Eminem Protege Skylar Grey to Release Debut Album in July

Also featured on upcoming will.i.am collaboration

April 10, 2013 6:00 AM ET
Skylar Grey, What's trending, Hollywood, California
Skylar Grey
Michael Bezjian/WireImage

More than two years after Skylar Grey turned heads with her Grammy performance alongside Eminem and Dr. Dre on "I Need a Doctor," the singer will finally release her debut album, Don't Look Down, on July 9th.

Grey has been anxious to share the album, executive produced by Eminem, since she unveiled the lead single, "C'mon, Let Me Ride," earlier this year. "I just wanted to get music out so that I could start playing shows and promoting the album," Grey tells Rolling Stone.

Eminem Sings Classic Queen Hook on Skylar Grey's New Single
Though the album won't be out for a few months, she will get to share more music leading up to the release. "I believe in hearing more than one song, because there are so many different sides to the album," she says. "So we came up with a plan, which is putting the album out July 9th, but before that putting out four singles where I do a little video for each one, just to get a lot of music out there."

The first track, "Final Warning," will be available April 16th. It's her favorite song on the album.

"This is the first time in my entire life of making music, when I made this song, where I feel like I finally figured out the way that I wanted to sound and the combination of things," she says. "I wrote the song three years ago, and it's still my favorite. I've written so many songs since then, yet I always go back to this one. It got me going on the whole Skylar Grey project."

Among the other upcoming tracks is "White Suburban," a piano and vocal track. While that might surprise some who only know her work in the hip-hop world, Grey has eclectic roots. She says her first concert was Alison Krauss and cites Bon Iver as the most recent show that blew her away.

"I come from a singer-songwriter world," she says. "I grew up making folk music, then slowly worked into pop, and then I've done the hip-hop stuff. So now what I'm doing is a combination of all that," she says. "It's singer-songwriter mixed with the hip-hop influences."

Though she expects additional features besides Eminem, who appears on "C'mon, Let Me Ride," the album won't be a star-studded collection. "I don't like to clutter my solo album with other people," she says. "I collaborate a lot outside of my album."

For instance, she appears on the song "Love Bullets" on the forthcoming will.i.am solo set, #willpower. While the two first met at a Grammy party celebrating Jimmy Iovine in February of last year, Grey only recently found out the song made the final cut.

"I went to the studio, and he just put up a track and I wrote something to it. It was the day that Whitney Houston died, and we got the news while we were in the studio together. So that was weird, and then basically I never heard anything after that about our song," she says. "A year later someone at the international department of Universal was like, 'Oh, I heard the song you did with Will for his album – it's awesome.' I didn't even hear it until two weeks ago when they sent it to me. Basically he took the vocal I did that day and he made a whole different track around it. It's really cool – it's more mid-tempo, not what I was expecting."

Grey will be hitting a record store on April 23rd to buy #willpower as part of a long-standing tradition she has to buy any albums featuring her work the day the record is released. And while she definitely plans to buy Don't Look Down July 9th, she has other plans in mind as well.

"It's my best friend's birthday, so ideally I'd be with her, and we'd be getting wasted and maybe we'd be setting off fireworks on the beach in Hawaii," she says. "I don't even want to be playing the music. I just want to be celebrating the fact that I pushed this baby out. "

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »