Earlier this summer, 21-year-old powerhouse vocalist and masterful storyteller, Greya, released her captivating new single, “All Hell Breaks Loose.” This track is a testament to Greya’s impressive ability to seamlessly blend elements of EDM, and vintage pop, big melodies and avant-garde combinations. The Philadelphia native has released the video for “All Hell Breaks Loose,” which also marks the video directorial debut for in demand photographer and visual artist, Malike Sidibe.
“I got inspiration for the video from my real life,” shares Greya.
“The song is applicable to so many different storylines, and because I didn’t write it about anything specific, the vision was too broad. After weeks of talking in circles and so much panic, I finally just sat in my room one night, put the song on repeat, shut my eyes and tried to watch the song like a movie. Eventually, I reached out to Malike Sidibe, whom I’d done a photo shoot with months earlier. We shot at my house with a crew of eight people all wearing masks in 12 hours.”
Unsurprisingly, Sidibe brought Greya’s vision brilliantly to life. The 23-year-old photographer is buzzing right now, likely because of his surrealistic style. Sidibe moved from Guinea to New York City in 2010 at the age of 13, eventually attending fashion classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2013, he joined a nonprofit after-school program called NYC SALT, where he discovered that photography is his true passion and path in life.
“All Hell Breaks Looks” is Greya’s follow-up to her mesmerizing debut single “He,” which she wrote with Grammy-winning producer Shannon Sanders (John Legend) and recorded at Sanders’ Nashville studio. As an independent artist, Greya’s first release “He” quickly rose to over 400K streams and over four million TikTok views. The track strolls through praise for a devoted lover and sampled chants that land like modern-day doo-wop before snarling into a gut-wrenching twist.
Previously, Greya’s early demos opened doors to collaborations with heavy hitters like Sacha Skarbek (Adele, Lana Del Ray), Jasper Leak (Sia), and Flo Reuter (Sigrid). In the fall of 2018, Greya encamped in a farm studio just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, and recorded a standout round of original pop songs that led to shows at SXSW, the Cannes Film Festival, and other highlight performances.
“I want every song people hear of mine to provoke a physical reaction in their body, proclaims Greya. “Whether it’s tapping or pressure building in their chest or wanting to cry or punch something.”
Connect With Greya Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Greya in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. Given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you? How have you adjusted to these times?
Before Covid, every day used to be a little different depending on where in the world I was. I could be doing anything from recording in Nashville, co-writing in LA, or prepping for a showcase. Now it’s all social media. I usually wake up, check my email, and then go on Instagram and go through musical hashtags and interact with them. Then I’ll post something, film a cover, have a voice lesson or all three. It’s just constant phone stuff, and I’ll admit it’s been a hard adjustment. I’ve never been a big fan of social media so for it to be the only thing I can do right now has been strange.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Is your city starting to open up more now?
The hardest thing has really been the mental aspect of it. In the very beginning it was a little refreshing, the whole world hitting pause together felt like a big exhale for a moment. Now it’s just a constant battle to stay okay it feels like. My city is starting to open back up legally but you don’t really feel it. People are still scared, and now that all my friends have gone back to school I feel like nothings really changed.
How have you been able to use social media during these unprecedented times? Are you finding that you use it even more now to stay connected to fans and other musicians?
Social media is everything right now. I spend literally all day every day on it, even if it’s not for work. The one plus of Covid is that without this lockdown I don’t think i would’ve learned to utilize the way I have unless I absolutely had to.
What has it been like having to reschedule all your shows this year? What shows in 2021 are you are already excited for?
I had just dropped my first single ever in the very beginning of Covid, so I didn’t have any shows booked yet. That being said, I really needed to start getting performance experience, and that plan has been totally taken off the table. I was planning on performing at low key venues to just get the ball rolling, but instead I’ve dropped 2 singles and a music video without ever having performed either of them live. I’m hoping 2021 will be the time I get to really try these songs out for a live audience.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for you? What about a favorite show of someone else?
I was lucky enough to be at Beyoncé’s Coachella performance a couple years back. It was absolutely insane. I think the best shows really come down to how connected you feel with the artist and what’s happening on stage. Anyone going to a concert, whether they consciously know it or not, is going in the pursuit of a feeling, connection, release, or all three. If you can build that bridge between yourself and the artist I think the show can’t be anything but amazing.
I am curious to know more about how being born deaf and then gaining your hearing at 2-months has affected the kind of musician that you are today?
I’d never really thought about it until people in the music industry started asking me this question. Now that it’s coming up I guess it’s pretty impossible for it not to have shaped who I am musically. Everything I love to do is shaped by listening, and not just in music, but who I am as a friend and person too. If I boil it down, i think it’s just made me more analytical in the studio. Every synth and every harmony has to serve a purpose in all of my songs. If it’s not helping to evoke a feeling then it’s pointless.
Let’s talk about your latest single, “All Hell Breaks Loose,” released earlier this summer. What was the inspiration for this song? What was it like making the music video for it? How creatively involved with making were you? What was it like having Malike Sidibe who has never directed a full-length music video before direct it?
This song really just started out as a feeling. I was experimenting with writing from a vibe instead of a specific story. It really just came out of nowhere to be honest, but has time has gone on and the world has gotten crazier, it’s meaning keeps evolving. Making the music video was both the most stressful and fun thing I’ve ever gotten to do in my life. It had been weeks of back and forth with various directors before I really sat down and pieced what this video looked like to me. I sat in my room and had the song on replay for 5 hours before I came out with a notepad filled with exactly what this video would be. Time stamped and everything. It was a really big moment for me because I’d convinced myself I couldn’t do something like that, and here I was confidently sending it out. Working with Malike was the best decision I could’ve made. He and I share similar aesthetics, and both of us being new to making music videos enabled us to really meet in the middle on this project. He took something so messy and made it into a story. I love that we got to learn together on this.
How do you think “All Hell Breaks Loose” compares to your previous debut single “He”? How is this latest batch of songs a clear departure from any of your earlier music?
I think they compliment each other really well. They’re both really expressive and extreme, but their vibes differ enough to keep them unique from each other. The music I was making before All Hell Breaks Loose and He was all very story telling based. That’s just what came most naturally to me. I wanted to be able to express and evoke the same feelings I’d write about without getting overly descriptive. “Show, don’t tell” kind of writing. I think I’ve found the balance now.
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the US has been going through? How exactly is it inspiring you and your music?
I think music is just going to keep getting more and more honest. The BLM movement has ignited such profound artistry from all corners of music. People want to release their anger, their hurt, and want to provoke change and that’s being reflected in sound right now. It’s making me think a lot about how I want people to feel during/after they listen to one of my songs.
If you could get into the studio with any artist today and collaborate on a new song for you, who would it be and why?
Labrinth. He himself has created a sound that, in my opinion, is starting to define my generation. I’ve also just always looked up to him. He evokes so much from his listeners in ways I don’t think anyone has really thought of before. His music makes me feel really deeply and that’s something I really try to do myself.
What would your dream music video look like right now?
It really depends on the song, but my favorite music videos are the unexpected ones. If my next single were to be a full blown love song, I’d want the video to be the opposite aesthetically, and I’d want it to be like watching a movie.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
No one knows what they’re doing. If anyone reading this wants to get into music and feels intimidated by it I think it’s important to know that literally everyone is intimidated no matter what stage they’re at. I wish I knew that when I was first getting started. It’s really one step at a time and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed. I have daily doubts and fears. It’s not about getting passed that, it’s about getting comfortable with it.