Welcome to the world of Grace Weber, a soulful singer songwriter who you should take the time to get to know. Chances are you know her song writing work having worked on Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book album on the song “All We Got”, collaborating with many other artists, and her stint as a signed artist at Capitol records.
Now Grace is branching into a direction all her own and is blooming into the artist she has been working to become. It is always exciting to see an artist grow not only as a musician but seemingly as a person as well. Her new single “Find A Way,” is the exact deep kind of soulful that can help listers face hard times, find courage when it is lacking, and see the hope in tomorrow.
Grace has found herself on a journey that some can only dream of from Milwaukee, to ten years in New York, and now living in LA while making her R&B, gospel inspired, heartfelt songs. Some rare artists find success linearly but Grace shows how often, success comes in and out like the tide – with the love of art being the constant shore line…
Grace’s nonprofit “Grace Weber’s Music Lab” helps to give free music education to high school students in Milwaukee, digging out a bright patch for kids who are often in need of one. She shows in her story how sometimes cutting ties, changing direction, and doing what is best for you is necessary. Her new album has the feeling of light at the end of a long tunnel or a breath of fresh air.
Grace stating “Making this album, we decided that we were going to let it take us on a journey, instead of trying to force anything. I’d love for people to come away feeling like they’ve been taken on a journey too, whatever that might mean for them. Hopefully it’ll help them uncover deeper parts of themselves that they maybe hadn’t understood before- all the little contradictions that make us the complicated and beautiful people we are.” Get to know Grace a little bit better below.
Hi Grace, how’s your day going?
Hey! I’m doing well! It’s actually the first time I’ve felt like “how’s your day going” is a really loaded question lol. I’m trying to process some of the new normal with the corona virus. I just read that Governor Cuomo banned all gatherings over 50 people this morning in New York, so I’ve been thinking through what that means for the city and what this all means for so many cities and people around the world. I think it’s going to be imperative that we all come together and actually use social media to our benefit right now, coming together in live digital spaces, as a way to be there for each other and help combat the isolation.
You have had some ups and some downs within the industry, how would you describe success? What is your definition of it? Is it linear?
In the past few years, I got really caught up in the social media and streaming world and started defining success based on numbers. I would worry about the numbers of streams I was getting, the numbers of followers and likes, because I was nervous about how those numbers defined me in the industry and how people would make decisions about me based on what my ‘numbers’ were. Recently though, I’ve started breaking free from that mindset, and I’ve started feeling like myself again. I started focusing on the individual people listening to my music, to the human beings behind each stream or like, to the community of people who support my music and how beautiful that community is. I started realizing and remembering that success is truly defined by art touching people, and my ability to affect – and maybe even help – one person with my music is success as an artist. This mindset has helped me connect with my audience in really cool ways and has inspired me to try more creative and human things on social media and offline, including starting “grace weber mail” which is a club where I send people postcards and buttons and different things in the mail. It’s been refreshing to be connecting with people in really human ways through music and I can’t wait to get on the road soon and start connecting with people through my live show.
What makes for good art in your opinion?
My painting teacher in high school used to say that good art was art that created a reaction in people. No matter whether people hated or loved something, the reaction was the indicator of what she defined as ‘good.’ I agree with that sentiment. Art has a power to translate emotions and our inner world in a way that nothing else can. I think powerful art can help push limits, help people see something in a new perspective, and can help heal during times of great pain and struggle. I also think powerful art can anger people, can ignite conversation, and bring people together in unity or protest. There is so much energy in the world, in people, in ideas, in emotions, and I think the plight of a lot of artists is to harness energy into their art and let it be passed onto the viewer/listener.
How do you find resilience as an artist when there are dips? How do you find acceptance when there are peaks?
One of the big themes of my up-coming album produced by The Social Experiment is resilience. I find resilience in music, in the creation of a new song, in the feeling of singing live for a new audience and holding onto how amazing it feels to get to sing for people. I also get inspired by the strength of my friends, people in my fan base, and people who rise to different challenges every single day. As an artist specifically, I think a common pitfall can be doubting yourself, fearing that you’re getting it all wrong somehow. I think when you go back to the core reasons of why you became an artist, why you sing, why you play guitar, why you paint, it can reignite that spark of resilience to keep going and keep sharing your heart with people. My new song ‘Find A Way’ is about the strength of the human heart and how no matter what you’re going through, no matter what we go through as a collective, we really do have the power in us to get through anything. We started something called “Find A Way” stories on TikTok where people have been sharing their stories of resilience, and it’s been the most inspiring thing to see how strong people are and how much we can come back from.
What does integrity as an artist mean to you?
Just being honest. Honest within your art and also honest in what you want to put out in the world. Sharing what you want to share, releasing music that connects with you, and being the leader of your process and art.
Find a Way.” Your newest song is one meant to bring us comfort through difficult times, reminding us that there’s always a path for us even when we can’t see the light. Do you think music is crucial to people in challenging times and why?
I do think music is crucial during challenging times. I think we’re seeing how music is helping people cope and heal during this corona virus crisis right now. It was so inspiring to see people in Italy singing together from their balconies and how it seemed to uplift everyone’s spirits. Singing together is such a beautiful and powerful way to connect, it’s like a form of mass meditation, where everyone is able to be in the present moment together and take a break from anxiety and fear. I also think of times where I’ve sung at sad events, like funerals and memorials, and how music has helped people process the moment, even helped people cry and release emotions in healing ways. I personally will be listening to so much music to help me get through the social isolation of the new month. I’m so grateful for music.
What do you do to make the world a slightly better place?
I try to do the right thing, I try to be honest, and I try to be there for others. Compassion is really important, and I think helping someone up from a low place is almost a responsibility of being human. If I can help spread a message of compassion through my music, then I think that will be contribution to the world that I’m proud of.
CONNECT WITH GRACE WEBER
photos / Kaitlyn Mikayla
story / Weslee Kate