Grace Carter is in her reminiscent era, and on her album A Little Lost, A Little Found, the British singer-songwriter dug deep into the things that make us, break us, and divide us. In our exclusive interview, the 26-year-old delves into the creative process behind the album and what inspired her songwriting.
It’s so nice getting to chat with you ahead of your upcoming project A Little Lost, A Little Found. It is a curious name, why did you think it a fitting title for the songs on this record?
It basically sums up what has been going on for me over the past few years. I spent a really long time feeling lost, writing this project helped me process the things I was feeling whether that be identity, relationships, or heartbreak which has now got me to a place of feeling a lot more in control and comfortable in myself.
Your career has been gaining steam with every music you put out, and you’ve even gone on tours with some big names – Dua Lipa for example – how does it feel to have these things working for you?
I love making music and I’m so grateful I get to do this every single day. The opportunities I have been blessed with have been so incredible and I’m just super excited for what’s to come. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for me in a lot of ways but I wouldn’t change it for the world as everything I have experienced has made me the artist I am now.
Your music is inspired by your lived experience and from the happenings around you. Do you have to feel a certain way about something in order to write about it?
For sure, my music is completely dictated by what’s happening in my life. The reason I started writing songs wasn’t to be an artist but it was a tool for me to be able to process the things I was going through, especially as a child. People always make jokes about my music being super deep but me being a really happy person and I genuinely think that is because I am able to put my emotions into something which allows me to move forward.
I think anyone who has ever experienced racism will feel some kind of healing from your song “Riot.” You wrote the song years ago, what made you release it now?
This song was started by a collaborator of mine called Fabienne Holloway in 2014 when Eric Garner was murdered. I was sent the song in 2020 and it proved that in all of that time, nothing had changed. I’ve always started and finished every song I have released but this one was different. The fact that every single lyric still rang true 6 years later made me feel as though this record really needed to be heard. This song isn’t about me, it’s about standing up for what I believe in. As an artist, I want to be able to use my voice to talk about things that are important to me and as a woman of colour this song and the meaning behind it is very important to me.
You fought for the sound that you have now rather than let others shape your music. That’s not something most newcomers would have done, what motivated you to stand your ground?
I was raised by an incredibly strong woman who taught me to always go with my gut and not be swayed and she’s always given me the confidence to sit comfortably in myself. This industry can be crazy, we’re all so young when we come into it and have people telling us how to be. It’s very easy to lose yourself which I have definitely experienced at times but I’ve learned to always remember why I do this. It’s because I love making music and that always had to be my main focus.
Some of your songs were inspired by your childhood experiences, most notably moving from a mixed neighborhood to a mostly white one. What was adjusting to your new environment like at the time?
It was very complicated. There’s a song on the project called “Mother” that talks about this very experience. I went from living in North West London to Brighton which at the time was a very big culture shock. I am a mixed-race girl who grew up in a white family and then went from the diverse city of London to Brighton where I was one of the only non-white people in my year. Navigating that was really hard but I also really appreciate that whole chapter of my life as feeling different is what drew me to start making music.
You don’t only tell stories through your lyrics, you also complement them with the visuals. How involved are you in the making of your music videos?
I love it!! I try to be involved in everything I do, I’m not proud to say that there have been a couple of things I’ve done where I couldn’t be massively involved and you can tell! I’m a visual person so reinforcing the message behind the songs through a music video is super exciting and important for me.
You said that the video for “Pick Your Tears Up” represents being able to tackle certain challenges when you have other people that understand your pain by your side. And it’s something you say you personally connect with. How important was it for you to pass this message on?
Growing up is tough for anyone, you’re going through so many changes and it can feel very lonely. When I was in secondary school I really struggled with my identity but then I found my circle who made everything feel easier, they were like me and we all understood each other. I wanted to capture that in the video and I think Iggy who directed it did an amazing job of conveying that feeling of sisterhood.
Nmesoma Okechukwu is an entertainment journalist, editor and freelance writer. She covers pop culture, music, lifestyle, literature, movies, and environmental preservation.
Nmeso's work ranges from writing profiles, essays and features for various online and print publications to doing commercial copywriting, musician bios and press releases, editorial consulting, live interviews and video production.
You can also find her interviewing talents, campaigning for the preservation of the natural environment and championing the eradication of extreme poverty.