Grace Amos knows how to write a truly compelling single, but who are some of the artists who influence her? We caught up with the Cobbitty local to find out.
In times like these, we find ourselves turning to sources of comfort to balance out the uncertainty. Whether you are an avid fan or not, you can’t help but agreeing that there’s something so assuring about a country ballad. Grace Amos knows this for a fact. While her songs navigate some less-than-soothing topics, listening to just a moment of her lush melodies can bring out the sun on a rainy day. Her honesty, passion, and sparkling voice feel so therapeutic that you can’t help but melt into her songs.
Fresh off the release of her debut single Listen Real Closely, we caught up with the 16-year-old songwriter to discuss her influences, plans, and her irresistible music.
HAPPY: Hey Grace! How’s it going? What are you up to right this moment?
GRACE: Hi, I’m really well. I’m locked down at boarding school right now due to COVID-19 but that’s ok, it’s best to be safe right now. But that’s giving me some time to rehearse some songs for a live video stream coming up in a few weeks on Kix Radio Network.
HAPPY: Congratulations on the release of your debut single! How does it feel having it out there in the world?
GRACE: I’m over the moon. I really couldn’t be happier about how well it’s been received and that people like it and are connecting with the lyrics. So many people have reached out to say that they can relate to the words. I’m so grateful that radio stations are playing it too!
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about Listen Real Closely?
GRACE: Well, it’s the most personal song I’ve written, so it means a lot to me. I wrote it at a songwriter’s retreat in Victoria last year. I co-wrote it with a mentor of mine David Carter, because he wanted me to write a personal song about me at that moment in time. The song touches on a few personal issues around anxiety and social acceptance. I hope that people can listen to the lyrics and know they are not alone.
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HAPPY: Is this single a taste of something bigger to come? An EP or an album perhaps?
GRACE: Definitely! I have a bunch of original demos that will be recorded when I get the chance to get back into the studio. I think it will be an EP so I can get my four best songs out into the world.
HAPPY: Where did music start for you?
GRACE: It started really early around the age of five when I started piano and singing lessons. There are lots of home videos of me pretending to be Taylor Swift, Hannah Montana, and Selena Gomez. I would try to play any instrument I could, including percussion and strings. Guitar has been a new addition and one that I have fallen in love with! Actually, I have just been offered a guitar endorsement deal which I hope to announce shortly!
HAPPY: Does the songwriting process come naturally to you? What does that look like?
GRACE: It is quite natural for me because my songs are about storytelling. I find that the best way for me to connect to a song is to tell the story and relay the emotion. When that happens, the audience believes it and everyone is present in the moment for those few minutes. It’s gotta be authentic! My songwriting almost always starts with the lyrics and I build the song from there.
— Grace Amos (@graceamosmusic) June 29, 2020
HAPPY: There’s an obvious country-pop thread to this one. What kinds of music were you listening to when you wrote and recorded the track?
GRACE: Yeah, I wrote it in a singer/songwriter style but I think those country-pop influences have come through from my experiences over the past 18 months. I’ve spent some time at the Academy of Country Music in Tamworth and performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on the back of that. The track was produced by Golden Guitar-winning producer Matt Fell (who is a genius) and his influences definitely come through. For me, I’m just a lover of music and you will see that a wide range of influences will come through in my songs as I develop my own authentic style.
HAPPY: Are there any other artists you’re really digging at the moment?
GRACE: My playlists are full of new music from a wide range of genres. I’m loving Gabby Barrett right now on the country scene overseas. There lots of new music out here too. Melody Moko has new music and she’s amazing. The Australian indie scene is full of talented artists right now. The Rubens are from my hometown and I really admire what they have done recently. I crave exploring new fresh music and sounds.
HAPPY: When venues open up again, where are you most excited to play?
GRACE: Like most musicians, all my gigs were cancelled or postponed, including the busking competition at Byron Bay Bluesfest and also opening for a few nights for Daryl Braithwaite and Richard Clapton in the Maldives. I am supporting the Choirboys in November at the Heritage Hotel in Bulli.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
Check out Listen Real Closely below: