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  "I finally accepted myself and found the true keys to my happiness." Skylar Grey opens up to Glamoholic about her new album, guilty pleasures and how her mom influenced her career.  


Your new video for "Moving Mountains" was released recently. What was the inspiration behind it? 
The song is about how appreciating the beauty around you at any given moment can bring you peace, no matter what is going on in your career or life.  There is so much to be enjoyed in this world, but humans tend to focus on the negatives and complain a lot.  For me, it used to be that I focused too much on my career.  I always thought success in music was the key to my happiness, but after so much rejection and ups and downs, I realized I was wrong. I love my career, and am grateful for where I'm at with it, but I used to let the lows effect me so bad I was super depressed. And I was so ambitious and so focused on my future that I forgot to live for today.  In the video, I just wanted to visually portray the emotion of simply being present and enjoying beauty. And what better place to film it than the areas surrounding my home in Utah?!

How did your childhood - Growing up in Mazomanie, Wisconsin - influence the mood of this album?
I grew up in the woods in rural Wisconsin, so nature has always been a huge part of my life. It's very easy for me to lose myself in big cities and lose touch with my roots, which is why I live in Utah… it's important to the authenticity of my creativity to stay close to nature.  You'll hear a lot of nature metaphors in my music. 

What type of emotions did you experience while writing the new songs? 
Well in the past few years, I feel like I've grown up a lot. I finally accepted myself and found the true keys to my happiness. So, a lot of the songs come from that place of really just owning who I am and getting the most out of life. But there are some really sad songs about heartbreak on this album, too. No emotion is invalid… I'm not saying one should never feel negativity, but in recent years I've learned how to get over things quicker than usual, or at least find peace and enjoy other parts of life outside of the heartbreak or sadness.

Do you ever feel like you're not ready to revisit some story / topic and write about it? 
I suppose sometimes there are certain things about my more recent past that still cause such deep negative emotions that I avoid thinking about them. The further something is in the past, the easier it is to write about, and from a positive perspective. No need to torture myself to write a song. Making music is supposed to be fun.

How do you usually balance between the emotionally-charged songs and the catchy melodic ones? 
Even the catchy melodic stuff is emotionally charged for me, even though it may not seem like it to a listener.  Everything comes from a real place. Emotion can be happy or sad, weak or empowered, fearful or excited… 



Will the album include any collaborations?
Not this time. I've done too many collaborations in different genres and I think it's been confusing for fans.  This is my chance to show people who I really am.

How did you feel when you heard the album for the first time?
It doesn't really work that way. Things are constantly changing all the way up until the last day. Things are still being tweaked and mixed, and I am a huge part of the whole process.  I am writing mix notes and changing the order of the track listing and adjusting lyrics all the time, so by the time it comes out I will have heard it about 10 thousand times in different forms.


You've been on the road for the whole month of April with Atlas Genius. What did you enjoy the most about this tour?
This was the best tour ever.  I didn't know what to expect going in, as I only knew a couple Atlas songs, and I was playing all this new music for the first time.  I was so pleased with how the music went over, and I loved listening to Atlas every night. My favorite part, however, was the people. Everyone was such a pleasure to work with so it quickly became a family vibe. BFFs for life!

Are you going to be touring again after the album release?
Absolutely, just not sure about the details yet.

What do you enjoy more; making the music or performing it on stage?
It's all fun. I get a high from a great show, and I get a high from writing a great song. I can't decide which is better!

You've been nominated five times for Grammy awards. How important is it for you to be recognized for the art you create? 
It's cool.  Its not why I do it though.  I just love the music itself.  The minute I start doing it for the fame or the money or the accolades is the minute my art turns to shit and I stop loving what I do.

Who would you say influenced you the most throughout your whole life? 
I've had a lot of mentors along the way… My mom was first of course. Being a musician herself, and always being supportive of me following my dreams was huge to the start of my career. 

What sides of your personality haven't been explored yet through your music and you'd like to do so in the future?
Hmm… I don't know if there's any facet of my personality that hasn't been explored lyrically, but musically I'm always evolving and looking for something fresh.  For example, on this album I finally got the courage to start rapping!  Just a little… but it's a start.

How far does fashion help you express your mood and reflect your personality? 
Fashion is big for me. I get shit though for being too Tom Boy.  It's gotta be the right balance and sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don't.  Being an outdoorsy girl, it's always been inside me to be kinda Tom Boy, but I started dressing with androgynous feel to my fashion because I wanted to appear tougher and taken seriously. I think everyone should be treated equally regardless of gender or race, but unfortunately the world isn't there yet.  As a young female in a predominantly male industry, I definitely got pushed around a lot in the beginning. In addition, there is the part of my personality that is unafraid to explore the darkness and the unknowns, which is represented by the almost gothic edge I have at times.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
In life, I'm a wine snob. I spend way too much money on expensive wine. In music, Spice Girls. It's not just nostalgic…those songs were so catchy and so original for bubble gum pop. 

This story is part of Glamoholic magazine's Issue #35. Click here to order a printed copy of this issue.

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