Having begun to “write prolifically during the first lockdown”, exciting newcomer Valencia Grace has emerged into the music scene, with beautiful, rich vocals, authentic lyrics and an inspiring drive to reach her goals. In spite of not setting out with the intention of becoming an artist, but using writing more so as a way to guide herself through the challenges she was facing at the time, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter found that “writing really helped me compartmentalise all my trauma, sadness and confusion. Turning instances from my past or present into art and something beautiful helped me a lot”. The honesty and vulnerability that are infused in Grace’s work have allowed many listeners to resonate closely with her work, therefore leaving the young virtuoso with the immense potential to become an exciting household name.
Despite being a relatively new name in the industry, this talented gem has already supported industry staple Sam Fender at his Los Angeles show this month, performed at the UK festival Barn On The Farm, and amassed over 2.6 million followers on TikTok due to her relatable content that allows her fanbase to feel supported, seen and connected to her. However, when reflecting upon her incredible journey of growth and discovery to date in order to cultivate the success she already has. “I honestly wouldn’t even visit my younger self. I wouldn’t even say a single thing to her. Every mistake that I’ve made has led me to the person I am right now,”, the up-and-coming talent admits without any hesitation, before going on to explain, “everything I’ve suffered through, everything that I’ve experienced, and every joy and every tear have led me to thinking the way I do right now so I wouldn’t give myself any advice – just keep doing your thing!”
Pondering for a moment of reflection over the greatest lesson that she has taken away from this exhilarating transitional period in her life, the London-based star wisely expresses: “Things take time. If you love what you’re doing, you need to remember to reward yourself for the little things. It’s very easy to pigeonhole yourself and think you’re not making enough progress. I’ve got a four-year-old sister and I don’t see her grow up until it has been a while and I’m like… oh my god! You’re bigger now! So, I think you need to give your life a bird’s eye view and just appreciate what you’ve done and the little steps it takes to get to your goals.”
Furthermore, with live music being a special part of an artist’s role and having almost hit the “double digits” with the number of live shows she has played to date, the 19-year-old has an exciting run of shows lined up later this year as she is supporting ‘renforshort’ on her European leg of the “dear amelia, tour”: “I get a little bit nervous at first when I play live because I care so much about making sure that people have a good time and understand what I’m saying but as soon as I get into singing the songs, it’s just so magical and I feel the most myself on stage and so powerful!”
Looking ahead to her first “actual round of shows” and the experience of the “act of touring” with eagerness, curiosity and excitement, the artist explains: “I recently played Barn on the Farm and then the next day, I had another little gig. But for that show, there was no microphone, no amps, no anything, so normally that’s horrifying… I had no microphone to hide behind. Although, I found that because I had just done the festival before, the next day was really easy, so I’m excited to see my confidence grow as an artist on stage.” Chuckling, she goes on to express: “I feel like by the end of the tour, I’m going to be doing cartwheels and crowd-surfing to my sad ballads!”
Having only released two studio tracks to date but yet accumulated a fanbase desperate for new content from this rising superstar, Grace is eager to please with her stunning new single ‘What A Shame’. “To me, this track is about fear of failure and of letting yourself down. I wrote this one very early on. I had no demos but needed them, so I got a producer in a studio for 16 days so that I could record all of my work, and this is one of them. The vocal has stayed the same since then because it’s in its purest form and really special.” Moreover, with wisdom beyond her years, the singer goes on to explain: “I will always resonate with this song because it just reminds me that there is a lot that is going to happen in life, and you are allowed to have goals and you are allowed to want to achieve and push yourself towards them. I think the main undertone is don’t fear failure, fear regret and always stay true to yourself!”
“Acceptance, growth and truth,”, concludes the rising star as she describes what is to come from her. “I just want to be happy and proud of myself. I just want to feel like I’ve done and am going to continue to do everything I possibly can. All the cheesy sayings are true… you only have one life, and so if this is my destiny and what I’ve chosen to do with my life, I’m going to do it to my fullest!” With plenty of projects in the work already, it’s safe to say that this genuinely is only the beginning for the incredible Valencia Grace, and we cannot wait to see what is next.
Written by Issy Todd // photography by Joe Magowan