The aspiring singer talks about being the daughter of a legendary athlete, her relationship status, and those other sexy pics.
This feature appears in Complex's August/September 2012 issue.
Social media is a gift and a curse. Paulina Gretzky learned that the hard way last November when she got carried away posting salacious photos on her Twitter account. The eldest daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky soon found her pics plastered all over the ’net and TMZ cameras in her face. The classically trained singer, who’s working on her Universal Records debut, was written off as just another celebrity daughter gone wild. But the 23-year-old Los Angeles native is more than a racy socialite. It’s time for her voice to be heard.
Interview by Paul Cantor (@PaulCantor)
As the daughter of “The Great One,” do you feel like you live in his shadow?
By no means. My dad’s accomplishments are completely different than everything I’ve done with my life and the career path I want to take. What he’s done has only been inspirational for me.
You were young when your dad was playing. Were you even aware of how he was perceived?
I knew what was going on. My parents kept us in a safe environment. Being a child in LA you don’t feel different. You feel very normal. I never felt I was treated differently. Maybe if I had been in Canada while this was all going on it might have been a different story. I live such a down-to-earth life. I’m completely normal. People are amazed by how I present myself. They think I’m gonna be this total brat when I’m not.
Did you spend much time in Canada as a kid?
I did, but it was to see my grandpa and grandma. I spent so much time there when my grandma was alive. Twice a year, big chunks of time, I was in Brantford—never the big city, always on the farm, at my grandpa and grandma’s house.
I should have been more aware. I never had to censor myself before.
Did you play sports growing up?
I did. I played everything, even hockey, but once I turned 13 or 14 I developed a passion for dancing and singing.
People know you from your pictures, but your voice is beautiful, too.
Thank you! People might think this has been easy for me but I’ve been working hard at singing since I was 16. I went to Interlochen [Center for the Arts]. I studied opera. I’ve paid my dues.
How would you describe the music you’ve been working on, the newer stuff?
It’s very pop mainstream. When I first started, I wanted this Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani rocker girl vibe, but then I grew up and changed. I have a very raspy voice. My inspiration has always been Stevie Nicks. Hopefully it won’t sound like what everybody else is doing right now, and hopefully people will see the uniqueness in my voice and fall in love with it.