Gabrielle Grace describes herself as a storyteller and a welcoming friend, words which don’t just apply to her attitude in music and with her craft, but in the community she finds herself engaging in and contributing to. The independent folk artist has been through many stages of artistry and ushers in the next scene with her latest EP, We’ll Be Alright.
A six track collection, the project feels like a breath of fresh air, of honesty and beauty. Gabrielle brings light with her voice while also challenging listeners to decipher the poetic language of her writing style, giving opportunity for each person to walk away with their own sense of meaning and understanding.
We chatted with the songwriter about this new release, her first full length project since 2019, and what she envisions the upcoming year to look like, with both hopes for how far her music will take her and who it will reach.
This EP comes as a beautiful next step for you in your artist journey. What has the experience of releasing this project been like for you?
Well, thank you so much for saying that. I believe that it’s also been a transformational step for me to say the least. I think I learned my voice and what my voice can look and even sound like. That comes from surrounding yourself with people that want to amplify your voice. I’ve been incredibly grateful to have people like that in my life reminding me that my story and voice matters, even on days when I don’t see it. Releasing this project has been incredibly kind. It has felt kind to myself and kind from the people who have supported and stuck with me.
Did you have any specific motivations going into this release – either in content resonating with listeners, or where it would take you as a songwriter?
I would like to say that I knew exactly what I wanted to say when I started to create this project, but honestly I would be lying! I started writing a ton while recording my first project, “This Beautiful Life”, and I remember just sending a ton of my songs through voice memos to my producer Keith. They were songs that were results of either my own life experiences or taking on the weight of what my friends were going through. As we went to pick the songs for this project, I just couldn’t get the images of hands out of my head. It made me think of how we really can’t get through the crap of life without the people around us carrying us, I know I couldn’t. That then became the inspiration for visuals and other things you can see, even through color. The singles I put out earlier were blue, then red, then yellow. The shift of things getting a little lighter. People make my life a little lighter and have taught me to not take myself so seriously.
How would you define the message behind the tracks on this project?
I think it’s a little bit about what I talked about in the last question but also how joy and suffering coexist. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a tough thing to chew on, but that’s the reality of life. My greatest highs come from my lowest lows. As much as the low’s hurt, I’m thankful for the growth. I have had great people in my life be in those low and high points. I think this record shows the people in my life stuck with me, but I have also had the honor to walk with some of my closest friends through some hard times. With joy and suffering, hope is the only way out. I hope it carries in these songs.
As a singer-songwriter, how do you find yourself pairing sonic elements and lyrical concepts together in the creation process, whether that be on the front end when you originally write the tune, or in the production space?
I love this question because so many songwriters would answer this so differently. Everyone’s writing process is so different and that’s why I love writing. Most of the time, I am just practicing or playing on the guitar or piano, and I strike some chord progression and melody that move me. I then sing a lot of gibberish until I make sense of it or just write what’s coming to me on a notepad. The lyrics are very important to me, but I will say the dynamic of a song and how it can move with different chord progressions are natural. The lyrics and music almost build together as they go. I hear things as it’s made and then I usually tell Keith what my ideas are or what song I’m referencing. From there, I have had the honor to work with Keith Harris and other musical geniuses that make me better. I’m constantly learning and listening.
It’s no secret that being an independent artist is challenging. But you’ve been making great strides this year establishing yourself in the indie-singer songwriter space. What are some hopes and goals you have for the rest of the year as you keep working on music and finish this EP rollout?
Again, thank you. It’s been a strange year to feel established in something haha, but I’m extremely grateful. I already know that I’d love to tour in someway if possible. I’m working on putting together an outdoor show tour with some buddies, so that’s definitely a goal! I would love to play these songs live. One thing is that I love collaborating too, so I’m looking forward to doing that more. I’m already dreaming and writing for the next thing which is kinda insane but I just love writing. I hope to just relate to people and tell honest stories. I hope people can feel like they can relate and be honest back.