Photo Credit: Vince Aung
1) What advice do you have for women who aspire to make it in music?
There's so much access to everything right now in music which can be helpful and amazing but I also think what has been helpful for me this past year is trying to separate from all the noise of what everyone else is doing and try to listen to what feels honest for yourself. It can be hard to feel individual sometimes and not just part of the masses so I would say try to write down as much as you can, even if it's just how you're feeling that day cause tracking those feelings is super important. Second would be find people who you really trust! It can be hard to find people you trust in this industry and it can be a daunting crowd but if you have people who you really connect with it will become much easier to navigate through all the noise.
2) What have you taken from 2020 and what are you using to conquer things coming up in your future?
This past year was super devastating for everybody in very different ways and what I've taken away from it above all else is that being up front and honest with yourself is extremely important. For me getting into therapy during the pandemic was a massive help and having that be a part of my life now has benefited me immensely. In therapy, among learning a thousand other things, just being able to create space and time in my day to feel what I'm feeling is important I've come to realize. Even if it's just for 5 minutes, instead of carrying on and pretending like things don't bother me and not suppressing those feelings has been super helpful. I'm still constantly learning but those small things really do matter!
3) How did your shift in fame impact your relationship to music?
I don't feel it at all haha. I'm just amped to get to talk to more people and meet people through my music but other than that it feels exactly the same. The first thing that I ever uploaded to the internet was when I was 13 and covered a Phoebe Bridgers song. I recorded it on my laptop and it was soooo terrible but it made me feel really fulfilled which is exactly how I feel now. Especially with releasing new music right before the pandemic and being indoors most days makes it all feel very much the same. Now doing shows and being with people for real makes me realize I'm not the only person who knows these songs exist but at the same time it feels equally minuscule and private. I think part of that is because the people who I've met who connect with my music seem as sensitive as I am so having gentle people on the other end has helped it stay tiny in my head in a really relaxing way:)
4) What's the difference of playing festivals versus smaller venues?
Yeah, it's definitely different! You don't get a soundcheck so there's just the feeling of walking out and not knowing if the technology is going to function or if the sustain pedal is working today etc. so it's very different. The second show that I ever played was a festival so it was a funny weekend to go from avoiding performing for 22 years cause I was so anxious about it to doing a festival. I really love being outdoors though cause it feels therapeutic in a way. The other thing that's cool is that because it's an open space you can be walking from stage to stage and hear someone in the distance and when you're performing you get to watch the audience grow as well in a really trippy and beautiful way that I love witnessing.
5) What's your favorite song to sing live and why?
I have two! "21" is very fun for me, it's what I've been opening shows with and to walk out and see people's faces singing that song has brought me a lot of joy. Then next would be "Crossfire" which isn't out yet but it's super stripped back and I play it by myself which has challenged my anxiety and stage fright the most and is now my favorite cause it's a funny test for myself every show now. It's pretty much my biggest fear- being in a large group of people and everyone is silent except me speaking or singing and now I've grown to enjoy it which feels like a growth I was thankful for.
Follow Gracie Abrams on Instagram to stay up to date with new music and shows! <3