Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

A forum for weekly (and occasionally more frequent) discussions regarding Grace's career, prompted by an editorial by one of our writers.
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Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:08 pm

Mark Lalonde discusses Grace’s current career trajectory and just how well everything is going according to plan.

“Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”
By Mark Lalonde

The following piece is an editorial. It features personal opinions and feelings that relate to the author as well as Grace; please, bail now if that sort of thing irritates you.

My personal history of expectations regarding Grace VanderWaal’s career has been a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows, and that’s entirely my fault.

For the first two years of Grace’s career I was in a state of denial. I had completely bought into the post-AGT hype that Grace was about to set the world on fire and become the next global sensation. I refused to recognize just how psychologically damaging that would have been to a sensitive 12-13 year old girl unused to the entertainment industry and fame. Thank God I was wrong and that a more responsible plan was well in play regarding Grace and her long-term career progression.

When Grace announced in the early Spring of 2019 on the Zach Sang show, in very clear terms, that she and her record label were employing a “slow build” philosophy I was forced to confront my personal set of wholly unrealistic expectations regarding Grace's career. I had an embarrassingly difficult time with it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still fully believe in Grace, and feel that she will become as “big” as she wants to, when she wants to, but I’ve given up my fanboy expectations that it will happen on any schedule that I’ve set within the confines of my own narrow mind.

This brings us, of course, to Grace’s EP “Letters Volume 1”, and how it performed on the charts in its opening week…It didn’t chart.

I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m also not going to compare the performance of “Letters Vol. 1” with either “Perfectly Imperfect” or “Just The Beginning”. The Grace of those two previous releases is an entirely different commercial entity than the one who put out this most recent effort. Those two earlier collections capitalized well off of Grace’s AGT win. “Letters Vol. 1” stands on its own merits, and it does so quite proudly from an artistic point of view and that’s the one that matters most at this stage in her career.

In many ways, Grace could have titled this recent EP as “A New Beginning, Volume 1” as it breaks entirely new ground, artistically speaking, not just in style, but independence. I’m now quite grateful for the extended break between “Just The Beginning” and “Letters Volume 1”; it was necessary.

Grace now gets to re-imagine herself and brings along with her only those original fans who had the most faith in her as an artist first, and a true artist follows her own muse, and not the whimsies of music fads, or market-informed trends. Grace has recently stated numerous times that this new collection of music best reflects her own creativity and imagination and is far less compromised by label meddling (well intentioned or not), and that’s the best news I could hear, far and above what any impressive chart position could provide.

Before anyone begins accusing me of being a Grace apologist let’s first discuss how very well Grace is actually doing considering that she’s virtually starting from scratch as a commercial recording artist, and one not yet going "all in".

Gird yourself as comparisons to other artists are to follow, mostly dealing with career trajectories, and levels of investment (from the label and the artist’s commitment). Ready?

FINNEAS (that’s how he spells his name) is the 22-year-old elder brother/co-writer/producer of Billie Eilish, and his career (as a solo artist) is for the most part currently pretty much at par with Grace’s. Despite recently being nominated for 5 Grammys, touring around the world several times over (and often opening) for the second biggest selling artist of 2019, and doing the same on-line media rounds as Grace (Elle, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Genius.com, Paste,etc) as well as very publicly dating a social-media celebrity (Claudia Sulewski), he still isn't doing as well as Grace on YouTube, though his Spotify numbers are sometimes double hers. That’s a tonne of extra advantages, exposure-wise, than Grace, and his solo music is artistically solid, and not all that dissimilar to Grace’s eclectic/mature sound, so in this comparison Grace shines. His EP, released this past summer, also didn’t chart in America.

I brought up solo-FINNEAS as a comparison for a very specific reason, and that is because, and some of you may take offense to this, but it’s an objective reality, that by music industry standards both Grace and FINNEAS are doing this solo-music-thing on a part-time basis.

Again, this is by music industry standards where a “fully committed” artist is expected to tour, globally, 70-80% of the year, and when not touring, record new music in the studio and go on media tours as well as constantly “networking” and collaborating with other artists. These people are literally working about 70-80 hours a week, if you consider travel time as work time, and that between shows they have to make radio station appearances, shoot music videos, write new music, record demos and so on.

This brings us to the next comparison, one that’s a far more fair one…17-year-old (since October) Australian singer/songwriter Ruel. Grace recently identified him as being an artist with whom she would most like to collaborate.

https://twitter.com/VanderVault/status/ ... 0597114885

Ruel began his career in his home country of Australia (where he has since “made it” with a #3 debut album (EP)), but he has been roaming the planet for nearly two years now, touring constantly. He is “fully committed” with virtually no social life beyond what he can steal away from the confines of his bunk on his tour bus, or between flights. That sacrifice has seen his career rise exponentially since he first met Grace back in the Spring of 2018 in New York City while the two were in the middle of their own separate media tours.

https://twitter.com/GraceVW_News/status ... -rueler%2F

Back then he had less than 200,000 YouTube subscribers, but will soon gain his first million. His videos are doing about as well as Grace’s on YouTube, but it must be noted that he has double the number of monthly listeners than Grace at 6.6 million on Spotify. He also just finished a headlining tour of the U.S., selling out shows in venues of similar size to Grace’s. Since wrapping his U.S. tour he has since performed across the UK, Europe and even went back to Australia and New Zealand to open for Shawn Mendes. He is about to head out on the road again for Asia in the new year. Despite all of that his EP also didn’t chart in the U.S.

So what I’m saying with all of these comparisons is that Grace is actually doing phenomenally well for someone who still isn't "fully committed" by record label standards.

Don’t get me wrong, Grace works very VERY hard and for long hours, but in fits and spurts, and nowhere near the same level of soul-crushing toil that artists like Ruel have been putting in for the past year.

When Grace and Columbia truly do decide to pull the trigger, her ascent will be rocket-like, but I hope it’s only when she’s really ready, because she’ll have to be.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by PratiMoksha » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:30 pm

For me, one of the most important takeaways from the reception of Letters Vol. 1 is that Grace need no longer worry how her die-hard fans will react. Overwhelmingly they have been raving about her explorations into new sounds. The critics too. No big backlash because "she changed" or anything like that.

Like you said Mark, when Grace and her label do decide to give it full steam ahead, there is reason to be optimistic. She has so much goodwill out there, both from industry insiders and nigh on everyone who hears her music, sees her on TV show appearances, etc. etc. Team Grace just has to crank up the volume a few notches, PR-wise, and many more will hear her.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by PratiMoksha » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:46 pm

Sorry, can't stop blabbing... one more thing I find encouraging:

It's not just one or two songs that people like - it's all of them. I have seen all five of the full songs touted, by fans and critics alike, as their personal favorite. The real diversity, while maintaining consistently high quality across all songs, that means she'll be able to appeal to a wide audience. And while there is a real diversity across the album, these songs are all unlike other music on the market and distinctly Grace.

(And as for Gucci Shoes, while it is perhaps not a full song in the traditional sense, I know I'm not the only one to consider its envelope-pushing experimentation one of the most exciting things about the album.)

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by DenisPeloquin » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:55 pm

A big part of the fanboy high expectations of a mega-star breakout from Grace is validation of being fanatic over a teen pop idol. There is comfort in being part of something with more universal appeal.

I wonder if Grace may in fact work harder than what we may think. She may have to be working even harder than normal in compensation over issues relating to distractibility, procrastination, and struggle-avoidance. Grace in context of JtB and more recently with Letters has expressed that she is creating a lot of songs but only 10% ever make it to being released (She said something like writing 20 songs with 2 making it on the EP with most being scrapped along the way). I imagine that it is probably worse than this. I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of her work is scrapped by herself before anyone other than herself sees it. From there in consultation with her producers only a fraction will be worth the effort to demo. Of that a fraction will be approved for full production or for additional resources (co-writers and composers) to flesh out a song. Even then, the label may greenlight the release of a song. Pretty sure Greg Wells was talking 2 or 3 songs being produced in late summer 2018 and being Mastered around Christmas. Of that we only saw Stray released.

We may be seeing an iceberg here.... vast amount of the effort is below the surface.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by FredeeZiffel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:35 pm

Not knowing the industry at all, and having supported Grace from the beginning, I can only agree with your editorial, Mark. In a way, it does "hurt" that such a gigantic talent in a small package is not blowing up the industry and turning down offers left and right (or maybe she is) from producers and would-be collaborators and media outlets. I guess I always come back to the same thought, much as you did, that Grace's day to day happiness and well being is the most important thing - to her, and to me. We have already seen how devastated it can be for her to feel she let down her audience at just one show. I can't imagine her doing a 40 stop headlining world tour at this point in her career, and dealing with school while still having her friends and necessary free time. For me, I just hope she realizes how much every single fan appreciates and cherishes ever single song we are gifted - including the occasional live cover and unreleased new song tease. I guess we'll get a better idea of what she's up to whenever #LettersVol2 comes out. Some day, maybe not too far in the future, a whole lot of new Grace fans are going to realize what they have been missing, and they will have a treasure trove of artistic genius to catch up on - the ultimate binge-listening experience of a lifetime!!

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by TomKauffman » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 pm

I don't expect a major change in Grace's touring until she's 18. While she enjoys it and has an absolute blast performing before a venue audience, she's stated in at least one interview that her parents do not enjoy touring and trade off with each other over the course of the tour

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by TimNeely » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:32 pm

Two and a half other factors in the lack of a chart position this week for Grace:

1. It's a bad time of year for new and emerging artists, which Grace certainly is. By my rough count, 21 of the albums in the Billboard 200 chart are Christmas/holiday albums. Only two of those are new for 2019 that I could see, and those contain little to no new music. As we get even closer to Christmas, and especially on the chart for the first week of January 2020 (which covers activity during Christmas week), even more holiday albums are likely to appear.

1a. On a related note, this is the time of year that other catalog albums see a surge in sales. The Beatles' Abbey Road, buoyed by a 50th anniversary re-release, is all the way to #16 on this week's chart, which I think is its highest chart position since 1970.

2. There is no physical release yet of Grace's EP. Though sales of hard copies make up a smaller part of the charts today, they still matter, especially with an artist like Grace, who had a higher than average percentage of her chart points in the past coming from physical sales. Also, only three of the songs are new and none of those have videos, thus there are fewer opportunities for streaming points. I think only two of the charted albums this week are EPs, and one of them is by Lil Nas X of "Old Town Road" fame.

A couple months ago, Billboard hid all its charts except the Hot 100 and the main album chart behind a paywall, so I no longer have access to all those sub-charts I quoted when the forum began. So I don't know if Grace made the Top Current Albums chart, which does not include back-catalog albums.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by ichego888 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:25 am

Billie Ellish just seems to be 4 steps ahead of everyone else

I wish Grace get at least half the support she has
It's really frustrating to these two artist labels how is getting their artist played every where while the can't the other can't even get a song on the radio. I don't understand the plan here

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:14 am

ichego888 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:25 am
Billie Ellish just seems to be 4 steps ahead of everyone else

I wish Grace get at least half the support she has
It's really frustrating to these two artist labels how is getting their artist played every where while the can't the other can't even get a song on the radio. I don't understand the plan here
I believe, though there may be more issues at play we aren't privy to, that it comes down to a matter of mutual commitment.

The label wants to invest in artists who have the drive to succeed in the industry; to become stars.

Billie Eilish has mentioned openly how it was always her dream to be a star, that she was insanely jealous of Finneas when he landed a recurring role on Glee, how she wanted that brass ring for herself. She was willing to sacrifice, virtually everything, in her quest and did.

Grace, on the other hand, has always said that she's ready and willing to quit it all if the mood strikes her. While that might seem like a power play, that she's threatening to walk if she doesn't get her way, the label may see her attitude as an investment risk.

Over the last few months, since just before the UrSB tour, they've invested more than before to see if she is now a "team player" and is willing to invest her will and heart into growing her career with them before they invest more significantly in her as Interscope did in Billie (and her writing and producing partner Finneas).

I think 2020, when Grace turns 16, will see a significant change in attitude from both Grace and the label(s).

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by RogerPyle » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:10 am

I agree that in a month when she turns 16 we may see a change in marketing from the label and other sources. But I still wonder why Disney isn't at least playing one (or more) of the songs from Letters on Disney Radio when they play nonsense songs like "Jopping" (which hit #1 two months ago) twice an hour.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by PratiMoksha » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:13 am

RogerPyle wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:10 am
I agree that in a month when she turns 16 we may see a change in marketing from the label and other sources. But I still wonder why Disney isn't at least playing one (or more) of the songs from Letters on Disney Radio when they play nonsense songs like "Jopping" (which hit #1 two months ago) twice an hour.
I actually haven't listened to Disney Radio, but it sounds fairly kid-oriented. If my assumption is correct, I would imagine the three new songs might not be quite right for that audience. Did they play URSB (the edited version without the 'swear word') or WMT when they first came out?

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by TomKauffman » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:21 am

I think that you hit the mark with the comparison between the drives and goals of Billie and Grace. Billie flat out wants to be a STAR where Grace looks to be quite happy as a star. Grace wants to write and perform music to an appreciative live audience and looks to be happy somewhere on the inner fringes of the fame bubble. If she can perform to sell-out crowds in her preferred venue size she's got, so far anyway, what she wants. This may change in the next couple of years.

We'll get a much better idea next year after Stargirl shows and Letters Volume 2 comes out.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by TomKauffman » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:24 am

PratiMoksha wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:13 am
RogerPyle wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:10 am
I agree that in a month when she turns 16 we may see a change in marketing from the label and other sources. But I still wonder why Disney isn't at least playing one (or more) of the songs from Letters on Disney Radio when they play nonsense songs like "Jopping" (which hit #1 two months ago) twice an hour.
I actually haven't listened to Disney Radio, but it sounds fairly kid-oriented. If my assumption is correct, I would imagine the three new songs might not be quite right for that audience. Did they play URSB (the edited version without the 'swear word') or WMT when they first came out?
As I understand it, URSB was played in the edited form - and if that was the case, then the target audience is no longer an appropriate audience for where Grace seems to be going.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by BradHaney » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:29 am

VanderVault wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:08 pm
Mark Lalonde discusses Grace’s current career trajectory and just how well everything is going according to plan.

“Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”
By Mark Lalonde
You speak for many here, though I think that there’s more to it than marketing and extent of touring. Billie and LIzzo appeared at the right time with the right brand of music to break big. At some point, Grace’s age (I think there’s still a bias to overcome), music, critical reputation, label commitment, and target demographic will all align. It might be awhile, though (yeah, her age). OTOH, the one full throttle promotion (aside from Grace’s “Talk Good” story) was for Moonlight. It now has almost 135 Mil Spotify/YT streams combined; successful promotion noted. If Grace attends a brick-and-mortar school next spring, things obviously might go low-key for a while, but with LV2, Stargirl, and a possible Europe+ tour in the works, that would be just about as intense promotion as Ruel or anybody, right?

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by JohnMay2 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:02 am

If Stray was a bridge built from experiences she had from her previous 2 years, Letters feels like a message to herself and to her fans that she has moved on to something new. There is no way to say for sure, but it feels like Grace and company are preparing to move quickly in a direction that will achieve the notoriety and success that you describe, Mark. In March (or Spring), Stargirl will be released and it will mean another level and, as you say, she will need to be ready. I think she is. As close to ready anyone can ever be, anyway.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:23 pm

BradHaney wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:29 am
VanderVault wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:08 pm
Mark Lalonde discusses Grace’s current career trajectory and just how well everything is going according to plan.

“Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”
By Mark Lalonde
You speak for many here, though I think that there’s more to it than marketing and extent of touring. Billie and LIzzo appeared at the right time with the right brand of music to break big. At some point, Grace’s age (I think there’s still a bias to overcome), music, critical reputation, label commitment, and target demographic will all align. It might be awhile, though (yeah, her age). OTOH, the one full throttle promotion (aside from Grace’s “Talk Good” story) was for Moonlight. It now has almost 135 Mil Spotify/YT streams combined; successful promotion noted. If Grace attends a brick-and-mortar school next spring, things obviously might go low-key for a while, but with LV2, Stargirl, and a possible Europe+ tour in the works, that would be just about as intense promotion as Ruel or anybody, right?
Yes, for Billie and Lizzo there was definitely a whole lot of "right place and right time" going on, but what I was trying to drive home with my comparisons was that to achieve Billie/Ruel levels of career acceleration you have to not only tour a lot, but EVERYWHERE.

Ruel played over 200 dates over the last 365 days across the planet, that's why he went from an unknown everywhere except Australia to selling out tours wherever he goes and going from tens of thousands of views/listens to tens of millions; a combination of label pushing and doing the grind himself with a grin on his face the whole time, doing constant tour vlogs, putting out reasonably budgeted high concept music videos for every single, etc.

If Grace is ready for that, and only she and her parents are qualified to answer that, then she would see huge gains.

She has the material, the look, the personality, and charisma...she only needs the exposure, but barring something viral happening spontaneously, that means jumping into the meat grinder that is the music industry.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by RogerPyle » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:10 pm

PratiMoksha wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:13 am
I actually haven't listened to Disney Radio, but it sounds fairly kid-oriented. If my assumption is correct, I would imagine the three new songs might not be quite right for that audience. Did they play URSB (the edited version without the 'swear word') or WMT when they first came out?
I don't recall. I do remember they played "Clearly" in rotation for a few weeks. And I recall Dave V. posting a tweet (now deleted) pleading fans to contact their local radio station to play Grace's songs. Also Disney plays lots of songs that aren't just for kids. Most of the top 30 are the usual suspects: Dua Lupa, Camilla Cabello, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and a bunch of K-Pop. (Post Malone's "Circles" could have been on Letters Vol. 1 except for one line.)

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:30 pm

RogerPyle wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:10 pm
PratiMoksha wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:13 am
I actually haven't listened to Disney Radio, but it sounds fairly kid-oriented. If my assumption is correct, I would imagine the three new songs might not be quite right for that audience. Did they play URSB (the edited version without the 'swear word') or WMT when they first came out?
I don't recall. I do remember they played "Clearly" in rotation for a few weeks. And I recall Dave V. posting a tweet (now deleted) pleading fans to contact their local radio station to play Grace's songs. Also Disney plays lots of songs that aren't just for kids. Most of the top 30 are the usual suspects: Dua Lupa, Camilla Cabello, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and a bunch of K-Pop. (Post Malone's "Circles" could have been on Letters Vol. 1 except for one line.)
Yeah, I'm kind of shocked when I see the list of what's in the Radio Disney top 5 (mature content-wise). :shock:

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by RogerPyle » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:18 pm

BradHaney wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:29 am

You speak for many here, though I think that there’s more to it than marketing and extent of touring. Billie and LIzzo appeared at the right time with the right brand of music to break big. At some point, Grace’s age (I think there’s still a bias to overcome), music, critical reputation, label commitment, and target demographic will all align. It might be awhile, though (yeah, her age). OTOH, the one full throttle promotion (aside from Grace’s “Talk Good” story) was for Moonlight. It now has almost 135 Mil Spotify/YT streams combined; successful promotion noted. If Grace attends a brick-and-mortar school next spring, things obviously might go low-key for a while, but with LV2, Stargirl, and a possible Europe+ tour in the works, that would be just about as intense promotion as Ruel or anybody, right?
Interesting that you should mention Lizzo.

All it takes sometimes is placement in a commercial to be played dozens of times across the conutry for the artist to gain recogntion for a song written years before. Walmart used Lizzo's "Water Me" for one of their Black Friday commercials and views for the Vevo "Water Me" zoomed tremendously. The song was two years old.

Amid rumors that her label (Atlantic) was paying to get her songs noticed, she posted back (last week):
"On Wednesday afternoon, Lizzo responded to some tweets that claimed she has used the age old art of payola to get her 2-3-year-old songs to perform well on the charts in 2019. The Twitter user retweeted a post announcing that Lizzo's 2017 single, "Water Me," has reached the #15 spot on US iTunes, saying "Mfs not even hiding the payola and bots anymore🤣😂😂😂." This tweet stems from the belief held by some that the reason Lizzo's 2017 song "Truth Hurts" and her 2016 song "Good as Hell" suddenly performed extremely well on the charts this year is due to her record label paying for her songs to become "sleeper hits."

"Lizzo quote tweeted the user's claims by responding with, "Actually Walmart just used my song 'Water Me' in their Black Friday commercial and because of Shazam and the #dealdropdance its becoming popular... but go off 🤠." In a separate tweet, the singer continued the dialogue surrounding the issue, tweeting: "Y’all think it was the plan for all my old ass songs to be #1? I have a whole album the world hasn’t even heard yet. We can’t plan how it happens when it’s your moment it’s your moment.. I always believed in me I just needed the world to feel me. Now they do. I’m grateful." She also quote tweeted a user who said they hoped that her single from this year, "Juice," would get discovered by the public soon, with Lizzo saying, "Period. The PEOPLE are making these calls... not the label." Lizzo not only denies the payola claims, but insists that her newfound fans finally discovering her older music is the reason why so many of her past singles have blown up this year, rather than her label doing anything extra."

So maybe all it willl take is for some well-known company to use another of Grace's songs in a commercial and show it a few thousand times for it to become a viral hit. Right place, right time.

BTW, Lizzo will be the musical guest on SNL Decenber 21st when Eddie Murphy makes a return as host.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:31 pm

RogerPyle wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:18 pm
BradHaney wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:29 am

You speak for many here, though I think that there’s more to it than marketing and extent of touring. Billie and LIzzo appeared at the right time with the right brand of music to break big. At some point, Grace’s age (I think there’s still a bias to overcome), music, critical reputation, label commitment, and target demographic will all align. It might be awhile, though (yeah, her age). OTOH, the one full throttle promotion (aside from Grace’s “Talk Good” story) was for Moonlight. It now has almost 135 Mil Spotify/YT streams combined; successful promotion noted. If Grace attends a brick-and-mortar school next spring, things obviously might go low-key for a while, but with LV2, Stargirl, and a possible Europe+ tour in the works, that would be just about as intense promotion as Ruel or anybody, right?
Interesting that you should mention Lizzo.

All it takes sometimes is placement in a commercial to be played dozens of times across the conutry for the artist to gain recogntion for a song written years before. Walmart used Lizzo's "Water Me" for one of their Black Friday commercials and views for the Vevo "Water Me" zoomed tremendously. The song was two years old.

Amid rumors that her label (Atlantic) was paying to get her songs noticed, she posted back (last week):
"On Wednesday afternoon, Lizzo responded to some tweets that claimed she has used the age old art of payola to get her 2-3-year-old songs to perform well on the charts in 2019. The Twitter user retweeted a post announcing that Lizzo's 2017 single, "Water Me," has reached the #15 spot on US iTunes, saying "Mfs not even hiding the payola and bots anymore🤣😂😂😂." This tweet stems from the belief held by some that the reason Lizzo's 2017 song "Truth Hurts" and her 2016 song "Good as Hell" suddenly performed extremely well on the charts this year is due to her record label paying for her songs to become "sleeper hits."

"Lizzo quote tweeted the user's claims by responding with, "Actually Walmart just used my song 'Water Me' in their Black Friday commercial and because of Shazam and the #dealdropdance its becoming popular... but go off 🤠." In a separate tweet, the singer continued the dialogue surrounding the issue, tweeting: "Y’all think it was the plan for all my old ass songs to be #1? I have a whole album the world hasn’t even heard yet. We can’t plan how it happens when it’s your moment it’s your moment.. I always believed in me I just needed the world to feel me. Now they do. I’m grateful." She also quote tweeted a user who said they hoped that her single from this year, "Juice," would get discovered by the public soon, with Lizzo saying, "Period. The PEOPLE are making these calls... not the label." Lizzo not only denies the payola claims, but insists that her newfound fans finally discovering her older music is the reason why so many of her past singles have blown up this year, rather than her label doing anything extra."

So maybe all it willl take is for some well-known company to use another of Grace's songs in a commercial and show it a few thousand times for it to become a viral hit. Right place, right time.

BTW, Lizzo will be the musical guest on SNL Decenber 21st when Eddie Murphy makes a return as host.
LIzzo is the real deal as is her success. Her label really pushed her hard on her latest album's release, including featuring her "old ass song" "Truth Hurts", one that Grace was playing while getting her make-up done for the "Stray" music video shoot almost a year ago.

Now, that doesn't mean various flavours of payola don't still exist, they do, and it doesn't mean that absolutely none was used to bring Lizzo into the mainstream media, but she is genuinely popular now and is well entrenched in pop culture circa 2019.


BTW, I forgot to mention this in my editorial yesterday, but another reason why I listed FINNEAS and Ruel as valid comparisons is that both have solid industry excitement and hype behind them, just like Grace, despite not yet charting in America.

FINNEAS, because he's a freakin' musical genius with the Midas touch for other artists, and Ruel because he's been manufactured in a genetics lab from the DNA of Shawn Mendes (height and musicality) and Justin Bieber (non-threatening baby face) just as those two gentlemen are becoming too old for young teen girls to fawn over.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by JohnMay2 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:48 pm

It's interesting that we keep looking at names like Lizzo, FINNEAS, Biilie...these people have been around, percolating, stirring things up, making the scene for at least the last 5 years. Prince and Lizzo collided artistically back in 2014, while the latter 2 had been slowly causing a ruckus until the Billie bubble finally burst this year. I feel like I, and everyone here, really, have all acknowledged this point before; Grace's time will come, but it will take some time. It's only been 3 years, and she's only 15. I'm anxious just like all of y'all, but I think it would only be detrimental to her if they moved too fast. Sometimes anonymity is a blessing, until it no longer is possible.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:01 pm

JohnMay2 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:48 pm
It's interesting that we keep looking at names like Lizzo, FINNEAS, Biilie...these people have been around, percolating, stirring things up, making the scene for at least the last 5 years. Prince and Lizzo collided artistically back in 2014, while the latter 2 had been slowly causing a ruckus until the Billie bubble finally burst this year. I feel like I, and everyone here, really, have all acknowledged this point before; Grace's time will come, but it will take some time. It's only been 3 years, and she's only 15. I'm anxious just like all of y'all, but I think it would only be detrimental to her if they moved too fast. Sometimes anonymity is a blessing, until it no longer is possible.
Agreed...finally. ;)

If she had blown up earlier we wouldn't be getting the music we're getting now, and I don't think she could have handled it as well as she may be able to in the future. :thumbsup:

There is also the added bonus that Grace hasn't pinned her happiness on success in the industry and fame. Billie did and that's why she became borderline suicidal in mid to late 2018 when things really started blowing up for her career-wise...She realized, too late, that despite her becoming the star she'd always desperately wanted to be she found no joy or fulfillment in it. Thanks to therapy she's processed everything appropriately now and seems far more content with her life, but things were very scary for her for nearly a year.

Success doesn't breed happiness. Being comfortable in your own skin and being happy with the choices and relationships you've made and having the love you project reciprocated, be it from family, friends, or more, does. Grace has always known that, and that will get her through the fame bubble, whenever she penetrates it, intact.

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by BradHaney » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 pm

VanderVault wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:01 pm
JohnMay2 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:48 pm
It's interesting that we keep looking at names like Lizzo, FINNEAS, Biilie...these people have been around, percolating, stirring things up, making the scene for at least the last 5 years. Prince and Lizzo collided artistically back in 2014, while the latter 2 had been slowly causing a ruckus until the Billie bubble finally burst this year. I feel like I, and everyone here, really, have all acknowledged this point before; Grace's time will come, but it will take some time. It's only been 3 years, and she's only 15. I'm anxious just like all of y'all, but I think it would only be detrimental to her if they moved too fast. Sometimes anonymity is a blessing, until it no longer is possible.
Agreed...finally. ;)

If she had blown up earlier we wouldn't be getting the music we're getting now, and I don't think she could have handled it as well as she may be able to in the future. :thumbsup:

There is also the added bonus that Grace hasn't pinned her happiness on success in the industry and fame. Billie did and that's why she became borderline suicidal in mid to late 2018 when things really started blowing up for her career-wise...She realized, too late, that despite her becoming the star she'd always desperately wanted to be she found no joy or fulfillment in it. Thanks to therapy she's processed everything appropriately now and seems far more content with her life, but things were very scary for her for nearly a year.

Success doesn't breed happiness. Being comfortable in your own skin and being happy with the choices and relationships you've made and having the love you project reciprocated, be it from family, friends, or more, does. Grace has always known that, and that will get her through the fame bubble, whenever she penetrates it, intact.
I agree with you guys, however:

"One day I'll be up in New York lights,
I just got to get that one thing right..."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B30sZnXj4Ki/

I guess there's always that urge to climb, whether there's a mountain there or not...

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by VanderVault » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:34 pm

BradHaney wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 pm
VanderVault wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:01 pm
JohnMay2 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:48 pm
It's interesting that we keep looking at names like Lizzo, FINNEAS, Biilie...these people have been around, percolating, stirring things up, making the scene for at least the last 5 years. Prince and Lizzo collided artistically back in 2014, while the latter 2 had been slowly causing a ruckus until the Billie bubble finally burst this year. I feel like I, and everyone here, really, have all acknowledged this point before; Grace's time will come, but it will take some time. It's only been 3 years, and she's only 15. I'm anxious just like all of y'all, but I think it would only be detrimental to her if they moved too fast. Sometimes anonymity is a blessing, until it no longer is possible.
Agreed...finally. ;)

If she had blown up earlier we wouldn't be getting the music we're getting now, and I don't think she could have handled it as well as she may be able to in the future. :thumbsup:

There is also the added bonus that Grace hasn't pinned her happiness on success in the industry and fame. Billie did and that's why she became borderline suicidal in mid to late 2018 when things really started blowing up for her career-wise...She realized, too late, that despite her becoming the star she'd always desperately wanted to be she found no joy or fulfillment in it. Thanks to therapy she's processed everything appropriately now and seems far more content with her life, but things were very scary for her for nearly a year.

Success doesn't breed happiness. Being comfortable in your own skin and being happy with the choices and relationships you've made and having the love you project reciprocated, be it from family, friends, or more, does. Grace has always known that, and that will get her through the fame bubble, whenever she penetrates it, intact.
I agree with you guys, however:

"One day I'll be up in New York lights,
I just got to get that one thing right..."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B30sZnXj4Ki/

I guess there's always that urge to climb, whether there's a mountain there or not...
I took that literally...She wants to live in Manhattan...and there's only one way to live there and that's up in an apartment building. :lol:

She's already had her image shown on multiple occasions in Times Square, and named on the marquees of Webster Hall, Irving Plaza and I would assume Madison Square Garden when she opened for Imagine Dragons, so...

Grace has said before that she wants to earn enough in her teens and twenties to be set for life, not Kardashian set, but reasonably set. She has ambitions, but she doesn't aspire to be of Swiftian proportions. :thumbsup:

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Re: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019… “Letters Vol. 1 Didn’t Chart & Why That’s Okay”

Post by JohnMay2 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:33 pm

If I was where I wanted to be when I was 15, when i was actually 15, I would have been one half of a world famous professional wrestling team. Didn't quite work out that way. Ugh, yung 'un has so much damn time to be what she wants to be, I hate it, lol.

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