It feels like I have known my entire life that music is what I want to pursue. Whenever I hear music, play music, or write music I get an indescribable feeling of home.Grace Gaustad
With vocals that resonate clarity, a soul stirring message and resolve that says, “I’m going to fight as long as it takes to get my music and message heard.”, Grace Gaustad is poised to take the music industry captive. The rising singer/songwriter disclosed she has been making music for as long as her memory goes back and she’s garnered an impressive social media following. Utilizing YouTube, Gaustad has released her creative takes on hit songs like Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” and Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars“. Both of which have racked up millions of views respectively.
At age 19 Grace is ready to use her rich and haunting vocal ability to share her own experiences. On the heels of the release of her first EP Human, she’s teamed up with The Feature Story to debut her video for single “Foreign“. We are excited to not only share the song with you (below), but Grace herself! She candidly discussed the motive behind the music, who inspires her and the inner strength she has found through music.
The Feature Story: Let’s start with the basics. How long have you been making music? When did you know you wanted to pursue this as a career?
Grace Gaustad: I’ve been making music as far back as my memory can go. If I had to pin-point it, I would say probably between the ages of 4-6. It feels like I have known my entire life that music is what I want to pursue. Whenever I hear music, play music, or write music I get an indescribable feeling of home.
TFS: You’ve had quite a bit of success with the covers you’ve posted to YouTube, was this a catalyst for your career, or would you say it more confirmed it?
GG: I think that the covers were a great point to launch from. I try and sing and take inspiration from amazing music and I think it’s always fun to hear someone else’s version of a very famous song. However, this next chapter in my music career is going to be focused on all of the original work that I have been crafting for years. My EP Human is just the beginning of what I hope is a life-long career.
TFS: How easy and/or difficult is it for you to deal with internet fame and the scrutiny that follows?
GG: I think that we as human beings always want to feel accepted and loved for who we are, when in reality the world is a very judgmental and harsh place. Although hate culture is very prevalent online (especially social media), it is important to recognize that other people’s opinions do not need to define who you are. I have learned so much about self love and acceptance over the last few years and I know my heart is in the right place with the music I make and the career I want to have.
TFS: Tell us about your song “Foreign” and the making of the video for it?
GG: Foreign is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It really resembles childhood and all of the things we imagine our lives will turn out like. As a kid, I always thought I was going to live in my house forever, and always have the same friends and the same dog. However, as you grow up you realize that everything changes and adulthood and childhood are two very different things.
TFS: You said of your EP Humans it is the most authentic and vulnerable you’ve been. How difficult and/or important was that for you?
GG: I think being vulnerable in general is really hard for people to do, but one of my jobs as an artist is to express that vulnerability and pain so that others in need can find comfort in the music. I’m also glad I’m at an age now where I have experience to talk about a lot of heavy topics and share them with the world. Above all, I’m excited to keep growing as an artist and diving deeper into who we are as human beings.
TFS: I read that your approach to music is to offer a voice with solutions and not focus solely focus on the darkness. How does this translate to your music as you write about your experiences?
GG: Even though a lot of the topics I choose to write about are dark, there is always light in darkness and vice versa. I speak a lot about forgiveness, accountability, self love, and also the importance of being truthful to yourself. I think if you dive deep into a lot of my songs you realize that although they might be talking about drug addiction, heartbreak, greed, etc., you also see a parallel to positivity in each and every one. For example, at the surface smokeclouds may seem like an angry and resentful song towards a friend, when in reality its message is about finding love in your heart to embrace those at their darkest hour.
TFS: Let’s go there next, what is your creative process like when writing music?
GG: My creative process is a little crazy. There is no particular order to it. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with song lyrics or melodies in my head, other times I sit down with the intention to write a song about a particular subject matter, and sometimes I come up with songs in the most random places like the shower or grocery store.
TFS: Who have been some of your defining influences over the years?
GG: Lady Gaga has been my biggest influence since the moment I laid eyes on her. Her creativity is in a league of its own and I admire everything about her from the outfits, to the songs, to the dancing and theatrical performances. I believe she is truly a one of one. I also happen to love both Rihanna and Adele. I think Adele has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard.
TFS: Do you have any tours planned for the end of 2019?
GG: As of right now nothing is scheduled, but I hope before the end of the year I am able to play a few small dates in both L.A. and NYC.
TFS: Having just graduated high school and moved to L.A., what are some of your plans and/or goals for 2020?
GG: I plan to keep working 24/7 and I would love to put out a full length album by the end of next year. I’m going to fight as long as it takes to get my music and message heard.