By: Craig Claro
CAGE RIOT: We are happy to talk to Gabrielle Grace, a singer-songwriter currently living in Nashville. Gabrielle, we see you are from a small town in Texas and we wanted to know what that was like growing up there and if it had any influence on you as an artist?
Gabrielle Grace: Yes, I am indeed from a very small town in Texas! I really think it influenced me in some ways and in other ways I believe I had sisters with good taste that wasn’t just country. I really grew up listening to everything. My dad used to play Johnny Cash, George Strait, and plenty of other good folk/country music. On the other side of that, I remember listening to everything in my sister's car like, Red Hot Chili Peppers, early Justin Timberlake, Nirvana, John Mayer, and just a ton of early 2000’s pop and 90’s alternative rock. I feel like listening to everything really has made me not want to put my music in a box.
CR: Well that sounds like one fun group of people!
CR: What attracted you, or made you wind up moving to Nashville? Did it turn out to be what you expected it to be?
GG: To say the least, it really wasn’t ever in the plan to be in Nashville. I wanted to either go to college and play goalie in soccer or volleyball and maybe study something in sports? That really makes me laugh now! I knew I loved music but I didn’t think it would be something I could do with my life. I ended up going to this songwriting and worship camp with some of my band members at the time in 2017 and I saw a booth for Trevecca. I knew it was a small university in Nashville and I felt like it was where I was supposed to go. I only applied there and I knew I was supposed to be there. No question about it. I ended up studying religion and I tried completing a philosophy minor (key word is tried). Around my Sophomore year, I really started digging into songwriting as I was being surrounded by incredible people in Nashville. From there, the rest was history. Nashville and this beautiful community got a hold on me in the best way possible. I’m grateful.
CR: The universe seems to be pushing you in a direction and trying things is the only way to find our way. You seem to have done that!
CR: Have you ever played or made music other than indie/pop/-folk/acoustic?
GG: I feel like I’ve been immersed in everything but, I used to lead worship all through high school and college. I’d say that's something I've played and being a Vans Warped Tour kid I used to try and learn every punk pop song on electric guitar or drums.
CR: We saw a post on your Spotify page that said you “Love the heck out of people”, and we wanted to say we can tell from everything we have learned about you that you are a pretty terrific person. Some of the things you say on your IG are sweet. I am sure it helps people feel cared about when they need it most. Thanks for being a role model!
This Karma may have come back full circle to help you. You told a story about having a break in and 2 guitars stolen? We don't want to spoil it for those who don’t know, so tell us what happened.
GG: Well this is so, so, so kind. Wow, thank you so much. I hope people know they’re awesome and loved.
In mid January we had someone break into our house in the middle of the day. Some of my gear was stolen out of my studio, along with some other items from our house. I was already overwhelmed with the amount of kindness from everyone reposting and sharing the news about the guitars that were stolen. Even though we still haven’t found the guitars, we were already given more than what we lost. The first thing that happened was my good friend Jason Singer who is also known as “Michigander”, hid me from his instagram story and started raising money on Venmo for a new guitar. The money was raised so quickly that he ended up surprising me with it that night. I really didn’t think anything else could happen but I was shocked that Fender found out about the break in through Tik Tok. I just made a video to get the word out hoping someone would see the guitars somewhere and it ended up being bigger than that. People started tagging Fender and a week later I saw a comment from Fender asking me to message them. They wanted to send me two brand new guitars and I was absolutely floored by their kindness. No matter what, I will always be reminded that there is good in everything. People are still good.
CR: Hey everybody involved - especially The Michigander and Fender - you guys rock!
CR: We see you write a lot of songs, we remember reading something about 130 songs so far this year!!! Is songwriting something you have found rewarding as an artist? We all know it's such a huge part of music and not everyone can write songs easily.
GG: Last year was probably the most I've ever written and it’s always been really rewarding to me. Whether the song is going to be recorded or it’s just meant for my journal, it’s a healing process. It’s putting the work in every day to be a better writer but also just taking in the moments more intentionally. As a writer and artist, it’s really helped me portray my songs more authentically. You can tell that I mean every word when I sing them. That is what's most important to me as an artist. I’m telling you the honest truth and experience. I want the people listening to my music to be able to have that same space. Songwriting can create space for every life experience and emotion. It can bring people together and I think that’s special.
CR: I agree 100%. Songs with feeling and emotion are a totally amazing experience.
CR: How often do you write in groups? What can you tell us about these experiences?
GG: I would say I write in groups about 6-8 times a month. I really love co-writing because of what I said before. You share life together and you process it together. I really think that’s where the best songs come from. The songs are great but honestly, I remember the conversations more than how we decided what chords were best for the song. It’s the absolute best.
CR: Who are some of the people you frequently write with and what can you tell us about them?
GG: This is a great question because I love so many people and I’ve had the honor to write with some amazing humans. I write with my best friend Cory Williams a lot. We’ve been doing music together for about 4 years now. Jason Wozniak and Alyssa Kinn absolutely rule and we’ve written a ton together. My best friends Michael Guillot and Seth Findley are also incredible writers and I have the honor of writing with them a lot. They all rule and you should really go check out their music!
CR: Hello to all!
CR: Tell us the motivation for the Album “We’ll Be Alright”.
GG: The “We’ll Be Alright” EP was the project I didn’t intend on writing but it came from my own experiences and a lot of my friends' experiences. A lot of people were going through different parts of life like graduating college, growing up, terrible relationships, and more. I chose the best six songs that were from all of that. I believed those songs changed me for the best.
CR: Do you have an all time favorite song from your recorded catalog? What about it makes it your favorite?
GG: This is always a good question and I believe I answer it differently every time. I would say my song, “Wayward Safety” because of the fact that it was the song I remember writing in college and saying, “I think I'm supposed to be doing this.” The song felt like it was a good song and it encouraged me to keep writing. There wasn’t any pressure on it or myself. It usually speaks to people in such different ways and every time I play it live, there’s always someone who connects with it in a special way.
CR: What is a band or artist you would say is an inspiration to you that would shock us or your fans that we would say “no way!!!”.
GG: Oh man, this is tough. I don’t know if it would be necessarily a shock but Brandon Flowers from The Killers. Every melody and every lyric packs a punch that moves you like you just heard music for the first time.
CR: What is something you feel no one knows about you that you think is an important part of who you are as an artist?
GG: You are good at asking good questions, I hope you know that. I believe that it's important that you know that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing and that’s okay. I don’t have it figured out and everyday I’m learning something new about myself and this thing called life. I won’t ever have it figured out and I hope I can always sit in the posture of learning. I don't know it all now and I never will know it all. That’s pretty awesome if I say so myself.
CR: Thank you, that’s very sweet of you! Yes, it is pretty awesome to accept that of oneself, it’s a paradox that recognizing one's shortcomings automatically reduce them!
CR: Ok so it’s on everyone's minds, what are your plans for touring and finally hopefully being able to play live again?
GG: April 7th, I may or may not be playing a show at the High Watt in Nashville, TN? For tour, I am really hoping late summer or early fall I’ll start playing some shows and traveling again. There may or may not be new music to play and tour on :)
CR: There was a joke on a skit comedy once where the White House Correspondent says “We have a video, and in it there may be something, then something happens, and that something that may or may not be there, may or may not be there at the end; also I cannot comment at this time”.
I feel like I can finally relate to this method of relaying information lol.
CR: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!
GG: Thank you for having me!
CR: Hey everybody, get on your favorite platform and check out Gabrielle Grace today!
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