Park’s label at the time. Mike Shinoda was making a solo project. He asked me to come down to the studio and lay a vocal down for the hook. He thought it would be cool for me to sing on. I didn’t really think much of it. Then, a few months later, it was a hit. I wasn’t ready for a hit. I thought I was. I was super excited about it, but I didn’t know how to follow it up. I didn’t have my songs together. I liked what I was doing but I didn’t have The Song.

What was it like to be so young and have a huge hit?

It was really, really cool. First of all, I had always been a fan of Eminem and the song “Stan. Working on a hip hop song with a female vocal was something I’d always wanted to do. Just that alone was really fun. Then having a song on the top of the charts was… it gave me a taste of the drug. Everything fell apart after that, everything in my life took a tumble. I had to regroup. I had to do some soul searching after that point and figure out what I wanted to do. Then I came back into the game with “Love The Way You Lie” for Eminem.

Which just happens to be one of the biggest songs of all times. I actually like the whole Holly Brook album too.

Thank you. I did too. I’m a better songwriter now than back then. Just because of all the experience I’ve had at this point. Stylistically, I really liked where I was going on that. I’m probably going to start leaning more into piano vocal driven stuff again in general, because that’s just at the core of all the genres that I work in, I do just sit at the piano and play. That is at the core of everything I do….”

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