Exclusive Interview: Grace VanderWaal talks songwriting and her new EP Letters Vol 1

Grace VanderWaal is back with her new EP Letters: Vol 1 which showcases her stunning vocal ability and a much mature outlook than her previous releases, one that reflects her experiences over the past few years since shooting to fame on America’s Got Talent. We recently had a chat with her about her new record.

Hi Grace, thanks for having a chat with us, your new EP is called Letters Vol 1, it’s quite an ambiguous title, are the songs featured on it letters to you, people around you or to the world in general?

I’d say it’s a mix of all 3. I wanted to name it Letters as it’s so personal to me. It’s such a detailed piece and I’ve never stepped into that before, writing about my own personal experiences and thoughts.

If you had to pick one song off that summed up the EP which song would you pick?

I think The City, I really like that one. I love the production on it, I got to be really creative on this song. 

How do you approach songwriting, what’s your process when writing a song?

I’ve approached the songwriting differently with this EP, it’s much more personal. The entire process of the EP was me saying no to the wrong ideas and wanting to do it my way, saying screw it, whatever, I wanted to say what I was feeling. That was the most important thing to me when writing Letters. 

If you could give any advice to you your younger self knowing what you know now, what would it be?

I wouldn’t give myself advice. I am so happy with every mistake I made. If I had given advice back then, I might have changed what I’d have done and then I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now. 

Grace VanderWaal
Photo credit: Johanna Siring

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I just want to keep making music that makes me happy. I’d love this to be my job in 5 years. 

Musically, who do you listen to and who are your musical influences?

I love Rex Orange County at the moment, he’s a big inspiration. Letters was inspired by Kanye and Tyler The Creator. I like their forward production and styling, and I was inspired to mix that with my more personal words for the EP.

Last album or song you listened to?

Rex Orange County Edition – it’s so interesting what he does!

What’s next for you, what do you have planned for the next 12 months?

I am going to keep writing and creating new music. I hate following formulas so I just want to do what’s right for me. I also have Stargirl coming in the Spring. Right now, what’s next, is to celebrate the release of this EP!

Any plans to tour the UK as we know many fans would love to see you over here?

Yes definitely, I look forward to being over in the UK next year. I am not sure of the details yet but I can’t wait to come back.

Let us know your favourite track off Grace’s new EP at @CelebMix!

Written by Kelly McFarland

Likes to post in black and white on Instagram. Avid Tea drinker, preferably Yorkshire Tea or Lipton Iced Tea and lover of Pop Culture. Contact: kelly@celebmix.com