Grace Carter On Her Upbringing and Artistic Inspiration
To wrap up her time as the Rising Artist of the Week, Grace Carter spoke to TIDAL about the influence her childhood had on her creativity, her latest single “Why Her Not Me” and what she wants her fans to take from her music.
Could you tell us about the origins of your most recent song, “Why Her Not Me”? The accompanying video is a really captivating narrative.
It’s a song about trying to discover why I was in the position I was in, which was growing up with a single mother and not having an answer as to why my father was not around and how he, sort of, pick another life over me. With my songs, it’s important to me that people can relate their own lives to the them, but the video was an opportunity to be able tell my story.
Have you wanted to address that in a song for a while or did it crop up as you started releasing music?
I wrote the song about three years ago, but honestly, I wrote the song for me. I felt like I kind of needed to write it and kind of think of not having him around. But, I got to this point now and it felt like the right time to share it. It means so much to me, but I feel it was a song I also would have needed when I was younger and going through it. I wanted to be confident when telling that story and to have people feel the ability to tell their own stories through that song, which is a great feeling.
When you were releasing your first tracks, how did you first conceive the ideas of what your sound and lyrics would be like?
I think it came mostly from a place of processing emotion and having an outlet for these exact things I was feeling. I think, at this point, it’s all I really know how to make music, but I don’t think it was a ever a conscious decision, it ended up being what it is.
How did you begin writing songs?
When I was 13, I met my stepfather and he moved in. I was a bit wary of him and didn’t really want him around and he knew that. He had played guitar as a kid as an outlet and knew I could probably use something like that, so he gave me one as a present. From then on, every Christmas, my mother and him would get me another musical gift or instrument, like a keyboard or an interface for producing. That turned into a little home studio and I would come home everyday from school and write in my bedroom, or in my loft. Anywhere away from people who could hear. I didn’t like sharing it at first because it was all so personal. I was talking about a lot of things in the songs I wouldn’t talk about in conversation.
Was it difficult to perform your personal songs in front of people, initially?
Yeah, I remember my first time performing, coming up on 14. Obviously, at 21, the songs and performance develop and that disappears a little bit. I think what people could really sense was that I was feeling everything I was saying. At 14, it was emotional, but became rewarding to connect with people like that. Nowadays, I am almost exhausted when I get off stage from going to those places emotionally, where some of the songs were written from. I’ve cried sometimes on stage and it just feels like that people can share a bit of their experience in what I am feeling. It wasn’t until a recent point that I realized the weight of what comes when people really connect with the music.
Do you take anything into consideration creatively knowing that your voice and lyrics will be the driving force behind the song?
Yeah, all of my songs are written on one instrument and getting the lyrics right first. I think from there, the production and the rest of the trackings have to feed into what the song is about. That’s what I want to define my creative process and who I want to be. I think the core of it should remain what is being sung, but the production is just the icing on the cake.
What do you want right now out of your first full-length project?
Well, I’ve said before that my songs are like the “letters I’ve never sent.” I think the main thing I’d want people to take from it and for me to put forth was just the story of my life so far and the ups and downs. I want to talk about all the things I’ve felt and thought, but have never fully said out loud.
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