Hello Gracia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? Well. That would probably be when I was in the womb… Hahaha. I have really been singing and have had dreams of this since I was a child. Ever since I learned that it was not possible to become a mermaid, I set my sights on the entertainment industry. I did a lot of acting when I was younger in community productions and such, and that didn’t really stick. What did though, is singing. We used to live out in the middle of a cornfield, and there was a big shed in the backyard with a concrete circle where a grain silo used to be, and so in my head I kind of made it like a little ampitheater, and would go and SIIIING all night long to nobody, but I would pretend obviously that I was putting on these large, sold out concerts. As I got older I definitely did kind of start re-evaluating my life plans; especially being from a small town, you usually don’t get the option of like, “oh yeah, you actually CAN move away and become something bigger than this”, and so, while I kept singing locally, I started to consider nursing school at the end of high school. Which was genuinely probably not something I actually WANTED to pursue, but like, everyone else was doing it and ya know, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Plus, music never seemed attainable in my world back then, just because I never really was exposed to the right environment with OPTIONS to do so, you know? I lived in a town where everyone went to school and stayed there and settled down. So it always seemed like this very far away, unreachable dream that only very lucky people were able to obtain. This was also back before Instagram was even a thing (it took off my senior year of high school; back when we all used like awful filters and posted anything and everything), and so, it wasn’t like it is in the current world with social media platforms and more opportunities than ever without even leaving your hometown. SO, I was like, well. I guess I’ll start trying out for singing shows. So I started auditioning for reality shows, in hopes that I would make it. I think I did American Idol like 4 or 5 times, and I never made it to the Hollywood week. I auditioned for the Voice for season 2, and didn’t make it, so I went back for season 3. They remembered me, and I remember I got a call at my job working in the kids center of a fitness facility in my hometown, and got told I was going to the next round in LA. From there, it was history!
What made you want a career in country music? I grew up on country, and grew up IN the country in a small town in Illinois. My entire family listens to country, so it’s just what I grew up on. I remember my mom had like, Trisha Yearwood, Blake Shelton, Shania Twain, and LeAnn Rhimes’s debut CDs, and I’d always listen to them when I was young. While I appreciate all genres, country has always been what I’ve been drawn to. I will say though, my love for pop is a close second, and I’m most inspired by pop music; so I try to incorporate pop lyrics and sounds in to my music, alongside country elements.
Who are some of your musical icons? Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain and Lady Gaga. Which, they are all so very different, butI’m inspired by different things from each of them. I love everything about them as artists, but I’m most inspired by Halsey’s attitude and her lyrics and ability to make a sad song bop, Kelsea for her personality and style of music, Dolly because… she’s Dolly and extra as hell (same) but 100% herself, and Gaga for that reason as well. Shania, she’s just amazing and truly paved the way for pop country artists.
What is the background story behind your brand-new single “hey? So I started writing this song and didn’t even really MEAN for it to end up being like, what it is now, but it ended up becoming a love song about how my boyfriend and I met. The storyline in the song comes from past experiences I’ve had dating. I had been in a relationship that ended badly, and spent a few years just really being wary of being involved with anyone else beyond anything casual, going out a lot, etc. We ended up in a relationship and he’s great to me, and has kind of been the reason I slowed down and realized that it’s not so bad when you’re with the right person.
What was your favorite part of being a part of The Voice? Honestly I loved the entire experience. From just the excitement of being on the show, the crew and other contestants that became like family, and just getting to experience hanging out in LA and being around so many amazing artists. I made a lot of lasting friendships and continue to make them! It’s kind of funny, we all may have been on different seasons, but it’s like, we’ll meet on whatever social channels or even in real life, and it’s just like, distant family kind of. Like, we all went on this show and have this common denominator. Haha.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Fun, bubbly, and feel-good. For now. I want to release some deeper tracks in the future, but I’m currently sticking with the upbeat bops!
What are some of your favorite venues to play at? Honestly, I don’t think there’s been many places I didn’t enjoy playing! I just love doing what I do. I of course, LOVE supporting national acts or headlining fairs and festivals, but I also love smaller more intimate venues as well. They’re both so great in their own ways. There’s such a rush with the bigger venues and shows, but the smaller ones are always so fun, especially when everyone’s having a good time and you get to interact with people on a more personal level. It feels like you’re at a home-town bar/venue and I love that feeling equally.
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? So usually ideas come to me and I just jot them down and come back to them, sometimes I write the entire song right then and there, or sometimes I save it for a co-write because it’s just not coming out how I expected. It just depends on the song, really. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want it to sound like, and the vibe of the song whenever it comes to my head before I even start writing. Which of course sometimes that changes! As far as making the music itself, I enjoy being in the studio while the track is being produced, and being able to listen and build it alongside the producer. Looove watching it come to life.
What is one of your favorite quotes? Okay well… I cannot pick one, so top 3?! I literally like, collect quotes on Pinterest, so I am full of them. Hah. I LOVE Dolly’s quote, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose”, “You will never influence the world by trying to be like it”, and lastly, “Be somebody who makes everyone feel like somebody.”
Is there anything else you would like to share? That everyone should go CHECK OUT “hey” NOW, ADD IT TO YOUR SUMMER PLAYLISTS. Also, I’m getting ready to release more music so be on the lookout!
Thank you for stopping by my Dixiedee Blog!! I am a brown hair and hazel eye southern California gal living in the LA area.
I started this country music blog because I wanted to share about my favorite country artists and groups, delicious recipes. I also do Q&A's and Artist Spotlights with country artists/groups so you guys can learn more about them. Lastly, I love to share anything else that is related to country music..
If you have any questions/comments- then please me email at email@example.com.