Since the moment of meeting Grace Pitts, I always knew she would go on to do amazing things in music. In the past few years, under the moniker GRAACE, Grace has gone on to achieve milestone after milestone. From touring the world with Flight Facilities, landing a platinum record with Hayden James for featuring on his single ‘Numb’, to debuting her EP, Self Sabotage. We were lucky to catch-up in New York earlier this year during a tour to shoot some portraits in the snow on medium format film, but nothing made me prouder than hearing her perform her debut EP back home in Sydney at Ginger’s in the Oxford Hotel and capturing the night on 35mm film.
You can hear more of her music here: http://graacemusic.com
BYO: Do you remember how we met?
Grace: Of course! In a mosh pit, 13 or 14 years old, at Two Door Cinema Club. We heard each other singing and it actually sounding decent and immediately bonded and started singing the whole night together.
BYO: I’m pretty sure we lost our voices that night. Do you still listen to TDCC?
Grace: I actually haven’t in ages, but I’ve got a long Uber ahead to an event later this afternoon and it’s well overdue for a throwback.
BYO: Haha yesss, who are you listening to at the moment?
Grace: I listen to a huge range of music and genres but at the moment 6lack and Lennon Stella have been on repeat. Their artistry and writing is so inspiring to me and so satisfying to listen to, vocals and production wise.
BYO: I’m in love with 6lack at the moment! East Atlanta Love Letter is one of my fave albums this year
Grace: Listen to Stan!
BYO: Playing now - So how are things now that the EP is out? How are you feeling? What’s been keeping you busy?
Grace: It feels amazing to finally have a full body of work out for the first time under GRAACE. It was such a journey writing and finding my sound the past year and a half. Being a song writer I always keep myself busy everyday writing. But I head over to LA in a week to finish my next EP which is already written so that’s definitely keeping me busy.
BYO: That’s amazing - did writing with Xavier Dunn and performing with Hayden James and Flight Facilities influence that sound as well?
Grace: Of course! Performing with Hayden and Flight Facilites has shaped my writing and performances like crazy. They’ve taught me stage skills and I’ve been learning how to interact with the crowds and what music works live because the live show is a huge part of the project. Being able to interact with the people who listen to your music is so rewarding and I want to make something that when they come to see me they feel something.
BYO: Yeah definitely, I can’t imagine the connection the audience shares with you in that moment. It must be so surreal. I’m pretty interested in your writing process. Lyrics first or music first? Do you prefer writing solo or collaboratively?
Grace: It’s changed over the years and varies whether I’m playing guitar or piano. Lately I’ve get a concept in my head and then find piano chords that I feel match the mood. I chuck my voice memo on and start mumbling melodies or lyrics and eventually write it down so it’s not gibberish. I find writing is my therapy so I don’t find it hard to write lyrics and they usually come crazy naturally, especially if I’ve been bottling something up which I almost always am.
Writing solo was my favourite for a while until I found people like Xavier who I realised was only improving the writing by understanding me. I’ve been lucky to work with incredible people this year who have understood my vision and only enhanced the songs with ideas and never tried to change me. Writing solo is more vulnerable I find, as I’m not afraid to say anything at all, but I’ve learnt to be vulnerable in front of others now in a studio because I’ve accepted that all song writers are overthinking emotions as much as I am.
BYO: I think being vulnerable around others must have been a huge stepping stone for you - usually most of us end up joking about our emotions. That actually reminds me of one of my favourite lyrics of yours: “I know I keep joking about being emotionally unstable”
Grace: Oh the irony of writing a song about not being able to share my feelings then releasing it for the whole world to listen.
BYO: Do you still dream a lot? I remember we used to talk about analysing our dreams when we were younger - teenage Chris and Grace trying to understand the deeper meaning of our sub-conscious.
Grace: This is why we are such good friends even after years of being apart! I dream a lot still. I actually find a lot of it an escape.
BYO: Love seems to be a major influence in your music and I’ve got to ask, are you the type to fall for someone easily or are you a bit more guarded?
Grace: Having struggled a lot with finding the right people to surround myself with from when I was young and not feeling comfortable, when I find someone I vibe with and feel that connection I kind of latch on. I feel like I bottled up so much emotion when I was young after losing my father that now I kind of just spill over and tell them my whole life story.
I’m not sure if it’s good for them but it’s definitely good for me having someone listen and I think naturally that easily turns into love, having someone accept you.
BYO: I’ve just got a few quick-fire questions to wrap up the interview. What do you do outside of music?
Grace: Spend time with family and friends as much as possible.
BYO: Favourite place in the world?
Grace: So far, Bern, Switzerland.
BYO: Go-to drink at a bar?
Grace: Depends on my mood. Espresso martini or margarita.
BYO: What could you eat every day for the rest of your life and not get sick of?
Grace: Ramen or Mexican.
BYO: Best venue you’ve performed at?
Grace: Somerset House London with Flight Facilities.
Grace: Last question - if you could work with anyone in the world, whether it’s a duet or a producer, who would it be?
Grace: As of right now I really can’t decide between Daniel Caesar and 6Lack
BYO: That’s such a hard choice! I’d have to go with Daniel Caesar.
Grace: He’s an angel. Never met him, but he’s an angel.