Today’s interview is so far with one of the most creative and interesting artists I’ve discovered. JOEY GRACE is a one-woman act that plays the keytar, synths, and percussion while using a vocal effects machine to produce lush on-the-spot harmonies and ethereal loops. And the result is pure fire. Her BEAUTIFUL STORM EP is the perfect blend of modern dream-pop vibes and cinematic sonorities, creating an addictive and immersive experience for all the lucky listeners. Her lines reach you deep and her voice is a pleasure for the ears, a modern Kate Bush that I’m sure we’ll hear more and more in the near future.
YMX: Hey JOEY GRACE, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would describe yourself, in a few words?
JOEY GRACE: Hey there! My name is Joey Grace, and I am a one-woman act who plays the keytar, synths, and percussion while using a vocal effects machine to produce lush on-the-spot harmonies and ethereal loops. In 2018 I became a solo act after tiring of performing in other people’s bands. I decided it was time for me to live my own dreams and really let my songwriting and unique creativity shine through, on my own terms. My main music influences include Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Sophie, BT and the ethereal vibes of Julee Cruise and Grimes.
YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?
JOEY GRACE: I’ve loved singing ever since I was a kid. One of my grandmothers was a singer herself, and my other grandma taught me to play the piano. I started performing in musicals in middle school, and never stopped performing ever since! It’s such a great feeling to be on stage and feel the positive energy of a live audience. For me, nothing beats that feeling! Over the years I’ve been fortunate to perform at DreamWorks Animation, House of Blues, the Special Olympics World Games, and I sang the National Anthem at Staples Center. A recent favourite music collaboration was putting my vocals on two of Kemikal Storm’s new songs, “Under The Stars” and “Good Vibes”. It’s been such a fun journey so far!
YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?
JOEY GRACE: For years now I’ve had a few dream collaborations in mind. I would absolutely love to sing on one of BT’s songs because I really respect his work as a musician and as a pioneer with music technology. I would also love to sing a duet with Peter Gabriel because he has been a lifelong music inspiration to me with his quirky on-stage performances and wild music videos. Not a day goes by where I don’t daydream about singing the song “Don’t Give Up” with Peter Gabriel live and in person.
YMX: You recently released “BEAUTIFUL STORM”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
JOEY GRACE: The Beautiful Storm EP was recorded at a loft building in a gritty area of downtown Los Angeles. It was produced by Diveliner @diveliner under the alias “Benny July”. Little did I know that Diveliner would be able to perfectly capture the “sexygloom” vibe I was going for in the studio. It was pure magic. The music for Beautiful Storm has been coined by me as a style I call “sexygloom”. All of the songs were written while struggling through difficult moments in life because those are the times when I felt most inspired to create music. Feelings of overwhelming sadness and hopelessness inspire me to create as a way to deal with emotions. A common theme throughout the album is duality. Songs on the Beautiful Storm album are about the roller coaster ride ups-and-downs of relationships and life itself: feeling amazing, invincible, and joyful one minute… and the next minute, feeling sad, helpless, and as if nothing is worth it. And so, the heaven-to-hell ride continues on and on. Lyrics throughout the EP such as “He makes me feel like I’m going mad, he makes me feel like I’m beautiful” express the highs and lows of life and love through a sensual darkness.
YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?
JOEY GRACE: My “sexygloom” style of songwriting is inspired by the intense emotions I feel so deeply on a daily basis. There’s no doubt that I’m an empath. I can put myself in other people’ shoes and really feel their pain and their joy. I believe that this is a gift and a big reason why my friends love me… but it can also make life very difficult, as you can imagine. Luckily, it makes for really genuine songwriting. Life can be sexy and gloomy, all at the same time. Life is so weird.
YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?
JOEY GRACE: The pandemic took live music away from us, and I think that this experience has really caused people to realise how important live music is in their lives! Once things get back to “normal”, it is my goal to one day perform at the Teragram Ballroom, the Troubadour, and the Hollywood Bowl, all located in Los Angeles, California.
YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?
JOEY GRACE: Ever since I became a solo act I have literally been doing everything myself as far as promotion. I take my own photos, I created and upkeep my own website, I design my own merch, I send out fan emails, I run my Instagram account… and the list goes on and on. It’s basically a full-time job, no joke! I don’t think people who are not in the music world understand the HOURS and HOURS of work we put in as independent artists. And that doesn’t even include studio time to actually produce the music and the time and money we spend to film music videos!
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)
JOEY GRACE: At this point in my music career, I feel so proud of the hard work I’ve put in so far. I recently started the Joey Grace Studio in Long Beach, California and I’m producing all my own music. I will soon be releasing more songs and music videos. 2021 is my year! I’m excited about life, music, and collaborations. I know that music is exactly what I am meant to be creating, and I feel proud to be living this music journey on my own terms. I hope everyone will follow along on Instagram @joeygracemusic and on my website, joeygrace.com.