10 things you need to know about brighton songwriter extraordinaire, gracey

#1. You can watch her emotional debut music video here.

by Frankie Dunn
11 March 2019, 5:50pm

GRACEY just turned 21. Unlike most people her age, the Brighton-born talent has been penning songs for popstars since she was discovered on soundcloud aged 16 by hit factory Xenomania and brought on board as a songwriter. Having racked up credits on singles for some seriously massive acts, she began finding it harder and harder to give her emotionally-driven and very personal work away. It was about time, GRACEY thought, that she started her own project.

Today we’re very excited to be sharing the Aidan Zamiri-directed video for her debut single, Different Things; a simplistic but very beautiful visual in which GRACEY performs the single bathed in faux sunset. “Different Things was all about my realisation that the love I had for someone just wasn't reciprocated in the same way,” GRACEY told i-D over email. “I’m the queen of pretending I’m fine with things when I’m not, and I found that when people asked me why it ended, I’d always play it down and say that we wanted different things. In reality, it was far more complex than that. It was actually one of the quickest songs I’ve ever written purely because it was just me being honest with myself for the first time.”

Tear up to Different Things, and get to know GRACEY via these 10 fun facts below.

1. She was never really into the Brighton Pier arcade
“I’m more of a ride girl -- gotta love the good old Turbo Coaster! I have so many amazing memories of roaming along the seafront with my mates, thinking we were well sick and grown up with our new garms from the lanes. My worst memories are from when I was 18 and queuing up outside the venues on the seafront in the freezing cold. After waiting in gale force wind and rain for 25 minutes, we’d always end up looking like a bunch of drowned rats.”

2. GRACEY fell in love with music from the backseat of her family car
“Every weekend when I was a kid, I’d go on these long car journeys to Portsmouth to visit family. I’m the youngest of three, so would always be the one squished in the middle. I quickly adopted the role of car DJ and would literally cradle this CD folder with all the albums in. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. Albums from The Beatles, Bowie, Blondie, The Monkees, The Lightning Seeds and Stevie Wonder became the soundtrack to my childhood. I think that middle seat was where I fell I love with music.”

3. The first song she ever wrote was called ‘Pinky Finger’
“I was in year three at school so think I must have been 7? The chorus went, ‘Pinky finger with a cherry on top / let’s smile together and never ever stop’ and my mate from school genuinely still sings it to me. It was a quite close call between releasing Different Things or Pinky Finger as my first single to be honest!”

4. Xenomania discovered her at the age of 16
“I remember having to run over there after school to get there in time. The way they work is super fascinating and I haven’t come across anything like it since. They’d loop a bunch of backing tracks, which I’d then do melodies to for 10-15 minutes at a time. Then another writer would come in, chop different sections of my melodies together and lyric it! It was all very different from how I was used to writing on the little acoustic guitar in my bedroom, and very different to how I work now. It was such a sick experience though and taught me a lot.”

5. She reckons writing songs for other artists can be harder than writing for herself
“When I’m writing for myself, I’ll always start off with a concept that is personal to me. That in itself makes writing lyrics much easier, as I’m just drawing from how I actually feel. However, when I’m writing for others, I can’t always relate.”

6. Remember platinum-selling Jonas Blue single ‘By Your Side’? GRACEY wrote that
“I think I’ll always be quite proud of my first ever songwriting cut, which was Jonas Blue -- By Your Side. I wrote it with him just after leaving school when I was 18, so when I was told it was going to be used as his third single, I was absolutely buzzing. It really gave me confidence as a writer and helped me to get into rooms with artists and writers who I’d always dreamed of working with.”

7. For GRACEY, Sia is God
“My dad was always big fan of Zero 7, so I was familiar with Sia’s tunes growing up. I’m hugely inspired by her career in the sense that she is, in my opinion, one of the best writers in the game alongside having a very successful artist career. That’s something I’ll always aspire to. And lets be real -- Elastic Heart is pure lyrical genius.”

8. You might catch her lurking about on public transport
“Call me nosy, but some conversations you overhear on the tube (especially the night tube) are just incredible and have definitely given me a few concept idea for songs in the past!”

9. She once climbed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with a fractured foot
“Two days before I was due to do it, I fell off of my hostel bunk bed. The next day, my foot and it was mad bruised and so painful, but me being stubborn and stupidly determined to continue the trip, decided to go on the four day hike. It was the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done and when I got back to the UK I got an x-ray I found out it was fractured. Absolutely would not recommend to friend.”

10. Her secret? Knowing the importance of taking your time
“There were a tonne of moments where I felt super impatient with my artist project; times when I just wanted to put out any old demo because I found it hard waiting in the wings when it was all I wanted to do! But as soon as I finished Different Things, it all came together naturally. I feel really grateful that I’d given myself that time to really figure out what it was I wanted to say and what kind of artist I wanted to be, because it feels really authentic to me.”

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