Another new blog series? Man, I’m popping these things out like a madman. Anyway, Aural Bliss is dedicated to my love of music. Where I’ll share lovely tunes or interesting artists I discover, and (maybe/hopefully) even share my own work. I’m really interested in exploring new, local musical groups, as well, so once I have an income again that should become a regular part of this series.
That lovely gal above is named Skylar Grey. I am definitely far from the first to know who she is, but music is really interesting that way. A musician could have quite a loyal fan-base, but you’ve just never heard of them – and that’s fine. I mean, everybody has to hear Led Zeppelin a first time, right? 😉
I didn’t exactly grow up exposed to a wide variety of music, so I had to “accidentally” discover many groups for myself. Sometimes, it’s a bold discovery of someone you’ve never heard of before (such as my recent knowledge of Florence And The Machine’s existence), and other times it’s a deeper appreciation of someone who you’re semi-familiar with – as when I bought a box set of The Beatles’ albums and listened to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band all the way through for the first time (an amazing experience).
Sometimes, though, it’s a strange mix of the two.
Fair warning… some of the audio clips below contain naughty words. Also, there may still be some experimenting, on my part, with the audio player/setup of this whole idea – so let me know if it goes smoothly for ya :).
A couple of months ago, DJ Earworm released his latest mash-up of the Bilboard Top 20 of 2010. I wasn’t that big a fan of this year’s mix, but I absolutely loved the piano that opens and closes the song:
That led me to the song “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem ft. Rihanna. Put that info on pause, for a moment… we’ll get back to it. So, a short while later, I was driving home when I heard a very lovely female-sung chorus to a rap song, and came home to find that it was this:
Diddy-Dirty Money ft. Skylar Grey – “Coming Home”
[audio:/Blog/2011/Diddy-DirtyMoney–Coming Home.mp3|titles=Coming Home|artists=Diddy-Dirty Money ft. Skylar Grey]
I noticed that the opening singer wasn’t the one who sings throughout the rest of the song, though, but I didn’t give it much thought. THEN, a week ago, Dr. Dre released a video for his latest song… and, again, it was a beautiful tune. And, again, there was this name attached to it – Skylar Grey:
Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey – “I Need A Doctor”
[audio:/Blog/2011/DrDre–I Need a Doctor.mp3|titles=I Need A Doctor|artists=Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey]
So, after finding this gal injecting beauty into two rap songs in a row, I sought out more. Over the years, rap has actually become a rather dynamic genre, and it can actually be rather touching and pretty, but seeing this name pop up twice in such quick succession made me think something new might be on the horizon. “To the YouTube’s,” I cried! Remember that Eminem/Rihanna song I mentioned above? It was now that I discovered that Skylar Grey had a hand in writing it, and actually performed a demo of it on her own:
Skylar Grey – “Love The Way You Lie”
[audio:/Blog/2011/SkylarGrey–LoveTheWayYouLie(Original Demo).mp3|titles=Love The Way You Lie|artists=Skylar Grey]
Who was this gal, and why was she so under my radar?? Entertainment Weekly actually has a fantastic interview with Skylar Grey, so I won’t regurgitate that piece here, but I’m really interested to see where she’s going next. I, along with most of the world, discovered Dido through an Eminem song back in the day, and I think Ms. Grey has that same, fantastic potential – possibly even more. She is, at her core, a musician, and it’d be nice to have discovered a new artist to love… especially after an introduction like this. Hearing what she is choosing to be a part of so far, though, leads me to believe that she’s going to have some rather amazing work in her future. As I said in the beginning, music is about discovery, and I think it’s wonderfully exciting. Because of “A” I found “B” which was also written by the same person who did “C” and collaborated with “D” on “E” who did a beautiful cover of “F”… and on and on it goes.
And, to wrap it all up, let me share with you one of those things that I “discovered” because of my online searching – a clip from the 2011 Grammys. Why? Well, for one, it’s a fantastic orgy of sound that exemplifies just how musical rap can be, and secondly, keep an ear out for Skylar Grey singing during the second half. She’s the gal belting it out from the shadows: