Canadian singer/songwriter Grace May revealed her new single “Quiet” on March 29th.
After studying at the Berklee College of Music, the r&b/neo soul artist created her own artistry. Following up the release of the single “High Tide” which features on UNION (an album released by Berklee’s record label: Heavy Rotation Records), May is back with a promising new single entitled “Quiet”.
Written by May herself, “Quiet” explores the feeling of loneliness.
“When writing this song I felt lost. I needed answers but I didn’t even know what I was asking for, or how to begin asking. In the song I talk about the shame of “...carrying around this dark cloud that never rains” and that really is what it felt like,” explains May.
With the help of guitarist Ben Suarez, the NYC-based artist delivers emotional and heartfelt vocals along with raw lyrics.
Grace May is introducing herself as an authentic artist offering a message of hope and light for anyone going through loneliness.
“Quiet” is now available on major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
I’m a 22 year old R&B neo-soul artist from Toronto, Canada.
What's your story?
I’m so blessed to have had the support of my family to pursue a career in music. Thanks to sacrifices made by them and their trust in me, I left Toronto in 2014 to attend Berklee College of Music. It took me a long time to find my footing when I moved to the U.S. I had to overcome being a little fish in an ocean of talented musicians, and the pressure of success I put on myself- that came from wanting to assure my family that this journey was worth what it cost.
5 years later and now living in New York, my family is as supportive of and involved in my career as ever. I now feel like I have 3 homes (Toronto, Boston and New York), all of which have played an integral role in my story and hold a beautiful place in my heart.
You grew up in Toronto. Any favorite childhood memories?
Spring in Toronto was my favourite. My brother and I would set up a lemonade stand outside our house and make little cheers to convince people to buy it.
Do you remember the first album you've ever bought?
Lindsey Lohan’s “Speak” (2004). I used to listen to it on my bunk bed with my Walkman.
Do you remember the first show you've ever attended?
The Glee tour (2011).
When did you start singing?
Around the age of 6 or 7.
At what point did you realize music was more than just a hobby?
It might be a little later than the average musician but it was when I was applying to college. I realized that nothing made me feel the way I do when I sing. Nothing gave me the inspiration or the drive that music did, and I knew I’d be so bored and unsatisfied with life studying anything other than music.
You graduated from Berklee College of Music. What did this experience teach you as an artist?
Studying at Berklee taught me how to advocate for myself as an artist. Every single individual who attends that school works hard to ensure that music is what they do for the rest of their life. Seeing that work ethic and passion every day from my peers, taught me to be unapologetic about my artistry and just go for it.
You've just released your debut single "Quiet". Could you describe the songwriting/production process? Who did you work with?
I wrote “Quiet” a year and a half ago during my last year of college and we started recording that April. I had no plan when I sat down to write “Quiet”, and then the entire song was written in 20 minutes. That’s a rarity but I think happens when I’ve been feeling a certain way for a while and haven’t figured out how to express it yet; music figures it out for me. When we got in the studio, it was important to me that the guitarist, Ben Suarez, and I recorded simultaneously and without a click track, so that we could go by feel.
The single was engineered and mixed by Kenny Harmon and Kady Joy Lau, and mastered by Kenny. Kenny’s currently living in LA freelancing and working for Alex Da Kid’s record label (KIDinaKORNER). He has worked with artists that include Bobby Raps, Jordan Ward, and Appleby, and producers Needlz, Supah Mario, and Apex Martin. Bless Kenny’s patience for the amount of changes I wanted to make on a relatively production-light track.
What did you feel when writing this song?
When writing this song I felt lost. I needed answers but I didn’t even know what I was asking for, or how to begin asking. In the song I talk about the shame of “...carrying around this dark cloud that never rains” and that really is what it felt like.
"Quiet" explores the feeling of loneliness. How do go overcome this feeling?
I can only speak from personal experience, but most of the time if I’m feeling lonely I try not to beat myself up over it. If I try too hard to force myself out of a bad state, it will most likely hit me harder the next day. I think it’s necessary to sit in your feelings. You’d never appreciate sunshine if it didn’t rain.
If the feeling of loneliness is persistent, spend time with the people you love or who make you laugh and know that in time it will pass. And when you’re ready, find someone you trust to talk about it with.
What message do you want to deliver to people throughout this song?
That your pain, or what you’re going through doesn’t have to be ‘obvious’ for it to be real. That struggling in silence is valid, and asking for help is too.
What can you tell us about the artwork? What was the inspiration behind it?
The artwork was a collaboration between myself, photographer Victoria Gruenert and graphic designer Elizabeth Zulauf.
At the time of writing this song, I had to try so hard to hide how I was feeling and I still felt like people saw right through me. Everything in the artwork (wardrobe, body language etc.) speaks to that.
Victoria and I spent a whole day shooting before the sun went down and got this beautiful photo, and then Elizabeth was able to translate the message of the song into art and that’s how we got the cover.
How does it feel like to release your original music?
It’s liberating to have people hear my music and I’m so grateful to everyone that has listened. It’s given me the motivation and inspiration to keep doing what I love and release more music.
What appeals you the most about songwriting?
What appeals to me most about songwriting is how therapeutic it is. Being able to process and also share my experiences in a musical light is something I’m so grateful for.
As an artist, what is your goal?
As an artist, my goal is to be my most authentic self to my listeners and through my music. I don’t want to get stuck striving for one goal, I want to constantly work to be better and to grow in all aspects of my life.
How do you want to be remembered for?
As of now, I want to be remembered for being kind, and for always delivering music in a meaningful way.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
What biggest lessons have you learnt as an artist and as a human being?
You can’t listen if you’re talking.
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