An Exclusive Interview With Multi-Talented Singer, songwriter, poet, fashion designer ACACIA GRACE
Singer, songwriter, poet, fashion designer and mother, Acacia Grace is the perfect example of a modern woman stretching herself beyond the normal boundaries placed upon her by the music industry. Growing up in Washington DC but now migrating between her birthplace and Southern California, Acacia Grace is forging a path that befits an artist of her experience.
Serving in the military and initially following a career outside of music, she is now firmly back in the musical domain she so dearly loved growing up. Influenced by artists such as Maysa, Leelah James, Lalah Hathaway, and Rachelle Ferell, her music cuts across generational and cultural lines with a vocal complexity that both soothes the spirit and inspires audiences to understand her world. Diagnosed with challenging autoimmune disease, Acacia Grace refuses to let those labels define her and sings her life through song.
“I wanted to make contemporary, soul music with a little old school spice which my own generation can identify with, but which can appeal to younger generations too.”
As such she is about to release the singles ‘You’re Not a Friend of Mine’ and ‘I Can’t Live Without You’, which are a celebration of her career to date. Inspirational, undeniably talented and with an upcoming EP due to drop in June, Acacia Grace is an artist set to spread her wings and bask in the sunshine of an exceptional career.
Q: How easily do songs tend to come to you?
Ans: Sometimes it’s easy. If I listen to a rhythm I try to feel what the direction of the song should be and I write around that. Other times, I can go weeks without inspiration and suddenly I have an AHA! Moment and am able to wrote. I don’t force anything but if I get stuck I ask my collaborators for direction.
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Ans: Live life to the fullest! The last year has been so trying, and I’ve lost so many people I love that I feel like we shouldn’t waste any time as tomorrow is not promised. It was the whole reason I decided to move forward with my project. I am actually working on two projects at the same time which is stressful but will pay off in the long run!
Q: What is you favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car?
ANs: High Hopes by Panic at the Disco. It’s contemporary, high energy and inspirational.
Q: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?
Ans: jazzy, smooth, empowering, confident and soulful
Q: You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
ANS: I draw my inspiration from life, past experiences and lessons I’ve learned are a part of my songs. My favorite part is writing the hook first. If it’s something I can see myself singing along with, then the rest of the song comes easier. For me the entire vocal verses are centered around what the chorus is about, so it helps me get my storyline together better.
Q:Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now?
Ans: I am almost done recording my EP which will be released in June.
Q: Which instruments do you play?
Ans: I started learning to play the electric guitar in September.
Q:When and why did you start playing?
ANS: I wanted to create my own sounds. When I get together with crew and I want to create or add a sound to an existing track, it’s hard to describe what I hear in my head. I enjoy playing even though I am still a beginner.
Q: Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Ans: definitely! I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, Frankie Beverly, Diana Ross… I mean I can go on. I love Old style funky sounds. My mom had a huge collection of vinyl when I was younger so we would put the records on the record player and just listen to music.
Q: How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
Ans: It’s hard! I have to have a schedule when I work on music but sometimes life happens! As a single mom I find it hard to stick to schedules but I try as best I could. My studio sessions are all calendered each week so I know what days I am going in. And as always, when the inspiration comes I stop and write whatever I am feeling at the moment. I once wrote a song on flight from New York the LA, by the time we landed it was done!
Thanks for taking time out of your day:)