Having co-written and sung on Chance the Rapper and Kanye West’s track ‘All We Got’, Grace knows a thing or two about being in the studio with some big names. As she embarks on releasing her first full-length studio album, I sat down with her to chat about what the future holds.
Grace worked on the first track on Chance the Rapper’s critically acclaimed, Grammy Award Winning ‘Coloring Book’, so it makes sense that the same family of artists came together to produce her latest album. She explained that her collaboration with them came about through coincidence. ‘My executive producer texted me saying there’s someone I want you to meet, so I headed to the studio with no idea who it could be. I turned up, and Donnie Trumpet was there, and they were like we want you to sing on this track.’
Grace explained that things progressed quickly from there. She started working with Save Money, a Chicago born music group. ‘The Save Money group is made up of Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Tokyo Shawn many more talented artists. It’s one big Chicago musical family. Mercy is the last song on the album and was produced by these guys’.
Grace seems very cool and collected about her future and clearly has some big dreams. I asked what motivates her and she explained – ‘artistic vision’. Her new album is about taking the listener on a journey. ‘I wanted to make an album that you can listen to from top to bottom and that really tells a story. The whole process was one of self-discovery and learning more about humanness.’
Her soulful style makes her voice distinctive. She’s got a sound you can listen to again and again and really feel the emotion behind the words. She explains that making the record was about being vulnerable. ‘I spent a long time being afraid of who I am. I always wanted to please people and make other people happy. In that way, I hid a lot from my emotions and from who I truly am. With this album, I really wanted to open up and reveal my emotional range to be seen. The journey was very personal, but every track has a different story and is entirely open to interpretation.’
When quizzed on her fantastic sense of style, she said it kind of came about by accident. ‘A lot of my childhood was spent not knowing what to wear. Then I started wearing what I actually liked, and that turned out to work for me. I think being authentic is what it’s all about. Effortlessness is what makes something look good – when it’s second nature and is genuinely an expression of you, it just works.’
Grace takes inspiration from an array of artists. She said that she is inspired by everything from Frank Ocean to Joni Mitchell, Bon Iver and PJ Morton. At present, Grace is on her first national tour with PJ Morton – travelling from New Jersey all the way to the west coast.
She is currently working on her first full-length studio album, which is produced by Nate Fox, Nico Segal (fka ‘Donnie Trumpet’) and Peter Cottontale of the Social Experiment, all Grammy Award Winning producers on Chance the Rapper’s ‘Coloring Book’.