Imagine a unique and avant-garde blend of Cher, Lady Gaga and Marilyn Mansion, and you have the Illuminati Princess.
You might think an artist like this is a pop or rock musician, but that’s not the case with this up and coming Nashville artist. This princess is a rapper. And a man.
Twenty-one-year-old Gregory Grey grew up in Nashville with an interest in illustrating comic books and creating new characters. As the years went by, he realized he could become his own character.
“The Illuminati Princess is Gregory Grey,” he said. “Looking how I do isn't just for photo-shoots or public appearances. I wear what you see, to the grocery store, to the movies or just to go shopping. It's when I feel the most confident.”
Growing up in a very musical house and participating on a competitive dance team for more than five years, Grey always knew he had rhythm. At age 7, the first thing he ever rapped was part of a Spice Girls song “If You Can’t Dance.”
Grey then started recording heavier music similar to a marriage of Bjork and Nine Inch Nails. Considering himself a writer, much of his earlier music sounded like poetry. Listening to these recordings when he was older, he thought of them as more therapeutic musings. “I think that after living with the music for a while, I felt as though I was taking myself way too seriously,” he said.
Grey never thought about traveling down this road. He had always listened to a predominantly hip-hop playlist with a mix of other genres. It wasn’t until his sister told him she had a dream about him becoming a rapper. “Naturally, I thought that was absolutely hilarious. Later on that day, I ended up writing an entire song, which started me on this journey,” Grey said.
Now, he is recording his first collaboration with Raja Gemini, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season three, with the release around the end of July. There are a few other projects on the table for the Illuminati Princess, but he is focusing his creative juices into his forthcoming EP, which will be released in the next few months.
His current single “Stay On My Grind” was released on June 1 and “Bow Down” came out in mid-December. Both are available on iTunes and Amazon.
Grey hopes his lyrics lead people to drift away from reality. “I live in my own imagination most of the time, and I want to allow people to create their own world,” he said.
Bullying was something Grey had to endure growing up. His struggles involved concerned parents, church leaders and teachers. “Never for a second do I want any of my fans to accept that. There will be a time in your life, where you say ‘enough is enough,’” he said.
Grey wants his fans to feel confident and free after listening to his music: “Each and every one of us have a responsibility to ourselves to be happy and fulfilled, and if that means wearing nine inch stripper shoes and pursuing rap music, then so be it.”