Piano-led pop with R&B vocals is the order of the day for Grace Carter, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter causing a stir on both sides of the Atlantic.
When did you first start writing music?
I started writing songs when I was 13, as a way for me to process my emotions and the anger that I had carried through my childhood. I grew up with an absent father so I had a lot of unanswered questions and songwriting was the thing I discovered that helped me understand what I was feeling and that none of it was my fault.
How has growing up in the public eye affected your self-image?
I do feel pressure to be a certain way sometimes but I think that comes with being a 21-year-old girl; I’m still figuring myself out. I have an amazing family and team around me who are always there to lift me up and help me stay true to myself so I’m very lucky.
You’re signed to the same management as Dua Lipa and Lana Del Ray. Is it important to have female role models?
For sure! This job isn’t always easy; there are lots of expectations that come with being a female artist, so I really value having them to look up to. Female artists are often pitted against each other but I’ve found that the competition never comes from the artist themselves but out of frustration that they can’t be their own people. I think there is so much strength in us all coming together and showing each other love.
Do you feel pressure to be constantly ‘on’ digitally?
I’m super aware of how valuable social media can be for an artist but I never want it to define me or my music. I love being able to talk to my fans, that’s my favourite part about it.
What’s your process for writing songs?
It changes every time. My main collaborators are my best friends, they’re called The 23rd. They’ve produced or co-written every song I’ve released. I’m very lucky to have people so close to me that I can make my songs with. It makes the writing process a lot easier.
Are you working on an album?
I am, indeed! An album has always been a massive goal. It’s my opportunity to tell my story and for my fans to get to know me more. Writing these songs has healed me in so many ways and I want to share that journey.
What is the most important lesson working in the music industry has taught you?
Saying 'no' is okay.
Catch Grace with Janelle Monáe at the Summer Series, Trinity College Dublin (3 July) and at Longitude, Marlay Park (5 July).