Skylar Grey Talks Beating Lady Gaga For "I Need A Doctor," Says Dr. Dre & Eminem Changed Her Life
Exclusive: Hip Hop's new favorite songbird Skylar talks to DX about her place in music, the surprise rappers on her upcoming album "Invincible," and how her career kick-started thanks to Em and Dre.
Prior to showcasing her voice and lyrics on tracks like Dr. Dre and Eminem's Detox tease "I Need a Doctor" , Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home" , and Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said" , Skylar Grey was the pen behind Eminem's Grammy award-winning track "Love the Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna (here is Skylar's original version ). As the ethereal songstress gears for her solo debut album Invincible, she expresses how Hip Hop has made her work harder in honing her own sound. "Lyrically it's pushed me a little bit harder. Also, the beats...I love Hip Hop beats, laid back and not perfectly on the grid. I always have," Skylar told HipHopDX this week. "I'm really excited about the sound of my album, which is kind of a mixed bag of Rock influences, Hip Hop drums, and singer-songwriter type vocals. There will be an interesting combination of sounds."
Skylar Grey's influence on Hip Hop tracks as of late has allowed for a more alternative feel, and what Skylar likes to call a "vulnerable" side to rappers. "All of these guys that are really playing that tough guy role in rap, what I wanted to do was break them down a little bit and make them a little bit more vulnerable and relatable to the rest of the world," she explains. "That's I think, something that I've been able to accomplish." While Eminem has emoted quite a bit in the past, Lupe Fiasco revealed a new side to him on "Words I Never Said." "He definitely speaks about subjects people have to deal with everyday," she says of Lupe. "It's not just some bullshit about drinks and ass."
Once Skylar's presence was felt on Grammy Award winning and chart-topping songs, the list of rappers knocking on her door has been endless. She will be appearing on upcoming Hip Hop projects still. However, her best experience thus far has been with Dr. Dre. "Dr. Dre's one of the nicest that I've met in the music industry, in all genres," Grey says. "He's very chill and super sweet and gracious. I was very impressed with him as a person."
Along with Dre, Skylar has Eminem to thank for her continued success, even going to bat for her when she penned the hook to "I Need a Doctor" and the label attempted to swap her vocals for Lady Gaga's. "Somebody in the room suggested we get Lady Gaga to sing the hook on 'I Need a Doctor' and [Eminem] stood up for me and said no, because he wanted to keep my voice on the song," she says. "That was a big thing for me because had I not kept my voice on 'I Need a Doctor,' who knows where I'd be right now." She continues, "After the Grammy Awards performance of that song, alot of things changed for me. It really changed my life. It provided a great platform for me, and I'm forever grateful for Eminem and Dr. Dre." Skylar revealed that she had 6500 more Twitter followers in the immediate minutes that followed that fateful Grammy performance. While "I Need a Doctor" is the only Detox-related track she appears on, Skylar has her own A-list rap collaborations coming up on Invincible. She can't reveal who, but assures these are artists she has never worked with before.
"Let your imagination run wild," she hints.