At the age of 18 Holly Brook Hafferman, going by her first and middle names, was signed to Machine Shop Recordings, Linkin Park’s vanity label. Two years later she made it big by being featured and singing the chorus on Fort Minor’s fourth single, “Where’d You Go.” Holly Brook’s debut album, Like Blood Like Honey, dropped two months later, on June 6th 2006.
The above video is one of the only music videos I could find of her on YouTube, and it’s a live recording and not a professionally filmed one. While nothing flashy, it manages to sum up pretty well where she came from musically, “heartache and self-discovery over heavy piano chords.”1 Like Blood Like Honey managed to hit number 35 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart, but soon after she faded into obscurity.
This year Holly Brook reentered the music scene under the new stage name Skylar Grey, and went on to do big things. She helped write sections of Eminem and Rihanna’s hit “Love the Way You Lie” and was featured on tracks by both Diddy-Dirty Money and Lupe Fiasco. Her debut live performance as Skylar Grey was at the 53rd Grammy Awards where she performed “I Need A Doctor” alongside Eminem and Dr. Dre.
Already having accomplished so much this year Grey is currently working on her solo studio album, titled Invinsible. Below is the only video currently on her VEVO YouTube channel, a music video for the song “Dance Without You.”
Although it’s never directly stated who it is Skylar Grey would like to “dance without” it seems apparent that the person is Holly Brook, and the video drips with (unsubtle) symbolism. Evidence can be found in her black clad character’s actions bordering on murderous [the neck-snapping action at 1:35] towards her hospital gowned alter-ego and her dismissively stepping over the latter’s prone body at the video’s conclusion. The message is clear: It’s time to change and move on.
It’s impossible for anyone to judge Skylar Grey’s decision to change her image and genre of music, especially taking into account her past with the music industry.2 The chorus of “Wanted,” a song from Like Blood Like Honey, begins with the words “I will be wanted / I will not fall from grace.” Maybe this was just her way of making those words ring true.
1. AllMusic’s review of Like Blood Like Honey. Source: http://www.allmusic.com/album/like-blood-like-honey-r836849/review
2. In reference to her fall out of fame she’s quoted as saying “[s]uddenly I was chewed up and spit out,” admitting a lot of confusion over what had happened in the past. Source: http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2011/06/hooked.html