PARIS GRACE, By Kian West / by Kian West

THOSE OF YOU IN THE KNOW MIGHT HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE INAUGURAL SONG COMPETITION, TIP JAR, THAT WAS HELD LAST YEAR. YOU MIGHT HAVE ALSO CAUGHT ON THAT ONE OF THE WINNERS WAS THE YOUNG AND TALENTED PARIS GRACE. SINCE THEN, WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING HER STORY, AND THIS SEEMED LIKE A GREAT TIME TO FIND OUT WHERE PARIS IS AT AFTER SUCH AN ACHIEVEMENT.

Paris and I sat down inside Goldbergs on Darby Street for a quick chat between her commitments. This kid is going places! How do you explain that a young woman is pretty, talented and clearly smart without being creepy? Maybe you just write it at the start of the article.

 Photo by  Swamphouse Photography  (seriously, check his stuff out!)

Photo by Swamphouse Photography (seriously, check his stuff out!)

Tell me a bit about yourself, Paris.

I'm 16. Still in high school. Year 11. I've been getting quite a few gigs recently. I just performed at Lizotte’s last Wednesday night with the band and that was really cool. I've also just got together a new band of people around my age and The Cambridge wants to have us there. Trying to juggle school and music… It's a bit hard.

You’re in Year 11?

Year 11. Apparently, Year 11 is harder than Year 12. What else is there? Just really want to get my music rolling. I feel like this year it's been intense, a lot more intense than last year, and I'm just asking everyone for gigs. Get myself out there and earn some money, put some money towards recordings, and I would like to be able to release five of my own original songs this year. Put them on Spotify and just try and get something out there.

Do you think you had this level of focus before winning Tip Jar?

No. I was very focused, but then when I won Tip Jar, I was like, ‘Okay, well, they obviously see something. Let's do more with it and push it further.’ Because before Tip Jar, I was like, ‘Nah, I won't win it or anything.’ It sort of gave me a bit of a boost, like, ‘Oh, I can do things.’ More confidence.

Paris Grace

What do you want to be when you grow up, if you're not a musician?

OK, if I wasn't a musician, I would probably do something in health or personal training or… I haven't really thought much about it, but maybe counselling or something, something like that.

Have you thought beyond high school right now?

At the moment, by how my music has been, I feel that I will be able to make it as some sort of musician. Like, be involved in music in some form of way, even being a singing teacher or a piano teacher or something, something like that. That's not my wish. I would love to become a recording artist. You've got to dream big.

I don't mean to crush your dreams.

Oh no, it's fine. Everyone's always like, ‘What's your backup plan?’

I work as well at National Music Academy, doing admin there. It's just a bit much, but that's just something that you've got to work with and deal with and eventually you just sort of find a way to do everything.

Paris Grace Tip Jar Winner

Are you a good time manager?

Yeah, this year I've really got to learn how to time manage.

How did you get into the National Music Academy?

I'm a student there as well. So, I started there maybe four or five years ago. Just doing usual singing lessons, then I auditioned. Because they do showcases at Lizotte’s once a year, just to showcase the Music Academy and come see them and stuff.

I auditioned for that and the manager and the owner of it were like, ‘Oh my god. Wow, we'd love you.’ I just got more and more involved with them and they started giving me gigs. And I started doing gigs at 14 or something. Just got closer and closer with them and just worked my way up, and now I'm doing mentoring with Finn Roach there and that's really helping. And do you know Daniel March?

Yep.

I'm doing stuff with him as well. They've helped me a lot throughout my music career, actually. If it wasn't for them, I don't think I'd be anywhere near where I am now.

What are some of these goals for 2018, then?

At the end of this year, the recordings – I'd love to be able to record five solid songs. To have at least one gig a fortnight or one gig a week and to get my band out more. They're my three big things.

What are some of the challenges you've already experienced in the industry?

A big one was actually through Tip Jar. Whenever you write a song with somebody, make sure they write down that they said that you could use it. That's a big one. Copyright.

Is there a song that you wish you wrote?

There's so many. Every song, haha. Oh, that's hard.

Is there a song that you cover a lot?

Yeah, I've got a few that I cover a lot. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Hallelujah...

Jeff Buckley?

Yep, and there's one more – Valerie.

Oh, Amy Winehouse?

Yeah, that's it.

What's maybe the five-year plan?

To be Beyoncé, haha.

To be the next Beyoncé?

I have no idea. I don't know where it could go. It might go nowhere. It might go somewhere really big. It could be just gigging. I have no idea.

When you're not at school or performing, where do you usually hang out?

The beach. I'm a very beach person. The ocean or trying to stay fit, have a healthy lifestyle and just socialise with people. Go out for dinner or something. I try to have everything, which is another part of the juggling thing.

Is staying fit just so you can do more?

Staying fit is just a personal thing, like I want to feel good in myself too, because there's nothing better than feeling good about yourself.

Totally. So, what's something that you think everyone should know about you?

That I'm not as uneducated as I seem when I do an interview, haha. No, I think everyone should know… that all my music is written from my feel. Like, it's never fake. I think that's cool. When I see someone, and I watch Adele and stuff, a lot of her songs she has written, I'm like, ‘That's awesome.’ And her lyrics, how she puts things… And Ed Sheeran, he writes a lot of his stuff and he's done stuff for other people as well. I just think people who write their own music – it touches people.

Check out Paris’ Facebook page at facebook.com/parisgracemusic and keep your ears out for those songs later this year!

Paris Grace Newcastle Singer