Recently I had a lovely chat with Grace Aberhart, aka up-and-coming local muso aka the cutest girl you will ever meet. We discussed a whole bunch of super important and interesting things, such as her work on Triple J Unearthed, her greatest musical influences, and pizza.
The first time I encountered Grace was actually on my drive to work one day. And it wasn’t because she was standing on the side of the road with a thumb in the air, it was actually because I was bopping away to one of her tunes on Triple J.
I mean Grace is pretty darn cool. At the ripe old age of 17, she has not only mastered an impressive range of instruments, but has also been showcased on one of Australia’s sickest music platforms, definitely making her one to watch.
“It’s amazing. I did not expect it at all, like they didn’t even tell me. My friend called me up and I was just at school and they were like ‘guess who’s on Triple J?’ and I was like what!” she said.
“Its awesome. I’m super stoked”
The Newcastle local started learning music not long after she made the switch from Huggies to undies. Apparently musical talent runs in the family though, with her dad, Daryl, teaching her most of what she knows.
“I’ve been playing, well singing, since I was really little, and my dad’s taught me how to sing and play guitar, and a bit of bass,” she said.
“I would probably have to say that my biggest musical inspiration is my dad… He’s a songwriter, a singer and a pianist, and he does a lot of different genres as well, so all of his music and stuff I’ve been heavily inspired by.”
Grace has spent most of her teen years playing gigs at a variety of Newcastle’s finest live music joints. Some popular Grace Aberhart spots include a Thai restaurant, outside a Westfield, and any event involving the Hunter School of Performing Arts’ stage band.
“Sometimes I do busking at local shopping centres. I used to do that heaps,” she told me.
“I’ve been playing a lot of bass in the school stage band,” she added. “But I mean, performing I love doing. I still get nervous if it’s in like a bigger crowd, but generally I’m alright with that.”
Aside from her muso dad, Grace draws musical influence from a whole bunch of artists, including Melbourne-based soul band Hiatus Kaiyote, alternative rockers Good Boy, and UK producer and songwriter Tom Misch.
“I listen to all different kinds of things, even some pop music… anything that I find that I like or that I can listen to heaps until I’m sick to death of it,” she laughed.
“I’ve got a few different styles that I like to play in, so I’ll switch from like rock kind of vibes to jazz and soul; whatever I’m feeling at the time.”
Grace currently has two songs on her Triple J Unearthed profile. The tunes are about different things, but both are pretty much just wonderful renditions of the struggles encountered by 17 year olds everywhere.
“’Plans’ is about that question of ‘what are you going to do after school?’… At my age, it’s hard to know exactly what you want. It’s kind of about the pressure that is put on you to know everything,” she explained.
“And ‘Famous’ is just kind of about being noticed, you know, like what would I have to do to get you to notice me. It’s kind of about unrequited love… a crush.”
Even though Grace’s songs are truly fab, she admits that songwriting can be pretty challenging.
“I haven’t written a heap of songs… I’ve got like five that are unfinished without lyrics and I’m just kind of waiting to know what they’re about,” she said.
“Just writing songs in general is pretty difficult, like lyrically. I struggle more with the lyrics because I’m more based on the music aspects of the songs, so they usually take ages to come to me.”
Not only is Grace a dope muso, apparently she’s also relatively decent with a paintbrush, which will obviously come in handy for future album covers.
“I love doing visual art as well, so I’m really interested in that,” she admitted.
“I do quite a bit in school, and my whole room is covered in art. I literally glued magazine pictures and drawings all over my walls, like it’s terrible but great.”
So, what’s next for Newy’s little Aber’sweet’hart? At the moment she is working with her newly formed band for an upcoming competition at school (name still TBA), and is attending a jazz workshop in Sydney with a mate.
“I’m currently doing a program in Sydney for women in jazz… we just play in little ensembles, getting experience soloing and learning jazz theory, and it’s been really cool,” she explained.
“It’s just awesome to play with really good musicians, it’s so fun.”
When asked about her future, Grace says that increasing her musical talent is the ultimate goal.
“Just getting better at music, so becoming a better musician,” she said.
“I just want to be in a band, writing songs, co-writing with cool musicians; getting my songs to a point where I’m super happy with them.”
Well Grace, you’re already bloody brilliant, so keep up the good work, ‘cause we’re all lovin’ it!
Have a gander at Grace's Unearthed profile here.
(And if you're keen to find out where some of her sick musical talent comes from, feel free to check out her dad Daryl's profile too)