I first met Grace London last year, when she was singing with local rocksters Residual Kid, who played Harris Radio's birthday show - and blown away I was. But writing, performing and recording her own music was in her future, and it is now in the present, with a debut EP, and an upcoming show to release it - and for a great cause too. Indie Sounds caught up with Grace for all the news.
Photo by Michael Bullock
Indie Sounds: You're throwing a party this coming Sunday. What's it all about?
Grace London: I just finished my EP, Rocketship Girl, and I am doing a release party to, well, release it and sell it for the first time! It's an early evening event at a new restaurant on Congress called Swift's Attic. Les RAV is also performing, and all the information is here.
All of the proceeds and door money will go towards a local charity called Water to Thrive that helps people in Ethiopia get clean water. Something really important to me is giving back to people in need with my music. I have done lots of concerts for numerous charities that help people, mostly in Africa, and I have decided that at ALL of my shows from now on, all proceeds from CD Sales or tickets, or whatever I get paid, will all go to a charity, whether in Austin, Africa, or anywhere in the world!
IS: So tell us about Rocketship Girl. About making it, and what people should expect?
Grace: Rocketship Girl was really a chance for me to figure out how I wanted to sound. It was a super long process, but I wrote tons of songs in the making of it and I could not be prouder. I recorded it with an amazing producer named Brian Beattie and a few of my friends played on it ... Ben Redman from Residual Kid played drums and my friend Ramona Beattie did some awesome weird little 50s backup vocals. That made it really fun.
Buy Rocketship Girl here.
I think the EP is something that describes me perfectly, and all of the songs are very dear to me, whether it was a story that I made up or something that I went through. In certain moments, I want people to go "Hey, what was THAT? That was really weird." I just want people to have fun listening to it like I had a blast making it.
IS: Backtracking a bit, what's the life and musical story of Grace London?
Grace: I started loving music when I was about one and a half after watching the Wizard of Oz for the first time. I fell in love with it and I watched it obsessively until I had memorized all of the songs. (I wore my Dorothy outfit everyday in pre-school after that for a year!)
When I was seven, I started taking classical guitar lessons, which was fine, but I really started having fun when I would sing and play songs that I liked listening to at the time, when I probably had awful taste in music. I started playing shows around Austin at coffee shops and fundraisers and parties and all that stuff when I was nine, and I haven't stopped since! Music is completely perfect for me, and I could never imagine stopping.
IS: Apart from your solo project, what other music are you involved in right now?
Grace: I am in a classical guitar ensemble called Bella Corda, which has been great for my development, and exposing myself to all different types of music and learning how to read music is so important, especially for someone my age. It's also been super enjoyable, and I love getting to know all the awesome kids in it.
I am also in a band for fun - The Little Galaxy - with my buddy Ramona Beattie, and it's a wonderful way to go crazy and scream and dance around like a maniac!
IS: And what's next? More shows? An album?
Grace: I want to do a bunch of shows, maybe some festivals if I get lucky! (ACL, eventually? Please?). I won the youth competition for the Old Settlers Festival last year and this year I am playing a full set on April 20th. I am also playing Pecan Street Festival on May 6th.
I'd like to do an album in the next year or so, but for now I just want to write a lot and develop and HAVE FUN! I don't want to take myself too seriously, the reason that I play music is because I love it, and I think it should always be that way.
IS: If you had the opportunity to open for any act, who would it be?
Grace: Well, my absolutely positively favorite band in the whole world is The Kills, so naturally I'd die to open for them. I actually got the chance to meet them twice, (someone who knew someone knew someone) and they are so incredibly nice, which was just a wonderful cherry on top since I worship them. And I got to take pictures in a photo booth with them!!!