Wednesday 19 February 2020

Backstage with Grace Palmer

Discussing her upcoming set at Wychwood Festival, touring the local gig scene and hugging Taylor Swift's mum, SoGlos went backstage with young Cheltenham songwriter, Grace Palmer.

Hi Grace, tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Hey! I’m Grace Palmer and I am a young singer songwriter from Cheltenham. I’m originally from Surrey, then after a short time in Tetbury we finally found the wonders of Cheltenham eleven years ago!

How would describe your style of music to our readers?

It’s mainly acoustic pop folk with a little bit of country. I’m working on finding my ‘sound’ which is exciting.

How long have you been a musician and what made you decide to become one?

I’ve been playing some sort of instrument for as long as I can remember. I think it must have all started with my cringe-worthy recorder playing at primary school. I also played saxophone and piano for a while, but it was three years ago when the guitar caught my eye and I haven’t put it down since.

I’ve been actively gigging since the end of 2013. I don’t think it was a decision I made to become a musician, I just found myself being so passionate about everything that had anything to do with music. I think it gets to the point that if you love something enough then it isn’t a choice you knowingly make. Music was like that for me.

Who would you say your main influences are?

Most of the music I listen to influences me in some way I think. I normally take inspiration from everything around me, so there isn’t usually a specific artist or band who influences me, I love everything I hear.

Do you ever get compared to anyone?

I’ve been compared to a few people like Gabrielle Aplin, Lucy Rose and Taylor Swift. It’s a huge compliment that people would compare me to such talented people!

Am I right in thinking you’ve just recorded some new material? Can you tell us a bit about your new songs and what inspired them?

I’ve recently released my new song, ‘Long Way Gone’, which can be found on my page.

I’m currently writing and recording new material. As for inspiration and how I write, I don’t think there is a set way of writing. Whether it’s starting with a guitar part, a few lyrics or even a production idea, it happens differently every time which is one of the reasons I love writing so much. I find inspiration for songs in just about anything. Everyone has their own story, and I often find myself wondering about the experiences other people have gone through.

I notice you play a lot of gigs locally, what type of people normally come along?

There are normally quite a few different people which is always really nice. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response my music has had at gigs. It’s amazing to be able to perform locally, and I’ve met so many incredible people through music.

Congratulations on playing Wychwood Festival this year, are you looking forward to it?

Thank you! I’m so, so, so excited about Wychwood. It’s a great opportunity and I am incredibly grateful for it. The line-up looks brilliant. I’m absolutely thrilled to be playing, it’s such a fantastic event.

Have you played at festivals before?

Yes, last year I was at Walk The Line, Gloucester Quays Food Festival and SportBeat which were a few of my highlights. I love playing any venue, but festivals have a slightly different vibe which I love. I haven’t quite mastered the camping side yet though!

You’ve already had quite a busy year, any highlights?

They’ve all been highlights – I’ve genuinely loved each one. I’ve been so lucky to have played at such a variety of events. I’ve recently been played on BBC Introducing, which was incredible.

What’s your favourite venue you’ve played at in Gloucestershire?

It’s too hard just to choose one. Walk The Line Festival, Christmas Light Switch On at The Brewery, 2 Pigs and Badlands for Record Store Day – plus so many other favourites. I also had the opportunity to play at Cheltenham Town Hall recently, which is a really beautiful venue.

Where would you most like to play in the county?

I’d always wanted to play Wychwood, so I’m thrilled to be performing there this year. Dreams do come true! I would also really love to play Gloucester Guildhall one day.

Last local gig you went to?

It was 2 Pigs for one of their acoustic nights. It was awesome.

What would be your dream gig?

Glastonbury would be amazing one day!

What do you do when you’re not making music?

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t making music. There’s always something musical going on, and that’s one of the things I love about the music scene in Gloucestershire. If I’m having a rare day off, you’d probably find me snuggled up on the sofa with a good book or catching up with friends.

Recommend one album to our readers you don’t think they will have discovered.

Hunter Hayes’ debut album is one of my most played. He wrote/co-wrote every song, produced the tracks and played every instrument that features – which I think is pretty impressive.

Number one ambition?

To work within the music industry would be incredible whether that would be performing, writing, producing or music management.

Any claims to fame?

I’ve hugged Taylor Swift’s mum, if that counts!

What advice would you give to local artists trying to make it in the industry?

Probably the same advice that people have given me; to get involved as much as possible, work really hard, to learn as much as you can, develop and improve. There are so many opportunities locally, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or try something new.

Where can fans see you perform in the next month or two?

I’m pretty busy over the next few months, and details of gigs and dates can be found on Amongst others, I’m at the Gloucestershire Uni, Wychwood, Coaleyfest and Rovin’ Fest.

Where can SoGlos readers expect to see you in a year’s time?

At Studio 340, exhausting the sound engineers with my new song ideas. And changing my hairstyle… again…

Grace plays Wychwood Music Festival on Friday 29 to Sunday 31 May 2015. For more information call (01993) 772580 or visit directly.

By Alice Lloyd

© SoGlos
Friday 15 May 2015

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