On “Freedom”, the 19-year-old rising star escapes the present through dreams of childhood bliss.
19-year-old rising multi-hyphenate Grace Gaustad is putting pedal to the metal with her music this year. Born in Arizona in the early 2000s, the singer knew she was destined for fame from a young age. Immersing herself in musical theatre to hone her voice and pick up a passion for pop, Gaustad’s approach to music is defined by a determination and passion that would see her going places, and that’s exactly what it has done.
Before releasing her breakout EP in 2019, titled Human, Gaustad had achieved viral fame with a cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” that reached over 25 million views – 2 million of which were caught on YouTube alone. Thus began the building of a loyal community of fans enamoured with her irreverent approach to pop in whatever shape or form it came in. She’s done ballads, slow-burning synth masterpieces, and even created an ethereal wonderland on latest track – “Freedom”
Taken from her forthcoming EP – “Welcome To Jupiter 1.0” – the track is full of airy guitars and pleas to return to childhood bliss, a concept we can all rally behind considering what a tough past year we’ve had. Landing on this planet on April 30th, Gaustad’s even got a debut album following steadily behind, taking inspiration from those bulky data collectors you can find on planes. Perhaps not the most regular pool of inspiration, on BLCKBX Gaustad’s fascination lies in how we as humans also store information, be it memories and other life experiences that only we can access – “If you could look through your Black Box what do you think you’d find?” she asks.
With a tremendously busy year ahead, we can’t wait to see where these projects take this singer on her meteoric rise, just rest assured we’ll be watching with eagle eyes to see her shine – check out our interview with Gaustad below!
Hi Grace – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
I’d be lying to you if I said it hasn’t been an incredibly difficult year but I feel like over that time I have learned so much about myself and the world. I’m trying to see the good in a very bad situation and staying optimistic and open-minded has really helped me stay healthy mentally. Luckily for me I’ve still been able to stay super creative and have continued working virtually with all of my collaborators on new music. Although writing a song on zoom is slightly different, it’s still so fun to create art with your best friends.
How has growing up in Arizona influenced you sonically? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Growing up in Arizona didn’t influence me sonically but it profoundly influenced me lyrically. One of my favourite lyrics off of my upcoming album is “cotton candy skies, only sugar highs” which is a nod to Arizona’s beautiful sunsets. There’s nothing else in this world quite like them. My all-time favourite musician and inspiration is Lady Gaga but I’ve been inspired by so many fantastic artists over the years. To name a few of my favourites I would say Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, and Frank Ocean have shaped me most as an artist.
Your music fuses raw lyricism with your addictive brand of pop – how would you describe your genre?
My genre is one of melodic storytelling, brutally honest lyrics, and infectious pop production.
It was your 2018 cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” that exploded on the internet, amassing over 25 million views – what was your reaction to it blowing up like this?
Honestly, I was so excited about how many people really loved the song and my cover of it. As an artist, the only thing you can hope for is that your art is able to positively influence people and bring them happiness and peace. Hozier is an incredible artist and “Take Me To Church” is one of my favourite songs.
Congratulations on your new single “Freedom” – what was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration behind freedom is this idea that true freedom is adulthood when in reality true freedom is childhood but by the time we realize that, we’re already adults. It’s a bit ironic, but nonetheless something that we all feel is nostalgia towards a much simpler time in life.
And it’s taken from your forthcoming sophomore EP, “Welcome To Jupiter 1” – why that name?
I chose the name “Welcome To Jupiter 1.0” as a battle cry to everyone in this world who feels like they’re from another planet and these days I think that’s a lot of people, I’m certainly one of them.
What ties the EP together as a body of work? And where did you draw your main inspirations from?
What ties the EP together is the state of our world with “Out Of Time, the state of our personal relationships with “No You To Me”, the state of the passage between childhood and adulthood with Freedom, and lastly the state of gratitude and recognition to the people who keep our world together in “Oxygen.” I draw my inspirations from the everyday details of my life and the lives of those closest to me.
And your BLKBX poetry and artwork project book is incredible – will you tell us a bit about where the idea for it came from?
The metaphor for a BLKBX is that it holds all the code and information about a journey. BLKBX became a perfect metaphor for me to describe my journey from adolescence to adulthood. I wanted to pair the album with a book of original artwork and poetry to show my journey in multiple dimensions.
What do you hope your music brings at such a time of uncertainty?
I hope my music becomes a safe place for people of all ages. I want my music to do for others the same thing that my favourite artists’ music has done for me. It has inspired me, It has given me a place to express myself, and above everything else, music makes me happy.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I am so excited to finally release my debut album, BLKBX, alongside my second EP Welcome To Jupiter. Getting this music out into the world is my top priority and I can only hope it brings a tremendous amount of inspiration and hope to people everywhere.