LIVE: Skylar Grey @ XOYO, Hoxton
Skylar Makes A Mark On UK Debut...
For her first trip to the UK as a solo performing artist and her very first gig in London, Skylar Grey headed to XOYO in the East End, a fitting venue to suit her trendy/alternative style.
With Daley, a soul singer and songwriter from Sale in Manchester, kicking off the evening with a simple acoustic set to complement his smooth tone and very pitch perfect performance, the audience were most definitely calmed in preparation for storm.
Opening her set with a dramatic entrance from her band, white hoods hiding each of their faces and the bass humming through the military like snare, Skylar somberly walked on, taking centre stage and immediately belting out one of her new tracks entitled ‘Beautiful Nightmare’. From this tiny and almost skeletal frame comes an absolutely huge and haunting voice, projecting throughout the venue making the sound even more impressive than on her final and mastered tracks.
Launching into ‘Dance Without You’, the debut single from her album, she demonstrates and more fun and kooky side, somewhat reminiscent of the early Gwen Stefani or those semi cool Avril Levigne moments (minimalistic on pop and teen queen jumping). We are shown us the rebellious side as she sits by the keyboard, picking up a bottle of white rum from the ground asking ‘Is this mine?’ merely to not even look into the audience but proclaim, ‘ah well its mine now anyway’ and dramatically swigging on the bottle.
The Wisconsin native has come a long way over the past year, from full time seclusion in a cabin alone in the woods of Oregan and writing Eminem's #1 hit ‘The Way You Lie’ over email with the producer, to conversing with Marilyn Mason deciding on her album title and then performing her own show here in London. Despite this, Skylar admits that she herself doesn’t yet feel like she has “made it”, and having admitted to financial struggle and serious depression over the past 5 years, it is easy to understand where Skyars emotion and lonely words come from, and are sung with such empathy.
Thought it is possible that this is an influence of Skylars British producer, Alex Da Kid, Skylar covered The Cranberries classic hit ‘Zombie’. Skylars voice perfectly fits the indie/pop/rock tones of Dolores O’Riorden and hits the notes so well it is easy to place her into the category within the industry.
Skylar closes the show with a medley of the songs she has written and been release by artists such as T.I. and Christina Aquilera, P Diddy and Eminem/Rihanna.
Introducing it as ‘the moment y‘all been waiting for’ and accompanying the medley on keyboard and leaving us with the final thought of understanding for why those multi platinum selling artists have believed in her songs and equally astounding voice.
The gig was a huge success and with the music industry embracing all new types of female punk rock, I see absolutely no reason why this lady cannot be leader of the pack. She may be coming home, but let’s hope that for London’s sake, she doesn’t stay there.
Skylar’s album ‘Invisible’, is the first released on British producer Alex Da Kid’s KIDinaKORNER imprint under the Interscope label, and is out 26th September.