Australian singer-songwriter Graace released her EP Self Sabotage on October 19. The artist, real name Grace Pitts, has evolved quickly with a pop sound as characterized by her song “Last Night”
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Graace is singed to Song Music Australia and has worked with Hayden James on his song “Numb”, a turning point in her career. FEMMUSIC is enthusiastic to present this interview. For info visit http://graacemusic.com/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making the Self Sabotage EP?
GP: The biggest challenge making ‘Self Sabotage’ would have to be coming to the realization that I had been doing it for 5 years subconsciously. It’s a different thing bottling up your feelings and interlining then compared to verbalising all your flaws for potentially a lot of people to hear and judge you for.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Hayden James and “Numb.” How did you get involved with song? What happened to your life after the song came out?
GP: Within about 2 weeks of randomly uploading the track on Triple J Unearthed I had found Falcona, my management company, who happened to also take care of Hayden James. I was always a huge fan of him so when he sent a track over to write with him I freaked out. No joke on the way to the studio to meet up with him I ended up writing the whole top line in the taxi, thinking nothing of it. By the end of the night the song was ready to go and was released just a few months later. I can’t even describe how much it’s changed my view and confidence in myself as a writer. Hayden is also like my big brother in the industry now and having him for advice now is something I’ll never take for granted.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about your signings to both Sony Music Australia & Falcona Management. What made you decide to sign as opposed to being independent? What do both groups bring to the table?
GP: Leon, from Falcona believed in me when I didn’t even back my own talent. It was crazy how nurturing he was to me in the industry so early on. Getting me sessions with amazing writers, honestly I wouldn’t have grown so much in the past year with my writing if I had signed with any other manager.
Signing to a major was something that Leon and I didn’t put much thought into as we initially were thinking to sign independent. The independent label was incredible for so many things but I think seeing where I wanted to go within the next 3 years musically. I see myself venturing into the pop world so I wasn’t much like the artists on the roster they had which kinda scared me cause I’d be putting all my eggs in their basket. Sony’s enthusiasm from the get go was pretty crazy though. I met with my A&R who had actually wanted to sign me since I was 18 years old, so everything came together too perfect not to go with them because it felt like a family already who really do believe in me, which is hard to find.
FEMMUSIC: Let’s talk about the singles from Self Sabotage – “Last Night”, Kissing Boys” and “SOS.” How did the songs evolve? What happened to them in studio?
GP: I actually wrote half of “Kissing Boys” and “Last Night” in my room not a studio. I find a lot of my songs come out more genuine when I’m alone with no barrier of somebody else’s opinion since most of the time I’m just singing about how I feel. I ended up finishing them both with Xavier in my bedroom not long after which turned into my second home the whole making of this EP. I wrote “SOS” purely alone in my room one night within about 20 minutes. I was so sick of being in situations where I was forced to ‘be happy’ ‘be presentable’ and inside be wanting to scream out like ‘FUCK IM NOT OK’ haha.
I struggle to verbalise a lot of my emotions to loved ones so it was my first time kinda saying stuff out loud. It all flowed out so quick because it was just a genuine rant about society’s expectations to act ok all the time in public.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
GP: It’s evolved a lot from when I was 14, from guitar to piano. I find now I have a pretty solid foundation for myself that works a lot of the time. Candles are the first step, always. Then I start by finding chords on piano I like, followed by usually riffing some lyrics and melody to see what my brain wants to write about and get off my chest that day. I’ll keep doing this while recording on voice memo and then writing down and tweaking what I’m singing as I go.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
GP: “Worst in Me”- Julia Micheal’s. This woman is CRAZY at song writing as we already all know. But when I heard this song in particular I connected so hard. Whenever I write honestly is the one thing I always stay true to and this song just slaps you in the face with raw emotion without covering it with glitter and crazy production. It gave me so much more confidence to own my story and music without cutting corners.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as women in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
GP: Meeting a lot of people in the industry I’ve gotten mistaken SO many times as ‘an artist’s girlfriend’ at all of these music events. I just have to laugh a lot of the time that people assume that girls at a concert are groupies. It’s funny to jump up on stage after and be like, nah I’m an artist too bro haha.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
GP: Someone I’ve wanted to collaborate with for the past year is Daniel Caesar. I’ve abused the repeat button on Spotify way too many times listening to his album Freudian. His voice, writing and production is literally heaven to my ears.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
GP: Having to wait so long between writing a song and releasing it because of all the behind the scenes work is something that always makes me sooo impatient. It of course always ends up for the best because a good song should always have love behind it to make sure you can maximize how many people get to experience your music. But damn, sometimes I write a song one night and wish I could release it an hour later because I’m so excited by it.