UK Beatboxer, actor and singer-songwriter Grace Savage has the dual privilege of having the life you want as a musician, and the life you would never want. Before 2016 she was trapped in a deal with a producer. After 2016 she was reborn first with her EP Savage Grace which received critical acclaim, and then with Control Freak. One of her latest singles is “Running Under Water”
Grace Savage will be appearing at the 3rd Annual Loud Women Festival on September 15.
FEMMUSIC: Reading your own bio it sounds like you’ve become 2 different people. One before 2016 and one after. How do you think your legal battles changed you as a person and a musician?
GS: It was a horrible situation to be in at the time but I see it as a blessing in disguise now. It was one of the scariest and best decisions I’ve ever made…it’s kind of like leaving a relationship that isn’t working – it’s so hard to rip yourself away from your comfort zone, even though you know deep down it’s not good for you. I didn’t know if I could do it alone but I knew I had to try. Once I walked away from that deal and all those songs I finally started to write music that was really and truly from me, I was turning into the artist I wanted to be – a much wiser and savvy artist too.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Control Freak?
GS: The biggest challenge was making a follow up EP to my debut – kind of like “second album syndrome” but on a smaller scale. I was surprised by how well received Savage Grace was and so really felt the pressure on the second EP. So the biggest challenge was not listening to the critical voice in my head and worrying about what people would think of the music.
FEMMUSIC: How was making Control Freak different from making Savage Grace? What lessons did you learn in-between?
GS: Control Freak has a bit more of an solid sound stamp than the previous EP. I feel like it’s a collection of songs that show how I have grown in confidence in every aspect – production, lyrics, vocal delivery, concepts. I had no funding for this EP and I couldn’t bring myself to crowd fund again so I had to be a bit more savvy with my finances and ask for a lot of favours! I learned how to create, market and release an EP with Savage Grace and definitely made a few mistakes, so the second time round everything felt a lot easier and smoother.
photo by Jade Anouka
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about “Running Under Water.” How did the song come together?
GS: This song is about falling for someone with depression and feeling apprehensive about the emotional difficulty that might entail but at the same time, knowing there is nothing you can do about it as the love is addictive and the falling, inevitable….all under the guise of a summer banger you can dance to 😉
I wrote it with Ben Cartwright and Jason Julian at odd child studios and I had the lyrics pretty much written before I went into the session, the whole thing happened really organically and we wrote it in a few hours.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
GS: I write poetry and lyrics on my laptop, I create little melody ideas in my iPhone and I create little musical sketches in logic so that every time I go into the studio I have a concept, a beat or a melody to get things going. Sometimes I topline to an existing beat but usually I like to work from scratch and be in the room with a producer so we are all on the same page and it sonically suits my savage style 😉
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
GS: It’s hard to pin it down to one song but growing up I listened to P!nk’s albums religiously. My parents split up when I was 13 and that album was very therapeutic for me. Some grungy emo pop bangers was exactly what I needed and every time I listen to those songs it take me right back to that time.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
GS: Nothing I can pinpoint but if you watch my TED talk – I go into some of my experiences as a female beatboxer
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
GS: I’ve recently discovered this band called Sylvan Esso and I’m obsessed with them. I would love to collaborate or tour with them.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
GS: Opportunities and support at grass roots level for emerging artists – funding is extremely competitive, and the system is currently designed to benefit those who have access to money and can finance their own careers. It’s seriously hard to maintain a steady full time career in music and there are a lot of people out there willing to take advantage!