A Conversation with Singer-Songwriter Grace Gaustad

Singer-songwriter Grace Gaustad visits ‘Jake’s Take’ for “A Conversation.” (Photo property of Grace Gaustad)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome New York City-based singer-songwriter Grace Gaustad to Jake’s Take.

Grace has composed songs since she was 10-years-old. Currently, she has over 300 written songs that continues to expand.  Grace built a social media following through her spectacular covers of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” and Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.” Also, several media outlets such as Broadway World, Earmilk, and Popdose have highlighted Grace’s original music.

In this edition of A Conversation, Grace opened up about overcoming the obstacles in her career, the tragic backstory of her song “Smokeclouds,” and why iconic hitmakers Max Martin and Benny Blanco are on her dream collaborators list.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music? How did that passion evolve into the desire of pursue a career in the recording industry?

Grace Gaustad: Early on in my life, my mom exposed me to many incredible artists and songs. We sang together often, and sometimes I even sat on her lap as a child and followed her hands across the keys of the piano. Around age 5 or 6, I started piano lessons and shortly after began composing my own music. My connection to music is indescribable but if I had to put it into words – I truly believe my purpose in this lifetime is to create music for people to enjoy, laugh, smile, and cry to. After all, it is a universal language and one that I believe brings us together like nothing else. 

Jacob Elyachar: Could you describe your songwriting process to my readers? How does it stand out in the crowded Top 40 music industry?

Grace Gaustad: My songwriting process varies, but usually, I prefer to start acoustically on either a piano or guitar before jumping into full productions. From there, the rest is up in the air. Sometimes lyrics come first while other times I will sing a melody for days before putting any words over it. I think what separates me from the Top 40 is the depth and honesty in my lyrics. I write for the soul. In every song I compose, I want to make the listener feel enlightened, emotional, and uncomfortable all at the same time. I can promise that every one of my songs forces you to go deep inside yourself over and over again. 

Jacob Elyachar: What are some of the challenges that you have faced throughout your career? How did you overcome those obstacles?

Grace Gaustad: I think the hardest challenge I have faced is rejection. No matter who you are, you will always have people who try to tear you down or tell you that your dreams aren’t possible or that you will never become anything. Being only 17, it is hard to deal with nasty comments and opinions from both the industry and everyday people, but I have learned that rejection is protection even if at the moment it doesn’t feel that way. I think rejection is the universe’s way of protecting you from bad people and situations. 

Grace Gaustad’s “Smokeclouds” is a haunting track. (Video property of Grace Gaustad)

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about your latest single: “Smokeclouds.” What was the track’s biggest inspiration behind the song?

Grace Gaustad: “Smokeclouds” is a song about drug use that I wrote about a friend of mine. Drug use is a terrifying thing, and I think each one of us knows what it feels like to either cope with addiction or have a family member or friend struggling. Although “Smokeclouds” is a heavy song with a complicated topic, the lyrics offer optimism in even the darkest of times suggesting that one day the two people will meet again and heal together.

Jacob Elyachar: If my readers head to Apple Music, they will find several covers that you recorded including Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood,” Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” and Adele’s “Hello.” How do you decide what songs you want to cover and record?

Grace Gaustad: I usually chose covers based on my favorite artists and favorite songs rather than what is new and popular. I also try to cover songs that are different from my writing style. I think covering other artists songs is a great way to learn about music and everything it entails. A big part of my development as an artist is listening to those who have come before me. 

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your dream collaborators (singers, songwriters, and producers)? How would a partnership with them help you grow as a performer?

Grace Gaustad: Two of my dream collaborators are Max Martin and Benny Blanco. I think they are both incredible writers and producers and have worked on some of my favorite songs. An opportunity to work with either of these geniuses would be an honor. I am always looking for people who are more experienced and better than myself because you never know the different ideas and concepts that can come to life in a collaboration. I believe I would work well with both Max and Benny, and I hope one day this dream becomes a reality. 

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring recording artists who want to work in the music industry, what advice would you share with them?

Grace Gaustad: To anyone wanting to work in the music industry, I would say that it’s essential you are doing this for the greater good of humanity rather than yourself. To me, there is nothing more special and beautiful than an artist sharing a craft for the world to love. I think that any aspiring artist who truly believes they have a message to spread and joy to bring to people is one that deserves a bigger stage. I also would say especially to a younger artist that growth and development is just as significant as a massive career. The years you spend failing, practicing, and improving will become your best memories one day. 

For more information about Grace Gaustad, visit her website!

You can also connect with Grace on social media. Visit her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar