Just prior to releasing her latest project Angel With Tattoos, Ms. Grey sat down to talk with Joel Patenaude for Madison Magazine (out of her home state of Wisconsin)!

You can read several excerpts below, click the Madison Magazine logo to read the full digital edition of the article, and check out subscription options for a physical copy (while supplies last)!

Interview w/ Skylar Grey | Madison Magazine ::
“….you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in music. But can you name-drop some of the people in the Madison area you worked with growing up?
Someone who had a significant influence on me as a youngster was Ken Lonnquist. He taught me a lot about being a performer. He’s really animated and a really good songwriter. We were definitely pretty tight back in the day. Then as I grew up I was like, “Mom, my peers don’t think it’s cool for me to be singing kids’ songs.” As I became embarrassed about that, I got into pop music and writing my own music. When I was 6 I played an original tune. But I didn’t start writing lyrics until I was about 10. At age 14 I told my mom I was going solo….

You didn’t bring a background in hip-hop collaboration with you from Wisconsin. That wasn’t in your musical DNA, was it?
It was not in my DNA. I was listening to Eminem, but hip-hop was definitely not part of my lifestyle. But getting to work with Eminem, I suddenly got thrown into this hip-hop world. But I think that’s kind of what made it cool and appealing to people, that it was something different I was bringing. These hooks were coming from a singer-songwriter. And if you took the hook off the hip-hop track, it could be a country song, it could be a pop song….

In an email about your new album, “Angel With Tattoos, you said it is an homage to the music you had grown up with. You can definitely hear Fleetwood Mac in “Shame on You, the first single.
And [on other songs on the album] Carole King and Joni Mitchell — people that inspired me as I was growing up and listening to my mom’s records. That’s not the sound I’m going to do forever. I grew up with such an eclectic musical background from all the theater I did, my mom being a Celtic harpist [and multi-instrumentalist] and my dad [Gene Hafermann] being in a barbershop quartet. So my influences are all over the map. I’m a chameleon and I can’t stay in one genre….”

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