You might recognize her from her performance with Nicki Minaj at the 2014 American Music Awards, but Skylar Grey first broke into the popular music scene with her 2006 collaboration with Fort Minor, “Where’d You Go.” For almost a decade, Grey has worked with some of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop, producing hit songs while maintaining her position on the edge of the music scene. Her ethereal voice juxtaposed with the rap verses of the artists she performs with makes for unusual, intriguing harmonies. Though her past collaborations have brought her success, Grey’s new album — release date TBD — will focus just on her. Find out more about Skylar Grey and the music she’s had a hand in over the years.
WHO is Skylar Grey?
Holly Brook Hafermann was born on February 23, 1986 in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. She started singing when she was two years old and began performing with her mother at the age of six. By the time she reached high school, Hafermann had recorded two songs and was in a band. After releasing her 2006 debut album Like Blood Like Honey with Machine Shop Records, Hafermann began touring with Jamie Cullum, k.d. lang, and Duncan Sheik. She released her O’Dark Thirty EP in 2010, and changed her name to Skylar Grey shortly after.
WHAT is her album?
Under her new moniker, Grey released her debut album Don’t Look Down in 2013 via Interscope Records. The 12-track collection features Eminem, Angel Haze, Big Sean, and Travis Barker, and peaked at number eight in the “Billboard 200” chart.
“C’Mon Let Me Ride” featuring Eminem
“Back From The Dead” featuring Big Sean and Travis Barker
WHERE have you seen her before?
Grey recently performed “Bed Of Lies” with Nicki Minaj at the 2014 American Music Awards.
She collaborated with Fort Minor for the hit “Where’d You Go” in 2006, sang on “Coming Home” by Diddy in 2010, and was featured with Eminem on “I Need A Doctor” by Dr. Dre in 2011. That same year, she worked with Lupe Fiasco on “Words I Never Said,” which was featured in the trailer for MTV’s series Teen Wolf.
This past year, Grey paired up with T.I. for the rapper’s “New National Anthem,” and also worked with Eminem and Yelawolf on “Twisted” from Eminem’s Shady XV album.
WHEN can you see her live?
Grey is not currently on tour, but according to her recent interview with Billboard, she is working on a new album and will be announcing a release date for it soon.
WHY should you care?
A photo posted by Skylar (@skylargrey) on Apr 4, 2014 at 11:03am PDT
Grey has been a part of many successful musical projects over the past decade. She is a skillful songcrafter who knows how to create a solid hook. Though she is comfortable operating behind the scenes, Grey has a gripping, pop-friendly soprano sound that is enough to put her in the limelight. It’s a mystery how she has managed to stay somewhat in the shadows all of this time, and though Grey has gained the most recognition for her collaborations, an album that highlights her talents alone might just be what brings her to the front of the stage. Listen to the products of her musical genius over the years, and stay tuned for the release of her solo album.
[Photo: Getty Images]