The Recording Academy asked this year's first-time GRAMMY nominees to collect their thoughts and share what it feels like to be nominated for a GRAMMY. Tune in to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13 on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
Though I grew up in a very small town, I always had dreams that were considered "grandiose," which is probably why I spent most of my childhood in my own world. Going to the GRAMMYs was one of these extreme fantasies. When my parents weren't home, I used to pound away at the piano and sing my heart out, imagining I was performing at the GRAMMYs. Ever since I was 6 years old, I've done everything I can to build a career in music despite people in the community telling me it was impossible. "Impossible" was a word that never existed in my vocabulary. Luckily, my parents were very supportive of my choices. As I got older and dug deeper into the music industry, I experienced times that were so difficult and I began to second-guess myself. The more I had to deal with the business side of music, the more my romance with the art itself started to crumble.
When I wrote the chorus to Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna, I was living alone in a cabin in the woods, with my home studio. I was taking a step away from the industry in an effort to nurture my muses, which had been seriously damaged. I certainly wasn't attempting to write a hit song, but rather channeling what naturally came to me, with no expectations. It was the first time I had ever collaborated with Alex Da Kid, the song's co-producer. Though I had never met him in person, musically we connected instantly over e-mail. The minute I found out Eminem was going to put it on his album my life became surreal. What a way to get sucked back into the industry. I was ready for it, though. After reflecting on the past and soul-searching in the woods, I realized I had grown into a completely different person. I was stronger than ever before and was prepared to deal with anything that was thrown at me without letting it compromise my creativity.
During "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" I was actually on a plane to Los Angeles. As soon as I landed and turned on my phone, my manager let me know "Love The Way You Lie" received five nominations. It was a thrilling moment. I called my publisher first because it was her genius intuition to introduce me to Alex Da Kid. If it hadn't been for her, this song would not exist. The magnitude of the song only shows me that the world is hungry for emotionally driven music. I am excited to be a part of bringing passion and vulnerability back into pop music, which I think has been lacking in recent years.
While things are very exciting, I've been so busy working on my solo debut that I've had to remind myself to sit back occasionally and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I hope to make this once-in-a-lifetime experience a launching point for a very long and prolific career.
(Skylar Grey is nominated for Song Of The Year and Best Rap Song for Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna. The song is also nominated for Record Of The Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Short Form Music Video.)
Tune in to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Meanwhile, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter.