Get To Know: Grace Davies
With fans already including Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, Grace Davies is ready to take on the pop world!
After a viral audition (20 million views and counting!) that left Nicole Scherzinger in tears, Grace Davies continued performing her own original music on The X Factor in 2017 (a first for the show), which led her all the way to the final. After being pipped to the crown by Rak-Su, she has taken some time off to concentrate on her sound and is now back releasing her own music as a fully fledged artist.
Describing her sound as "sad girl pop," Grace signed to Simon Cowell’s record label SYCO, and has been in the studio enhancing her honest writing skills that won her so much love on the show.
She cleverly depicts common human emotions and scenarios in her music that is accessible to so many. Being influenced by 21st Century songwriter royalty including Adele and Sam Smith, her soulful pop vocals bring her poetic lyrics to life. She says she plays a role in throughout the whole writing and recording process of her music, and we’re excited to see what her next musical steps are!
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
I’m Grace Davies, I’m 23 and I’m from Blackburn in Lancashire! I’ve been a full time singer/songwriter since I was 16 years old and self released music when I was 18 before making the decision at age 20 to showcase my original songs on The X Factor UK, 2017. I was lucky enough to perform my own songs in every round and ended up coming second, which was way beyond what I thought would happen... And now I write and release music for a living which is my dream job and I bloody love it!
2) Describe your sound in three words…
Sad girl pop (lol).
3) Who inspired you to start a career in music?
I’ve always known I wanted a career in performing. When I was younger I did dancing and acting and I always thought I would be on the West End in musicals. I feel like I decided that I would take the music route when I was about 14 - around the time that Adele 21 came out. That album took over my whole life and is still my favourite of all time. I sang it all the time and covered nearly every song YouTube, and I think that was the moment I was like “I want to do this. I want songs like this. I want what she has.”
4) Who are your biggest musical influences?
When I was 16, I used to sing jazz and swing every Friday in a fine dining restaurant, and I feel like this really shaped me as a vocalist. Artists like Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald really “taught” me how to sing and developed my tone into what it is today. Writing and music wise I’ve always loved Adele, Emeli Sande, Sam Smith - those classic artists where their music is meaningful and timeless.
5) Tell us about the writing and recording process for your new single/album…
I spent (almost) the past two years locked away writing for these upcoming releases. It was a really tiring and stressful process, finding my sound and deciding what message I wanted my songs to have - but getting to work with some incredible people was amazing.
I went to a few writing camps both in the UK and out; I spent a lot of time in Stockholm in Sweden on various trips (where I wrote 'Addicted To Blue') and got to go to Finland too.
Getting to explore production with an amazing producer was something I’d never experienced before - so that was super fun. I went back to Sweden to work with my producer Elias Kapari and we sat and produced the songs together and recorded vocals. It was amazing. I love getting stuck into all aspects of the writing/recording progress and like to be as hands on as possible, so I’m so lucky I was able to do all of that and really had the best time creating these songs.
6) What can we expect from your live shows?
I play piano so I’ve always been quite self contained when it comes to performing, but I’m going to be branching out into having a band where I can really enjoy myself on stage and feel free to just sing - especially for the upbeat numbers. And then for ballads I’ll obviously have to jump back behind the piano, I like to keep those songs as intimate performances.
7) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Definitely doing an arena tour. I’ve been on stage since I was 3 so performing is definitely my happy place, but singing my own songs to 10,000 at Wembley Arena and having everyone sing them back to me is a completely difference kettle of fish and was a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life. It still amazes me that that even happened to me, and if I ever get to do that again then I’m an incredibly lucky person.
8) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith were big ones for me. I was backstage waiting to go on after Ed had just performed and he stopped and introduced himself as he was walking past me which was super sweet. He said he really loved my songs and thought I was a great songwriter which completely blew me away. I was like “but... you’re the king of songwriting” - he’s written everything!
With Sam, I really rate their music and used to sing a lot of their songs when I was younger in pubs and at weddings. They said they loved my music and that they were rooting for me to win (X Factor) which was mega! Sam is such a nice person, genuinely down to earth and lovely. They followed me on Twitter straight after. People always say ‘never meet your idols’ but I disagree!
9) What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
Not many people know this but I used to be a huge Big Sean fan! I went through a stage of being really into rap and I don’t think anyone sees/has seen that side of me (don’t worry - I won’t have a quarter life crisis and try to become the next Cardi B) but occasionally I do go back to my playlist of Kendrick and Big Sean and A$AP... When I’m home alone and no one can hear me pretending to be cool...
10) When can we see you live?
I cannot wait to gig my music! Just this week I've been rehearsing with musicians. Unfortunately due to the current situation it's impossible to plan, but one thing's for sure - I'm going to want to play the s**t out of this EP once it's here! We all deserve a boogie!