At some point in 2008 I stumbled upon a singer named Holly Brook, who I grew to really like for her voice and her writing. She was one of those people that seemed so obviously talented that it was hard to believe I had never heard of her before.
After doing the prerequisite Googling, it looked like she was in the middle of record company nightmares, and was trying to put things together again. In April of 2009, she did a show at a small club in New York that I went to see along with Chris Balfe (the guy who runs Glenn’s company) and maybe 40 other people total. Because it was such a small show, I played fanboy and after the show even got an awkward photo.
Over the next six months or so, she didn’t seem to be in the best place. I sort of remember her writing at one point she was moving to a cabin in the woods or something, and she seemed completely disenchanted with the business. Every couple of months I’d check in to see if she had recorded anything new. Occasionally she had, and it was always good. Then in September 2009 I checked in to read this:
could you be my agent?
I don't have an agent right now, and I'm trying to figure out ways to book some gigs. So I had a thought...if YOU can get me a gig, I'll pay you a commission.
I'm looking for gigs especially in the Oregon area, but I'll take one anywhere in the world if it pays enough for travel and lodgings. In Oregon though, $200 plus gas, food, and lodgings (when necessary) will suffice. I will give you 15% of the net show money, not including CD sales. If you get me a gig that pays $1000, then you get $150! I'll do music venues, bars, weddings, pretty much anything. I can bring my own sound system when necessary.
Spread the word! You can make money, too! The more I make, the more you make!
Here is an obviously very talented artist that has all the tools to be a huge star, randomly blogging about how she’ll bring her own sound system to a wedding or “pretty much anything” to play for a couple of hundred bucks less than 18 months ago.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I received this email:
This letter is being sent to all of those who signed up for the Holly Brook email list in past years. Due to recent career changes, she will no longer be going by the name, Holly Brook. However, we encourage you to find her under her new artist name, Skylar Grey.
Who is Skylar Grey? Last night, you might have seen her singing on the stage at the Grammys. While she was in the woods, she wrote one of the biggest songs of the year for Eminem and Rhianna, and was nominated for multiple Grammys including Song of the Year. She then performed another one of her songs, the follow up single for Eminem.
Disregard the fact that your favorite radio station probably has the phrase “and none of that rap” in its slogan, and celebrate that stuff like this is possible. In this country if you have talent, work hard, and are true to yourself, you can go from the woods to the Grammys in less than a year. Holly Brook/Skylar Grey is just one of many that have done it, and who truly deserve it.