Backbeat: Skylar Grey Talks Joni Mitchell, Trent Reznor, Appalachian Dulcimer at NYC Showcase
Backbeat: Skylar Grey Talks Joni Mitchell, Trent Reznor, Appalachian Dulcimer at NYC Showcase
Jeff Benjamin
Shades of Grey: Skylar Grey live at Dominion in NY. (Photo: Jeff Benjamin/Billboard)

Skylar Grey held an industry-only showcase Dec. 6, 2011 at Dominion in New York. The showcase is a preview for her upcoming debut album, currently titled "Invinsible," set for a debut next year.

The showcase brought out industry names and bloggers, but it was her very own team at Universal and Interscope that Grey was focusing on. "My team is amazing. I haven't loved a team as much as I do now that I've had. I've gone through a lot of people, I've been in this industry a long time, I've had a different name. I really feel like this is the money team right now."

This team includes the Senior Vice President at Universal Music Publishing Group Jennifer Blakeman who Grey called "amazing." She adds Blakeman was, "Always supportive since I started. I signed with her back in 2004. Always super supportive, always loved my music."

She also has manager Todd Mandel of Mandel Music Group and Interscope's Dyana Kass. When Kass hears her name mentioned she playfully yells, "Whatever she's saying about me its all lies!" to which Grey yells back, "I'm saying you're amazing!" Adding about Interscope as a whole, "Interscope keeps them hard working, man. All those employees I'm so impressed with because they work as hard as me and that's not easy to do."

Grey performed debut single "Invisible," buzz track "Dance Without You," and other album tracks. (Photo: Jeff Benjamin)

Grey's enjoyed her time in New York which included appearing at the Dec. 4 "Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays" show at Beacon Theatre. Grey says the performance was special due to her and Lauper's shared talent to play the Appalachian dulcimer, an instrument she cites only three musicians in the industry know how to play--herself, Lauper, and Joni Mitchell. Naturally, the two covered "River" by Mitchell. "We played it together and it was kind of bizarre and surreal and amazing. Definitely one of those moments in my life that I'll always remember." While in New York, she also shot a NoH8 campaign photo as well a "Celebrity Ghost Stories" segment.

The twenty-five year-old said she sees herself as pushing the age limit in the pop world. "The thing is, I'm not young for pop. It kind of bugs me when people go shake their booties when they're 50 years old. It's like, 'Move on, do something else!' I shouldn't be saying this…you should follow the natural progression of life itself and not choose to go against your aging process. Also, your fans age. They grow up with you. I think it's important to keep evolving as a creative being."

Someone who she sees as constantly evolving with their creativity is the leader of Nine Inch Nails. "Someone who's a great example of someone evolving and always making great stuff is Trent Reznor. [He's] now scoring film, amazingly well. He's one of those people I look up to in that way. He's always trying to be innovative and do his best. It's not just because he's Trent Reznor, he's actually making great art."

Jeff Benjamin
The set also included covers of Radiohead's "Idioteche" and The Cranberries' "Zombie." (Photo: Jeff Benjamin/Billboard)