When a legend like Quincy Jones not only lets you cover one of his hits as your debut single but offers to produce it as well, you know you’re going somewhere. 17-year-old Lesley Gore came out with “You Don’t Own Me” in 1963, making it a feminist anthem of sorts. Fast forward to 2015 and 18-year-old Grace Sewell from Brisbane, Australia gave it a spin of her own. It’s still as relevant if not more in a world where using the Snapchat puppy filter opens you up to slut-shaming.
Though young, Grace’s powerhouse vocals and songwriting make you feel like you’re looking at a much older and wiser artist. She co-wrote her Memo EP with Parker Ighile (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna) and Fraser T Smith (Adele, Sam Smith) and is set to release her debut album this summer. You might be wondering why it’s taken so long for a young blonde with insane vocals to get pushed onto the scene. The music industry has gotten pretty desperate as of late, rushing precious development time to make their money back on artists they’ve signed. We don’t know exactly how she managed to avoid the conveyor belt of pop stars, but we’re glad.
Grace comes from a musical family so she quite literally born for this. Her father is a well known singer in Australia, her grandparents opened for The Bee Gees, and her brother Conrad has toured with Jess Glynne and Maroon 5. Growing up Grace was surrounded by the sounds of The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Shirley Bassey, and more. These influences lend to her “old soul” quality and clearly help her write songs that play with that kind of nostalgia but apply to young fans today. Her latest single “Hell of a Girl” flirts with those sounds. We’re definitely excited to hear her debut LP out July 1st via RCA Records.
On The Rise is our spotlight series on new and emerging artists. We last featured Rocky Nti. Stay tuned for next week’s On The Rise artist!