Since Skylar Grey worked with Eminem on “Love The Way You Lie” in 2010, her creative presence is noticeable on every Marshall’s record.
In this interview, she is talking about how the idea for “Leaving Heaven” came up, how she discovered Eminem when she was a kid and how he discovered he later as a co-writer, and how contributing artists know that a new album is coming.
The most recent Skylar’s contribution to Marshall’s body of work was released on his latest album “Music To Be Murdered By” and she is ready to share the credit for it with her fiance:
I think a lot of people reading this will have come to know your music through Eminem. I know you just worked with him on his new album – what can you tell me about making “Leaving Heaven?”
We didn’t work in the same room on it. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. It was actually my fiancee’s idea – Elliott Taylor, who I’m developing as an artist now too – it was his concept. Elliott was in California, I was in New York on a writing trip. We were having a phone conversation, and he was like ‘I came up with this concept I think is really dope called “Leaving Heaven.”’
His concept for the title was really different, but the way I took it was that I’m leaving heaven and I’m going to go fuck shit up. Get revenge or something. I was excited about the idea, flew home, and we started working on it. Developed this track and hook, and I sent it to Marshall because I felt it would fit his vibe and he might dig it. And he did. He did his thing to it and put it on his album.
So many artists have mentioned not knowing whether they’ll actually be on the album till it comes out. Was it like that with you? Did you even know the album was on the way?
I didn’t know one hundred percent when the album was coming out. I did know he really liked the song and he was holding it. I had a feeling. When I got the paperwork – you gotta do a deal when you put a song on an album – that’s when I knew it was actually real and coming out. I had no idea when.
How did you guys spark such a creative partnership and artistic trust?
We started out with “Love The Way You Lie.” I wasn’t even in the music game. I was taking some time off and I was living in a cabin in the woods in Oregon. Doing some soul searching. Then I realized I needed to give music another go and I reached out to my publisher who helped connect me to a producer named Alex Da Kid. Alex and I met over email. I was still in the cabin in the woods and he was in New York, but he sent me a track and I wrote the hook to “Love The Way You Lie.”
I sent it back, and pretty instantly Eminem cut it. Rihanna got on it, and a month later it was a number one song. I was like well shit! Maybe I should try music again. [Laughs] So I got back into the game, and I credit a lot of my success to Marshall. Cause that was my biggest break to date. It’s the biggest song I’ve ever been a part of. I’m so grateful for that opportunity that came into my life at a moment in time I was very unsure about my career path. I’ve always been very grateful for it.
When I finally met him and started working with him in person it felt very natural. There was good musical chemistry there, so we continued to work together. Since that song came out, it’s been like, ten years now?
Were you familiar with his music before?
I’ve always been an Eminem fan. I discovered him when I was thirteen. “Stan” was my favorite song for a while. It was on repeat. I loved the soft female vocals with the hip-hop. That combo was so cool to me. That became a goal of mine, something I wanted to do in my life. I guess I manifested it
She also mentioned that she met Eminem in person for the first time when she was presenting he hook for “I Need a Doctor” to Dr. Dre:
…Going to Detroit for that trip was also the first time I met Marshall. This was after “Love The Way You Lie” came out and was a big hit, but we hadn’t met yet. I was going to Detroit to be in a room with Marshall and Dre, and it was very intimidating. But they were both really nice, and Dre was super thankful and grateful we were there. He was such a sweetheart. It went very smoothly, obviously, but walking in I was terrified.
You can read the full interview on HotNewHipHop