For the past couple of days I have been scouting for new music on YouTube while patiently waiting for the return of Grace’s. This searching reminded me, as well as did Grace, why I had stopped listening to the top 40 or top 50 billboard songs that are mostly played on radio.
Meaningful music, by my definition can be hard to find, and for me my journey to discover it started in the summer of 2013, when I was just eleven-years-old. One of the first artists I found was Imagine Dragons and the genres of indie rock, indie pop, punk rock and alternative rock music. Since then I’ve felt like I’ve found my people. Guaranteed, mainstreamed artists have pulled off some epic catchy songs that had the whole world listening to including myself since I am indeed a part of this world, however, I tended to lean more towards these new genres I was discovering.
Then that fateful day I discovered Grace VanderWaal sealed the deal on recreating my playlist of songs that I enjoy. These songs were new, meaningful and something I had never heard before, and to see it coming from such a young child just added another thrill . The last moments of 2016 were the best for me because of her music.
I realized then I loved the feeling of discovering new sounds, of hearing something different. Maybe that is why I was so thunderstruck by Lorde’s music in 2013 when she created a new whirlwind of music that took the industry by storm. Nobody could believe what they were hearing when Lorde emerged into the mainstream and made changed it to suit her own unique sound. Her music was nothing like they’ve heard before. While Billie Eilish dominates 2019, Lorde should be remembered for her contribution of weird, dark, asymmetrical, crazy pop. It pains me to think people might forget how much Lorde changed pop music. Then again, Lorde is not our typical mainstream artist but she is no one-hit wonder.
Back when Lorde’s music came out I was slowly coming out of my rap and pop phase. It was fun while it lasted. But Lorde set me up for life. She is so good, but I don’t need to tell you that.
By the time I discovered Grace VanderWaal my heart was already craving more new sounds, music that meant more, and made me feel more. I wanted/needed music that was not only fun to listen to, but spoke about things people can relate to, and not just about relationships and break ups and crushing on that guy, or falling for your best friend, but songs that gave a new perspective on how you view relationships; break-ups, people, that guy or that girl, life, freedom of expression. I wanted music that said something, something real, and didn’t just to sound good, or was catchy; ‘a hit’.
Since finding Grace, when I look at the charts of popular music I think; “the world does not care for good music anymore”. It’s almost always about creating a hit, and not really about music that will make a lifetime of lasting impact. Why do you think there is still respect for artists like Queen, or Bob Marley, or The Beatles, or even Lorde and why Grace will be an artist like these legends?
Not that a hit does not matter because it does in the long run, but not when it means nothing at the end of the day, not when it does not reflect the artist’s true self and understanding of things, and honestly not when it is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. God, I would like to drop a few examples but I’m afraid I might offend some people.
When I listen to a song, I want to feel as though I’m discovering music for the first time, and not just another Ariana Grande sound-alike or another Taylor Swift because only God knows that we don’t need two. If you’re gonna make music at least try and sound different. And I don’t mean create another genre of music like Grace or Lorde did but at least be different in the words you sing. I’ve heard it all before so try and be creative yeah?
With that all being said I would like to name the few new artists have discovered while patiently waiting for new music from Grace. I’m not pushing music on anyone, but just providing a list for anyone else who is open to discovering new music.
Declan McKenna– he is an English singer, songwriter and musician. He initially gained recognition for winning the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. His debut album came out in 2017 and he is one of the best song writers I have ever discovered. He sings about issues in the most subtle ways that it takes a while to uncover the meanings but when you do it blows your mind at the level of brilliance this guy has. He has co-written absolutely nothing on his album, everything was singularly written by him. His level of genius song-writing connects me to why I enjoy Grace’s music so much. And also, they both are very young (he’s 20) and singing about meaningful things, which says a lot because normally artists around their age sing about relationships so much you wonder if they realize they are only just 16.
Lizzo– I discovered her through Grace. Lizzo is just amazing. Her music is different, almost like an old school vibe. She creates music about self love and empowerment, and she is just so completely herself. She is what people need when they’ve lost all hope in music. She’s just incredible and funny and I’m in love.
“Truth Hurts” (2018) (Parental Warning: Explicit language)
The Beatles– I know I’m late but I’m only 17 so you can’t blame me. What can I say? How can I put into words how genius they are? How crazy good? I don’t know, I…if you haven’t discovered at least one Beatles song you have not lived. That I all I am going to say.
“Don’t Let Me Down” (1970)
“A Day in the Life” (1967)
Aurora– she is the cutest, most charismatic, little human being. She is a Norwegian singer songwriter and producer. Her debut EP Running with the Wolves was released through Decca Records in May 2015. Her voice is so incredible distinctive like Grace’s and once again she is too very young. She creates stories with her music and you tend to get lost in them. And when she performs them live it is the best thing. She moves as if she is the song herself and is trapped in its sounds and lyrics. It’s crazy, you should check her out.
“River” (2019 – Latest Single)
This article was first published in our online discussion forum at https://vandervault.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=188.