Skylar Grey Soars At Hot 100 Festival: Behind the Scenes With the Pop Powerhouse

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard
Skylar Grey spends time at The Patch during the 2016 Billboard Hot 100 Festival - Day 2 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Aug. 21, 2016 in Wantagh, N.Y.

Pop singer-songwriter Skylar Grey has netted a lengthy career on the strength of her songwriting (Eminem & Rihanna “Love The Way You Lie,” Zedd & Foxes “Clarity”) and features for others (Diddy & Dirty Money “Coming Home,” Dr. Dre & Eminem “I Need A Doctor”). But she’s also leveraged these chart-topping credits to not-so-quietly turn the spotlight back on her solo work. And after dropping recent striking singles “Moving Mountains” and “Off Road” earlier this year, she’s eyeing the release of her sophomore album Natural Causes, due Sept. 23 via KIDinaKORNER/Interscope.

“This time around I was able to be a little bit more free, creatively,” she tells Billboard. “I feel like there was less expectation, I think, on my own part. I just wanted to make an album that really spoke to who I am as an artist. I put a lot of expectations on myself for the first one.”

While in Brooklyn to play at Billboard’s second annual Hot 100 Music Festival at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Grey invited Billboard’s cameras inside the cozy walls of The Patch in Brooklyn — one of two houses established by SOUR PATCH KIDS to support touring artists — to document the excitement of her New York City stay.

“Sometimes as an up-and-coming artist, it might feel like you don’t have it all figured out and you’re trying to figure out who you are as an artist and your sound,” she says. “But the truth is you’re still searching. I don’t think that search ever stops, and that’s the cool part about being an artist is you get to evolve and just have fun, make music and create."