Meet The Artist: Rachel Grace

Rachel Grace is an 18 year old singer/songwriter from Wexford. At the age of 10, Rachel started out performing at pub gigs with her Nanny’s Trad group and then went solo at the age of 12. Rachel loved performing on her own and she started to write her own songs where she developed her own style. Rachel supported artist Wallis Bird and has played at the popular music festival Electric Picnic and most recently won Four Star Pizza’s Star Nation 2020 competition.

What genre / style do you create in?

I think my style is reflected in my music taste which is a mixture of everything. I would describe it best as a melting pot of soul, folk and pop.

What would you be best known for?

Locally I’m known as ‘the singer that wears beanies all of the time’ so that’s definitely what I’m known for. I think my beanies have nearly become my trademark at this stage! I released an EP ‘Routes’ in 2018 that did quite well. One of the singles from it ‘You Don’t Know’ went to number three in the iTunes Charts. I think that’s probably what I’m most known for.

Rachel Grace Routes EP.

What would you consider your biggest achievement?

Probably my most recent achievement, winning Four Star Pizza’s Star Nation 2020 Competition. I was up against some really talented competition so I didn’t think I stood a chance at all. It was a big shock to actually win and a well-needed confidence boost too I think.

What would you consider to be the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?

I’ve learned a lot over the years but I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is to focus on what you are doing and not what others are doing. In this industry, it’s really easy to compare yourself to others and kick yourself for not being where they are – ‘They got the festival and I didn’t, what am I doing wrong?’ etc… It’s something I’m guilty of doing and it used to really get to me. We’re all on completely different journeys so it’s unfair to measure your success on your journey by comparing yourself to others. I believe if things are meant to happen then they’re going to happen.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I’d say it would probably be myself to be honest, something I think most people will resonate with! I’ve always been a shy and nervous person which isn’t a very ideal personality type when you’re main job is connecting with people. I think I’ve learned to navigate this well thankfully. However, it still can be a bit of an obstacle now and again.

Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies etc?

I’m a fairly boring person to tell you the truth! I’m 18 and I live in Wexford. When I’m not singing or making music of some kind (which is rare) I like sleeping, reading and watching films, especially Marvel ones. I’m heading to BIMM, Dublin in October to do a BA Hons in Commercial Modern Music specialising in Songwriting, so I doubt I’ll have much time to do any of those things anymore!

Tell us about your most recent work?

I’m just doing the finishing touches on my new single ‘Cry Me An Ocean’ which I recorded in August with the amazing Gavin Glass in Orphan Recording Studios. It’s an upbeat track (which is unusual for me!) that I recorded live with a band and I have to say I haven’t been this excited about a song in ages. I really enjoyed working on it and I can’t wait for people to hear it.

What would you like us to tell people about?

Like I said before, I have a new single that I’m hoping to release in late October so keep your eyes peeled!

If you had to describe your work to someone who has never heard of you what would you say?

I would describe it as a fusion of soul and folk with some pop undertones with influences from artists like Norah Jones, Wallis Bird and Adele. I sing with a lot of emotion because I really think it’s important that an audience believes what you’re saying. It’s easy for me to do because I have quite a few sappy and depressing songs!

What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in your business?

My dad goes to a lot of my gigs with me, seeing as I just turned 18 recently and he’s quite the character. Whenever I run out of something to say at a gig I resort to making fun of him, which gets quite the laugh from the audience. From getting stuck in fences at music festivals to walking into a SpecSavers sign because he didn’t see it was there when we were on the way to a soundcheck, he always gives me plenty of material to use against him.

What would your advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?

Just go for it and give it 100%. There’s no doubt that the music industry is very financially unstable (especially now during covid) and that it can be physically and mentally exhausting, but I know for a fact that if I were to give up now and get a secure job I’d spend the rest of my life wondering what if!

Anything else you want to tell people about yourself or your work?

You can follow me on my socials here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelgracewexford

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelgracemusicwx/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelgrace2002

Who do you look up to and why?

I really look up to Wallis Bird. Having grown up just a few minutes down the road from me and played all of the pubs I play at, it’s no surprise that she’s one of my biggest inspirations. She’s an incredible songwriter, performer and human being. I’ve been at a few of her gigs now and each gig is nothing short of a spiritual experience. I aspire to provide that same experience at my shows. If I was half as good as her I’d be happy as Larry.

 

 

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