Written by Brodie Popple
This Saturday night, Newcastle singer-songwriter Grace Turner will take on Brisbane for the first time, playing our very own Against the GRAIN festival. Her break out song, Dead Or Alive’, has been one of our favourite tracks to be released this year here at GRAIN and we personally can’t wait to catch her goose-bump inducing voice live, at The Brightside, this Saturday night. We had a quick catch up with Grace to chat about her year, where she’s heading and the songs that made her in this months, Foundation Sounds.
Being relatively new to the Australian music scene what has been the highlight for you so far as an emerging artist?
I have felt very appreciative for all the support I have been getting. Probably the biggest highlight has been able to meet and work with people that I really respect. The encouragement I have received from other musicians that I look up to has been a very special and gratifying thing for me.
And in contrast to this, what haven't you enjoyed about your time as an artist in the scene so far?
I wouldn’t say there’s anything in particular about the “scene” I haven’t enjoyed. I have found it generous and positive. The only struggles have probably come from the focus on social media as a tool to connect with people, and how much more I should be doing this. I am already on it lot more than I would like to be and I definitely overthink everything.
Many of our friends from Brisbane leave us for the big smoke in Melbourne, as a Novocastrian do you feel like you're ready to make the move out or is it Newcastle Knights until death?
I feel as a person and artist it’s good for me to keep moving and challenging myself, so I don’t plan on staying in Newcastle forever. However I have a strong community here and this part of my life is becoming more and more important to me. I imagine i’ll want to return at some point to be near my family and close friends.
The themes in your song Dead or Alive touch on some deeply emotional topics, some of which many people in the music scene can heavily relate too. One of the things I love the most about this song is how it includes community as an important aspect of self help, how has the reception for you been on this track considering how much people can empathies with it?
The reception I have had from the film clip has been really overwhelming and the best part about releasing this song. The clip was able to take a sad song and make it into something that (hopefully) helps people feel connected and remind them to open up and reach out to the ones around us. I have been blown away by how much people connect with this concept and am so proud to have created something with this message.
I've read in other interviews that you're a bit of a wall flower, what do you enjoy most about watching from the wall?
I don’t know if I necessarily enjoy it, it’s just how I’ve always been. I definitely find people and relationships fascinating and I get a lot of my writing material from other people, the things I hear them say and their stories and perspectives. I also grew up with a very extraverted family, there was never any space to get a word in! So I think I learnt to be a good listener and sit back in situations as a child.
I also saw on your insta story the tracks music video getting aired on RAGE, how big of a moment was that for you?
It felt really good to be acknowledged by an institution I have so long admired. That the film clip we made was quality enough to be aired on Rage gave us a great sense of achievement.
You have such a recognisable and beautiful voice and this feature will obviously feature your 'foundation sounds', but what was the real driving force for your venture into music?
I do ask myself sometimes, do I just play music because I can sing, and is that a good enough reason? To do something because its your default? Maybe I’d be great at something else? (I have no other career). It has however been something I have wanted to do and been obsessed with since I was very small. I have been writing songs since I can remember and always loved singing and listening to music. In regards to my venture into the music industry it’s been a slow and windy road. I started to think what’s the point of writing all these songs if I don’t share them? In fact it is quite painful to feel like you have something you are proud of and not share it with people. So I guess to answer your question my driving force is to share.
What's your favourite way to wind down and disconnect from the noise?
I like aimlessly driving or walking. I will walk for hours with nowhere in mind to go. It’s a great time to think and reflect as you don’t get too caught up in your thoughts, you feel like your going somewhere.
What's the guiltiest pleasure that you have no shame for?
Eating cornflakes for dinner on a regular basis and singing Wrecking Ball at karaoke. I did both these things last night actually. Now onto your tracks, please fill in the below in the same fashion of our older articles:
If It's Alive It Will
Who it's by:
When you first got into it:
What it means to you:
I was shown the live clip of this filmed in a video store in NYC by a friend and see it as a marking point of a change in the way that I felt toward my own writing. I had been a bit self conscious about the melancholy music I wrote for the years before this and at the time was trying to write more “pop” stuff with a duo I was in. Hearing this song made me want to go back to my roots and write more lyric based music.
Why its stuck with you:
Music that stirs something in you, especially with your own writing, tends to stay with you. I almost get nostalgic watching this video now as it reminds me of a great time of discovery in music for me. I hadn’t really heard current artists that I really connected with before. I think we have seen a lot of young women be influenced by Olsen in the past few years.