Like the rest of the country singer-songwriter, SAYGRACE was having a tough time entering her new quarantined life. Grace had planned to use this time at home to write a bunch of music but was continually hitting a wall. Then one day with a cup of coffee and the sun shining down she broke through. She recently called Music Choice from LA to discuss how she’s trying to remain productive, the new reality of promoting herself from quarantine, her skills in the kitchen, and so much more.
Read the chat below and listen to SAYGRACE’s most recent EP The Defining Moments of SAYGRACE: Girlhood, F*ckboys, and Situationships (RCA) now.
Music Choice: How have you been holding up?
SAYGRACE: I’m doing better now. At about the halfway point I started going crazy and feeling overwhelmed by what the aftermath of all this is going to be. I was starting to stress on hypotheticals I was creating in my head. But I am happy to say I have written my first song of quarantine! It’s been a rollercoaster.
MC: Did this song naturally happen or did you have to put yourself into some sort of routine to get there?
SG: I reached out to all my favorite producers and musicians asking for tracks and loops. I had the intention of using all this time to write but I hadn’t been able to finish anything and was hating whatever I came up with. I couldn’t get inspired. Then I woke up the other day and sat in the sunshine and drank coffee and came up with something I didn’t think was terrible. It was just like that!
MC: Do you feel you’ve turned a corner and more songs will start coming out?
SG: I love writing by myself and almost never get to do it. I’ve been writing all my lyrics down in my journal. I always use my phone for that. I’m usually under the pressure of being in a room with other people who want to get home. Now I can take my time and write out lyrics and analyze everything. It’s hard to say how music will come out for the rest of this period.
MC: With this new song and going about writing in the way you did do you feel it’s different from your previous music?
SG: I think I’m going to come out of this with a lot of slow jams. A lot of producers have sent tracks and I’ll love the beat and everything’s fire, but I may want to change one note but then the producer isn’t here with me. It’s easier to write a slow jam and those are my favorite to write! After all, this is said and done, we may have to get in the studio and crank out some up-tempo vibey stuff. I’m definitely in my feels right now.
MC: Does that get frustrating to get a beat or song and want to tweak something but having to call or email the producer and having a back-and-forth…
SG: Not really. I’ve had to accept that in this situation I roll with the punches. If something works and feels good, then it’s meant to be written. I can always save tracks for future use. I’m not stressing about that.
MC: Not stressing, in general, is a good thing to shoot for.
SG: I try not to force things. If it’s working and feels good, it’s meant to happen in the moment.
MC: You put out your EP (The Defining Moments of SAYGRACE: Girlhood, F*ckboys, and Situationships) earlier this year, and then the world changed big time. How have you had to adapt to promoting the music and making sure it gets in front of people?
SG: The plus side to this whole thing is that a lot of the industry is based online and that is flourishing. The big source for “Boys Ain’t Sh*t” has been TikTok and it’s still doing its thing. People can hear the song that way and it’s still growing. I’ve shot videos for remixes at home.
With performances, we have to re-approach things entirely. I think we’re getting creative content out of it because we’re being forced to look outside the box.
MC: Have the live performances and recording the video for the remix of “Boys Ain’t Sh*t” at home been fun for you at all?
SG: The video was fun to shoot. They’re usually high-pressure situations with so many people on the set. You don’t want to look like a dork. For this one, I was just at home on my laptop. No one was around to see me mess up so it was fun to experiment.
With the live performances, it’s much more awkward. It’s just you and the screen and when a song is over there’s dead silence. It was internally stressing. I need that connection and physical presence of people.
MC: You’re not hearing claps or any yelling…
SG: Even during the song in an energy sense. It was interesting but you have nothing to vibe off of.
MC: When you get done with a set do you go back and read through the comments to see what people thought?
SG: Definitely. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to live stuff. I have to go watch and pick it apart. My team said no one noticed I was messing up lyrics and that I was being dramatic. But being hard on yourself is part of the gig!
MC: Besides working on music how else have you been passing the time in quarantine?
SG: I have been cooking more! I have been trying to practice instruments. I’m so impatient with myself and it feels like going back to math in eighth grade and I don’t understand the language. I’ve always semi-picked up instruments and known like five or six chords and could get around a song. I never bothered with music theory and it’s crazy how much I don’t know.
I’ve also been binge-watching Buffy and Angel, which are two of my favorite shows.
MC: What is your go-to dish when cooking?
SG: When all this started I was quarantined with my boyfriend and my brother and his girlfriend. All our diets completely went out the window. We ate whatever we wanted. I was making lots of pastas and chicken pot pie. Now it’s more salad and grilled fish. I’m trying to redeem myself from all the damage done [laughs].
I really like making desserts. I make a mean apple pie. That’s kind of my party trick.
MC: Do you do some crazy latticework on the top?
SG: None of that. I make my own pastry from scratch and I’ve perfected it. I’m at a point where I nail it every time. I’m proud of myself!
MC: Lastly, do you have a message for any fans that are reading this?
SG: Stay strong and don’t let your thoughts consume you. Things will be different when this is all over and we will make it through.