Skylar Grey often mentions that writing “Love The Way You Lie” both personally and professionally. But changes have not stopped since and she talks more about her journey into producing – again connected to Eminem.
In her conversation with the director of Universal Music A&R department Taylor Testa for She Is The Music community, Skylar looked back at the time when writing “Love The Way You Lie” was the sign of her finding her voice once again after a fallout with the music industry, both a coincidence but also a logical step in her career:
Songwriting has always been my passion. Whether it was me performing a song or not, the creation process has been my passion more than anything else. And maybe it led me to write songs to other people but it certainly happened by accident. I got into the music industry thinking that I was going to sing my own songs. And then writing “Love The Way You Lie” has changed my life. I had a really hard time in the music industry, my first round in it. I went by the name of Holly Brook. At that time Linkin Park had a label under Warner Brothers and I signed to them, and then I had a song with Mike Shinoda called “Where’d You Go”. It was my first experience having a hit, I think it was like No. 2 or something [“Where’d You Go” by Fort Minor peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100]. And it was hip hop. Ever since I’ve heard Eminem’s song “Stan” I was subconsciously manifesting that I want to do that kind of thing in hip hop. But it was a subconscious manifestation, I was not going out, chasing it down actively. But then it just kind of fell into my lap.
When “Where’d You Go” happened I didn’t know what to do with it, how to follow up, how to promote myself. Until my carer totally fell apart and I retreated into the woods, into a cabin and found myself again, rediscovered my love for music. I was put in a very bad place for a while, mentally, I lost my drive and my love for music, honestly. It just disappeared for a while. So I had to go into the woods to find it again and I did it. And the first thing I wrote coming out of the woods experience was “Love The Way You Lie”.
Taylor Testa has been working with Skylar Grey for quite some time, so when she asked Skylar about Eminem’s collaboration with Beyoncé “Walk On Water”, that Skylar wrote, she knew exactly what she would hear. Apparently, this could have been P!nk’s song if Marshall took even longer to get in touch with Skylar about his intentions:
I had this lyric idea that I wrote down on my phone and it was stored there for a few months and then I found out that Eminem was making my music so I finished a version of it and turned it off to him. Actually didn’t hear back right away and you sent it off to P!nk. And she really wanted it and she got back to us. But then Marshall got back to us and I gave it to the first person [it was meant for]. When I sent it to him I was like, “Hey, I imagine that being produced with something like drums”. It was just piano/vocal. And he ended up not really adding much to it, production-wise. He just added some orchestral stuff. So, technically I’m co-production.
Skylar Grey Credits Eminem For Supporting Her Production On “Leaving Heaven” Off “Music To Be Murdered By”
That was not the first Skylar’s co-production credits, she received her first together with her Grammy nomination for Rihanna’s “Loud”. But since then Skylar went into production process much deeper and her first full production credit are on Eminem’s “Leaving Heaven” from his most recent album “Music To Be Murdered By”. That’s quite a start. But it is not always easy for Skylar, admits singer/songwriter/producer:
My biggest challenge was not just being confident enough. I know I have the talent, the skills, I have the musical gift, it’s just in my blood. But it doesn’t mean that I have the confidence to do it. Especially because I feel like it’s such a male-heavy world in production, it’s not that common to hear about female producers, so it makes me really shy about my productions, questioning myself all the time. But the fact that Marshall took my song and put it on his album, and didn’t change the production… He did a little bit, but minimally. It made me feel really good and feel way more confident about producing more stuff.
Watch the video below: