At a time where staying connected is more important than ever, House of Solo has launched ‘Party of One’, a series providing intimate insight into how your favourite artists are dealing with isolation and what we can expect from them during lockdown. Today we’ve hearing from SAYGRACE, whose voice you might recognise from the hit track ‘you don’t own me’. She’s since rebranded and is taking control with renewed authenticity, producing bangers like ‘Boy’s Aint Shit’, a fiery feminist track with isolation friendly video.
How are you doing? How does your mood change from day to day?
I’m doing ok but it’s been a bit of an emotional whirlpool! Some days I’m super motivated and inspired and then some days I wake up feeling totally overwhelmed by everything that’s happening and would rather just stay in bed to be completely honest.
Where are you isolating? And with whom?
I’m isolating in LA with my brother, his girlfriend and my boyfriend.
What’s been your biggest ‘isolation hack’?
I keep trying to find the good in all of this… I mean honestly when do you get this kind of alone time and space from the hustle and fast paced nature of the world? Particularly in the music industry. I’m really trying to use this time effectively and do the things I love but don’t always get to do. Also I’m finally giving some attention to hobbies and stuff that I always say I want to dive into but then complain that I don’t have the time, like practicing instruments etc. Not a hack but some food for thought, take advantage of this time if you can!
You decided to rebrand as SAYGRACE last year, which I’ve read you describe as a new chapter in your life and taking back control. Can you tell me a little more about this and if this rebranding has been affected by COVID-19 at all?
I came into the industry so young and at an age where I found it hard to really stand up for myself. I knew what I wanted I guess, but I didn’t have the voice, or rather the support, from the people around me to be like, hey actually I wanna do this. Being 16 or so and having all these adults telling you what you need to be didn’t create much room for authenticity which I think at the end of the day is all we have. I know now the only way to really connect is just to be yourself, someone’s gonna fuck with it.
Covid hasn’t affected that rebranding in any particular way but the whole industry has been hit pretty hard overall, especially on the touring and live side of things.
You recently released ‘Boys aint Shit’ and it has since blown up on tik tok, how has that platform allowed you to stay connected with fans and promote your music during COVID-19?
It’s just been really cool to see the reach on the platform. It can start organically with one person creating a dance or funny video and then all of a sudden everybody catches on and it just spreads! Pretty insane and really dope to see it resonate with so many people and then definitely creates a connection.
So on April 3rd you released a new video for ‘Boys aint Shit’ which features you, Tate McRae and Audrey Mika each filming their parts while in isolation. The end result is fantastic! Can you tell me a little bit about how this came about and what the process was like?
We knew the song needed a video but obviously our options were pretty limited. My creative director came up with the idea of a three way call (Mean Girls style) which fit with the spirit of the remix, so from there we just made it happen. We shot on photobooth on our laptops so we all had the same dimensions and we just had fun with it. Finally it was all edited together to create the end result and the watercolor animation was just an addition to tie everything together. I’m so happy with how it turned out!
I love that you each manage to make your ‘selfie-video’ so personal despite the limited space you had to work with, what did you feel was important for you to convey in your section of the video?
I love that we shot it in our bedrooms just relaxed in our own space. Obviously music videos are usually pretty contrived with perfect lighting and makeup and a team of experts to shoot the thing a certain way. In comparison, this is about as raw as it gets, but it actually turned out to be one of my favorite videos I’ve ever done. It just feels more intimate and that’s all I wanted to portray. At the end of the day the song is intimate and raw and when I wrote it I wanted it to be conversational so I approached telling the story just like how I would when I call up one of my friends and bitch about some stupid guy that was fucking up. This video speaks to that sentiment.
Do you feel there is an unfair amount of pressure on creatives at this time to produce something amazing?
Kind of, I mean I can’t speak for everyone but I need experience to be able to write and I’m not exactly “living” right now. Everything feels like it’s on pause so my creativity has definitely been stifled. The only thing I’m experiencing is being cooped up indoors while it feels like the world is falling apart (not to be negative) but there’s only so many songs I can write about that. I think I would also feel like kind of a dick if I was to try to capitalize on what we are all experiencing right now. So instead I’m trying to channel whatever inspiration I do have in different ways, like: creating content for social media, singing and just practicing my craft.
If you were to create an isolation playlist what artists would feature?
I did this the other day actually and it had Celeste on it, Bakar, Audrey and Tate, Victoria Monet, Jhené Aiko, Ann Peebles and Amy Winehouse! Gotta have some Amy, always.
What are you planning on working on during this strange time?
Myself! Getting better at playing all the instruments I have in my place right now and also just connecting via social media. It’s all we’ve got at the moment so I just want to be there for the people on my platform and any new listeners as much as possible, whether that’s offering advice or just entertainment with little singing videos and stuff.
A lot of your lyrics act as messages to your younger self, what message do you want to send to your younger fans during this strange time?
Turn inwards… we are literally being forced to slow down. So dream, connect, write and think without distraction. Also stay strong and don’t be too hard on yourself. We’ve literally never experienced anything like this before so there is no “right way” to deal right now.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when isolation is over?
See my friends!!!!!! Oh my god I miss them so much, I am dying to chat shit and just hang out with them. Oh and go shopping, online shopping is simply not cutting it anymore haha.