INTERVIEW: Grace Farriss


Hi Grace, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I have been so well, Thank you. Thank you for having me. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “All The People”?

I wrote “All The People” and it came out very grand as soon as I wrote it. It is a huge song. Perhaps I was feeling the collective and the happenings at this point in the world. I wrote the song around 2017 and could feel it very deeply then as well. So I guess the song was in a way a reflection of this. I believe some songs come to you to serve a purpose to you and then some songs come to serve a purpose for others. I could feel “All The People” was for others as soon as it came through. I wrote “All The People” within an hour and the arrangement came to me almost immediately afterward. Although it took me a year to understand in my head exactly what I wanted it to sound like and then to have it fully realised in the studio was a very grand moment and I believe the same for everyone in the studio. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

If my memory serves me well. I believe there were quite a few worldly events happening and within the media that I noticed that affected me quite deeply. Although I cannot remember exactly what now, I know this song came to me whilst I was feeling overwhelmed and it just came through so beautifully. Almost like a hymn for myself and others to feel connected to, rather than the opposite.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

I actually had planned to release a video with people all over the world in it and we edited it and I came to the conclusion that it is such a grand song and it was one that people can listen to and imagine and interpret whatever they want to. Even though it is such a grand song, it has deep introspection and a very meaningful connotation indeed. 

The single comes off your new album Grace – why did you choose to name the record after yourself?

I had thought about it for a long time. Three years in fact! But I just thought my name Grace, makes sense. Not only is it my name, but the way the album is configured and the songs I have chosen all have a deep sense of Grace in them, the flow of the songs also feel this way. I am glad I chose to name my debut album ‘Grace’.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing comes very naturally to me. I am a writer first and foremost. It is where I am happiest and where everything makes the most sense to me in terms of music. 

Recording I love. Recording this song and my album ‘Grace’ was one of the most amazing moments and experiences in my life. There are no words to describe the feeling of conveying this beautiful and deep message to the musicians and then to have them understand you so deeply. To be in such a  deep place with my music but then to not have much awareness of myself because it is all about the music and its emotional journey, is overwhelming. You can lose a sense of awareness with others because you are so focused on the music’s feelings and intentions in the moment, especially during recording and I wanted to get it just right so you can feel every emotion and feeling I wanted to convey. So when it came to winding down and stepping into listening to the work I had created was quite humorous because I also had to witness my own characteristics and reflect back on this, which was quite funny. I loved recording this song in particular. Many highs and many breakthroughs came through internally and externally for me. It was a time in my life I will cherish very much and will be proud of forever. 

What was it like to work with Tony Buchen and how did that relationship develop?

I loved every minute of working with Tony Buchen. He is a dear friend of mine and much of our time together in the studio consisted of humour and I find his musical abilities amazing and I find it incredible how he adapts to where he is in the present moment. 

We had worked together previously. Although he knew how focused and strict I was about the development of  ‘Grace’ and he ended up taking it just as seriously as me, if not more. Which I really appreciated and felt I had a conscience in him throughout the entire recording of ‘Grace’.  I had every song in immense detail in my head for almost a 2 year period prior to the recording of ‘Grace’. So to have someone so eloquently work alongside of me and to try to understand me and what I wanted to accomplish was truly amazing. 

How much did he get to influence the album?

I had everything I wanted for the album done and in my mind almost 2 years earlier and I knew the exact feeling, sound, arrangements and structures I wanted from each song and as a collective for my debut album ‘Grace’. I was quite strict and didn’t really allow for any experimentation as I had had some of the songs already for 15 years prior and some of the songs on ‘Grace’ are among the first songs I ever wrote. So I felt I knew the album better than anyone possibly ever could. But Tony’s input here and there and on one or more occasions foresaw aspects of a couple of the songs I could not see. 

My mind, body, soul and heart and the souls in parts of Tony and the musicians that played on my  album ‘Grace’ are certainly present and carry through like a well oiled piece of machinery. Although I would have to say it is all of me in an album. This is the genius of great musicians.

What is it about the 70s that you find so fascinating?

I have not ever found this period fascinating. Although I have a great respect for the early to mid 20th century in music. I find a lot of music within the past century had a huge influence on modern music from this era, today. This song and one other song called “Star” from my album have influences from this time period. Although the rest of ‘Grace’ is very modern, classical, expressive and innovative.  Much of the roots of music formed during the mid 20th century leading into modern music today. I am hugely fascinated with every era of music. I find that there is heart and soul everywhere you hear music. I am equally as fascinated with the 18th century in music and 15th century around this time. I am inspired mostly by this time period! Old hymns and classical music inspire me the most I would have to say. Although I am very much inspired by all genres, time periods and art forms. I am so looking forward and excited to see where music goes collectively for mankind.  

Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than your own?

I tend to write from my heart and mind and try and give my all in my music and poetry and the structure of my arrangements. If this is something that gels well with someone else. Then it feels amazing and visa versa. I love collaborating with other musicians and artists. I think it is a way to get another reflection of our own interconnectedness and you realise very quickly that we all feel the same emotions. To do this with one another person can be a very healing experience. I think men singing together is such a beautiful expression and women singing together is such a beautiful expression. It is an entirely different experience  artistically collaborating with another person or people to writing music or creating art on your own. When I collaborate with other men or women I see their being in its truest form more often than not, and it is such an amazing feeling and an honour. 

How does all your other artistic facets influence your whole body of work?

The natural world influences me greatly and so does painting. I paint a lot and I have my whole life. I also love walking in the country, bush, forest and swimming in the ocean. This inspires my music grealty. I love to knit, read, write poetry and embroider as well, do pottery and horse ride and these intertwine with my music very much so. I feel very grateful I have these as they also give me a greater perspective on my music at times, especially when it comes to arrangements. Writing is something I tune into very easily and that comes very naturally to me.

What aspect of your own personal life did you get to explore on this record?

I got to explore what I really wanted out of life whilst writing and creating this record and then right up to recording my album ‘Grace’. Everything became very clear to me. I chose the  songs that reflect so many aspects of life from one spectrum to another and I felt for the first time during the creation of this album. I understood very clearly what I personally wanted out of life. Writing some of the songs on the album 15 to 20 years earlier, some of them. Brought me back to a purer simpler state of my being. Much fell into place for me after the climactic moment of finishing recording my album ‘Grace’. 

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The songs were inspired by people or places, experiences or just messages I had received at different points in my life up until now. I have always written lyrics and poetry. Sometimes looking at a flower or a beautiful tree can spark an emotion or a feeling. Or seeing a loved one in a new light for the first time and it makes you cry and so I write about it in the moment or the memory comes up and I document it and write another song. Or being in the garden all day long and the sun and elements are on your skin and your hair and there is a certain scent in the air and its sunset or I might be simply sitting and reflecting or doing not much at all. Everything is an inspiration to me and an experience. It is constantly happening and this energy always unfolds in my music. 

What else is happening next in Grace Farriss’ world?

I am currently writing a book that will be published and released upon the release of my album ‘Grace’. Titled  “Poems, Sayings and Stories”. My book will comprise all of my lyrics, poetry, writings, sayings and stories up until this point in my life. 

I have just become the Ambassador for “The Jane Goodall Institute” as well as “The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society” and I am currently founding my own environmental organisation which will be founded towards December 2020, called “The Grace Earth Organisation”. I am very excited to have this come to life as it is something I am very passionate and care deeply about.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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