Grace Davies recently released her debut EP, Friends With The Tragic; leaving listeners around the world captivated by her soulful vocals and relatable lyrics. The lead-single from the project, “Just A Girl,” provides Davies’ supporters with a powerfully catchy female-empowerment anthem that fans can’t seem to get out of their heads. Friends With The Tragic touches on a plethora of relevant subjects and conversational topics, such as body confidence and social media, and gives listeners a chance to connect with Davies on a personal and vulnerable level on multiple occasions from start to finish. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, Grace Davies opens up about her latest project, dream collaborations and more.
What can you tell us about the process of creating your debut EP?
It was long! I spent around 18 months writing over 200 songs trying different genres an constantly doubting whether I had the songs or not. You only get to do a debut EP or album once, hence it being a debut, and that’s really special to me. I wanted to make sure it was 100% right. Whittling 200 songs down to 4 was incredibly hard, and to say the EP was released in 2020, I actually ended up choosing 4 songs that I’d written in 2018!
Specifically, regarding this project, what caused you to focus on ‘Just A Girl’ and do you remember the exact inspiration behind that track?
Taken from a past experience, I personally had with the press, ‘Just A Girl’ is a middle finger to anyone who’s judged a woman for being sure of herself. Women are often portrayed as “bossy” while men are “bosses” for doing the same thing. It’s a fun and sarcastic song, but dismisses the words “cocky,” “bossy,” and “too confident” – women hear these words too often. I wrote the song with two guys and to have their support on the subject was awesome, because the song isn’t there to hate on men. I just wanted to celebrate how f***ing amazing women are and how far we have come, but noting how far we still have to go. I believe in lifting each other up, supporting the women around you, having their back and taking pride in the fact that we are confident and sure of ourselves.
You open up about tons of subjects throughout these new songs. Is it important for you to connect with your lyrics and write from experience?
It is really important that my songs are personal to me, I don’t think I’d be able to get the same emotion across if they weren’t…but I think if anything it’s just easier for me to write from personal experience. I love to be super specific with my lyrics, so drawing from my own life makes it easier to know the ins and outs of a situation without having to think “if this were to happen, what would I say?” – I already know.
To be honest, I’m not much of a talker when it comes to how I feel – so for me, writing songs is like going to a therapist or writing a diary. It’s always lovely to hear that people relate to your music too – so you know you’re not the only one who’s gone through that experience. It makes you feel less alone.
What was the most difficult track to master and record from ‘Friends With The Tragic’ that you can recall?
Both ‘Just A Girl’ and ‘Invisible’ were incredibly hard to get right. They both had such amazing demos, and I’d lived with them for that long that I probably had demoitis and I didn’t want them to change even though I knew they needed an extra something to make them ready for release. There were, I think, 11 versions of “Invisible” and 13 for “Just A Girl.”
I’m pretty sure my producer Elias hated me by the end. I’m so picky and such a perfectionist. I would go into huge detail on every edit and write notes on every sound that’s in the track. I think because those two songs have such important messages behind them too: female empowerment & mental health, it was really important to me to get the production right so that it complimented the lyrics.
I’m not one of those people that can sit back and let things slide or let people make decisions for me, which is a blessing and a curse. I care so much but sometimes too much and my team have to say: “Grace the volume of that kick drum isn’t going to make it a hit, leave it be.”
If your current state of mind or mood matched one of the vibes from this new EP right now, which song would it be?
Definitely “Addicted To Blue.” I definitely relate to those lyrics right now and am finding it really hard not to write a 2.0 version! Plus, it’s an absolute bop of a song if I do say so myself. I’m always in the mood to listen to it.
Who would you like to work with that you are inspired by from the music industry?
I love love love RAYE. I think she’s an incredible songwriter and artist – I’d love to write with her. To collaborate with, I have always loved James Arthur’s voice. I’ve met him a couple of times and he’s so lovely and such a great writer and performer. A girl can dream!
What can fans look forward to in the near or distant future?
Hopefully a tour in the not so distant future would be lovely! I’ve been on stage since I was 3…so it feels really weird having not performed in about 2 years. I’m desperate to get back on stage and I know after COVID-19 people will be raring to get to a live concert (hopefully mine), so that’s definitely something I’m planning for when we’re all allowed.
Listen to Friends With The Tragic by Grace Davies here.