SKYLAR GREY IS A LITTLE FURTHER ALONG, BUT SHE'S STILL NOT A HOUSEHOLD NAME. DO YOU THINK YOU STAND A DECENT CHANCE OF BECOMING THE DOMINANT SKYLAR GR(A/E)Y IN THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS? In the long term I think it's possible, but it’s one part marketing and one part voodoo. The good news is I've been studying up on Haitian drum chants, so I feel pretty good about my chances.

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BEATWEEK, SKYLAR GREY SAID SHE SPELLS IT WITH AN "E" RATHER THAN AN "A" BECAUSE SHE FEELS LIKE IT'S "MORE MASCULINE" THAT WAY (NOT KIDDING). Well, her label definitely had a specific image they were going for when they repackaged her from the artsy, red-haired singer-songwriter Holly Brook to the edgy, tough-looking, hip-hop collaborator Skylar Grey. If I were the marketing guy behind that, I would've used the "e" too.

ON THE OFF-CHANCE THAT SKYLAR GREY SEES THIS COLUMN, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO SAY TO HER? Nothing personal, Holly. I'm using my name because that's who I am and who I've always been. Hey, maybe you could use your original stage name idea, "Grey." I think it's brilliant!

CARE TO TELL MY READERS WHY THEY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY LISTEN TO YOUR ALBUM (ASIDE FROM MY GLOWING ENDORSEMENT)? If you listen now, you'll be able to claim the irrefutable "Yeah, well, I was listening to Skylar Gray before he changed his name to Holly Brook." The ultimate hipster cred. But seriously, most people tell me they find my album a welcome break from the Hot 100. And that it is. You can grab An Inch Equals 200 Miles on iTunes and Amazon, or hear it on Spotify; limited-edition vinyl is coming soon. For more info, Google "Skylar Gray" and ignore the first few results. ^

DAVID THORPE | dthorpe@phx.com

FOR MORE OF DAVID THORPE'S INTERVIEW WITH SKYLAR GRAY, GO TO THEPHOENIX.COM/BIGHURT 

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