Check out our interview with country-pop singer and “The Voice” star Gracia who recently released her hit single “hey.”

Gracia started her career in 2012 on The Voice and released three singles in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Since then, she has changed her trajectory and begun focusing on building her brand of authenticity and boldness. With the release of “hey”, that will be abundantly clear.

The video opens with the singer waking up after a long night, makeup smeared and phone vibrating incessantly. As Gracia races out the door, a moment takes her by surprise- a handsome stranger appears in her way and changes the direction of her day, as well as her life. The backdrop of Miami is the perfect primer for the song’s summery production and Gracia’s easygoing energy.

Follow Gracia @thelifeofgracia

Gracia - hey (Official Music Video)

Hi Gracia, please tell us a little about you?

I’m a pop-country singer-songwriter originally from the midwest. Kinda pop and fun but I also am like part sad girl hiding in all that. Formerly a contestant on the Voice. I love everything pink, and my star sign is a Taurus.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Nostalgic, ambitious, loving.

How did you get started in the business?

I’ve really been singing and being “extra” (I always knew I’d be in the entertainment industry) since I could talk, but I started to take things a little more seriously after I was on the Voice. I think that kind of made me realize that if I could make it onto a TV show that isn’t the easiest to get on, I was good enough to actually pursue it as a career. So, I’ve been doing that ever since (with some breaks in between, haha).

How has this changed your life?

It’s changed me in a lot of ways. I think starting from my time on the show until now, I’ve changed SO much as a person, and not only that, but I’ve GROWN so much as a person. Which has been great for me mentally and spiritually, and of course, creatively. I’ve become a little more unapologetic in who I am, my past experiences, and my style because of music, and I love that for myself. As well as meet amazing people who are like-minded, which is amazing!

We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get into the industry?

Being on the Voice really kicked things off for me, and thankfully due to that, I’ve been able to meet so many people, and it’s brought me opportunities I probably would have never had without. So that’s been really incredible. I definitely owe so much to being on the show, and I’m forever so insanely grateful for that experience.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

I’m a firm believer in staying current in the times to stay relevant, while adding your own flair, so! I don’t think I’ll ever have a “forever” sound, but currently, I’m veryyyyy into being very pop-oriented lyrically and musically, but with country elements as well. I’m so much more in tune with feelings than I am storytelling (and I prefer it for myself), so it kind of works out for me! So I’d have to say currently it’s very pop, bright, and fun, but I do have plans to release some stuff that is a little more serious while deep diving into my feelings.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

I draw inspiration from a lot of artists and things; and to be honest, I don’t listen to a whole lot of new music in the same genre as myself because I just don’t WANT to be influenced by other people’s sounds. Artists I look up to (and for a variety of reasons, not just their sounds) are Lady Gaga, Halsey, Shania Twain, Kelsea Ballerini, Dolly Parton, and Stevie Nicks.

Do you play any instrument?

I do! I play guitar, and I somewhat play piano as well.

Do you ever get nervous?

Not really! Actually, I could play for a crowd of 20,000 people and I wouldn’t be nervous, but stick me in a room with a crowd of like 5 people and ask me to play and I might get a little more nervous. But typically no!

Tell us about your single “hey?”

So “hey” is a song that I wrote and it actually started as a completely different song lyrically, and then it just kind of became what it is now. I started writing and didn’t love the direction of the song I was working on, but melodically I really liked it. Lyrically it all just came very naturally, and I wrote it solo in like 15 minutes. I wrote it about the person I used to be prior to meeting my boyfriend. It’s very upbeat and catchy, and just a really great feel-good type of song. Perfect summertime jam!

What’s the story behind the song?

I used to be a litttttle bit of a hot mess, but I just kind of had been in some bad relationships, and was just in a very like, swearing off all guys phase of my life. I was going out a lot, really just being very unapologetic in being single and whatnot, and when he and I got together it was kind of very unexpected, but it was definitely a good thing. He’s great to me (although he does kind of lowkey get mad when I eat his fries, it’s like passive-aggressive and silent, so that’s where the fry-sharing line came from), and so I wanted to capture that in a song.

Tell us about the “hey” video and how involved you were in the concept?

I created pretty much the entire storyline for it; I had a really clear view of what I wanted to happen. I wanted it to reflect us as a couple, and where I was prior to where we are now. So the video starts off in a hotel room, my alarm is going off, I’m waking up from a wild night out with a rando, and I’ve got last night’s makeup on, etc. I run out the door and bump into him in the hallway, and then from there it’s just candid moments of us on dates and hanging out. Which I absolutely love. I wanted it to be as realistic as possible, and it definitely is.

How was your experience in “The Voice?”

Absolutely amazing!! I would do it again in a heartbeat. The team behind everything is so great, we were all treated so well, and I made such great friendships and learned so much in the time I spent on the show. Definitely one of my most favorite life experiences.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

There are so many parts. Seeing something you wrote and created come to life in full production and video, hearing people say how much they relate or are touched by your music or find inspiration in you, and just going out and getting to play and touch people’s souls through music. That’s pretty freaking cool. I love all of it.

What book should every entrepreneur read?

I’m currently reading “Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga”, and I, of course, LOVE her and find it very inspiring! I also love Ari Herstand’s book “How To Make It In the New Music Business”, “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso, and “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero! All very inspiring in their own respective rights.

What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

That success is not linear, nor can it be defined by a specific circumstance/achievement. Aside from that, I think something I’ve really grown to become is a bit of a humanitarian, and I’m not perfect by any means, but I think an important lesson for anyone to learn is that we’re literally all equal, and we all deserve to be treated that way.

How would your best friend describe you?

Loyal, level-headed, fun, carefree, and ambitious. One of my best friends is always saying I’m like my own therapist (and therefore kind of do the same for everyone else); I don’t know why, but I’m always great at listening to my friends’ problems and trying to troubleshoot them in the most level-headed and calm manner.

What’s next for Gracia (I edited this, just Gracia is what I’m going by currently, lol) in 2021?

I’m planning to release a single, and then an EP! Definitely trying to dig deeper into the sad girl side of me, and I’m super excited about that. Lots of songs about exes. Hahaha.

What is your favorite healthy food?

So I’m a bit of a health nut and I love eating healthy, so I have a variety that I go to. I really think in another life I could be a dietician/personal trainer because I love fitness and I love learning about how food can be medicine for a lot of things. I LOVE tempeh, especially just cut up and stir-fried and tossed in a sauce and served with rice. I also love grilled plantains, microgreens (sprouts), sushi, red dragonfruit, matcha, sweet potatoes, tofu; honestly, I should just stop there because I could easily keep going. I pretty much love all veggies and loooove when any dish I eat has a ton of them in it.

And your favorite cheat food?

Hmm. That’s honestly really tough. Haha. Desserts I LOVE molten chocolate lava cake. One of my favorites hands down. I’d say as far as actual meals go, probably chicken parm with a white sauce on the pasta, chicken and waffles, or shrimp and cheesy grits.

How would you explain your fashion style?

Literally all over the place. Hahaha. It changes frequently. No shame. I love fashion, so I think tying yourself to a specific style is super boring (for myself), so. But I guess now I’ve kind of started to find a specific aesthetic for the time being, and right now it’s a lot of influence from y2k/90’s fashion (high waisted wide-leg denim, strappy tops, patterns, chunky shoes, barrettes and hair accessories, bright colors and pastels, etc), with a little bit of romantic girly vibes here and there with puffed sleeves, corsets, etc.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Personally, it’s the freedom to do what I love and enjoy my life at the same time. I also love not being tied to one place. I literally LOVE Miranda Lambert’s song “Settlin’ Down”, and especially the lyric “I could love a picket fence if it wrapped around the world”, and that’s super relatable for me. I always feel happiest when I’m traveling and immersing myself in new surroundings and culture.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Lady Gaga. I’m such a huge fan, and I think she’s such an amazing person inside and out. And the same thing for Dolly Parton, with the same reason. They’re both such great humanitarians, super creative, and they both are so unique and unapologetic in their fashion and art; and I love that.

Best advice ever given?

I take inspiration from a lot of quotes and people, but I think the best thing I can sum up from everything is basically that life is short; so you should wear what you want, say what you feel, love fearlessly, and be yourself no matter what people might think of you. Because at the end of the day, this is YOUR life, and you only get one. That and, BE KIND. It’s such a simple thing but staying conscious of the fact that we’re all equal and we all have feelings and emotions is something I think is imperative to contribute to creating a better world.

Do you support any charity?

Not any specifically off the top of my head, but I do love to support music programs for children, as well as programs designed to help women and young girls; especially in countries where they don’t get the same opportunities as those of us in westernized countries.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

I would love to start a business that I could tie in with my music career in fashion or something of the sort, and that’s a goal for me eventually. Aside from that, I’d like to have a full-length album out, some more successful charting songs, more growth in myself as a writer, and a tour in Europe!

Favorite song? Why?

Ugh, I actually hate this question because I have so many. I’m someone who finds so much nostalgia in certain songs or inspiration behind certain lyrics and melodies, so it’s super hard for me to pick just one of all time. One song that never gets old for me is “Gold” by the Ivy; it just makes me feel super happy and has this guitar riff that I looooove.

What do you think of Social Media?

I think it’s a blessing as well as a curse. I think generally it sucks in the fact that there are so many ways to edit yourself to look nothing like yourself, and that leads to a lot of unhealthy comparisons; especially amongst women. Not only that, but there’s a lot of really toxic energy behind it as well because so many people are much braver saying awful things behind a screen and a keyboard than they ever would in real life, and that kind of makes you really sad to see that there are that many miserable people out there in the world. BUT it also is a really great thing, for bringing people together, community help and efforts, and being able to keep up with people you might not get to otherwise. I think though, especially as an independent artist or entrepreneur, it’s opened the doors for a lot of creatives to do what they love without being under a label or corporation, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing. It would be 10x harder to be an independent artist without social media, so in that aspect, and the ability to connect with fans and other creatives, it’s really great. ANNNND TikTok honestly has taught me things I would have NEVER learned elsewhere, so I’m grateful for that. Hahah. I think it is what you make it, and learning to utilize it in a positive way and not allowing yourself to get sucked into the negative aspects of it is key!

Where can we follow you?

You can find me on my website, which is iamgracia.com, or my socials! Instagram I am @thelifeofgraciaTwitterFacebook. And on TikTok I’m @graciasings.

 

FAVORITES:

Book: The Great Gatsby

Quote: “You’ll never do a whole lot if you’re too afraid to try.” – Dolly Parton

Movie: Mmmm… Okay don’t come for me but it probably has to be Ratatoulie or Frozen. Hahaha. I can’t pick just one! Adult movies would be Mamma Mia, 13 Going on 30, and recently I really loved Palm Springs!

Tv Series: FRIENNNNNNNDSSSSS. With Gossip Girl in a close second.

Favorite Food: Vegetable korma and some tikka masala or butter chicken, chicken parm, and eggs benedict, but with scrambled eggs.

Travel Destination: This is difficult; so far Bali because it was just good vibes all around, probably one of the happiest places I’ve ever been. Switzerland is a close second.

Sports Team: STL Cardinals for baseball, Blackhawks for hockey (although I’ll root for the Preds too). I don’t watch a lot of football but if I do, the Bears.

 


 

Photo Credit: Shania Houchens