- Words Cal McIntyre
Multi-hyphenate teen superstar Grace VanderWaal takes us inside the home of a Stargirl after her appearing on our 'Fan Mail Live' series on Instagram. We talk creativity, boredom and musical poetry below!
At sixteen years old, Grace VanderWaal has already been dominating the game since she won America’s Got Talent back in 2016. The dimensional Grace, known for her idiosyncratic brand of modern Americana folk on her trusty ukelele, VanderWaal is turning her sights to acting with her lead role in Disney’s ‘Stargirl’.
The famous noughties ideal of a ‘teen star’ is no longer adorned to the present stars growing up in the spotlight (thankfully) as Grace is still a teenager navigating growing up in a digital landscape but with the added pressure of millions of onlookers. However, Grace presents herself exactly as she is – with humbleness letting her quirks and authentic self shine through on social media.
We got the Stargirl to let us into her home life in isolation on our ‘Fan Mail Live’ series on Instagram hosted by Vick Hope. The girls talked about boredom in isolation, the joys of eating your way through isolation and how Grace handles everything that comes her way with her recognisable humour and carefree attitude.
It’s certain that Grace is going to have a long and healthy career as she climbs from height to height with the sheer talent she encompasses – all the while not taking things too seriously. That is a talent within itself.
We caught up with Grace after her Fan Mail Live as she documented her daily routine in isolation involving walks in the serene countryside, teenage boredom in poster plastered bedrooms and how she is staying creative below!
How are you doing Grace? Thanks so much for going on our live, it was great!
Thank you, it was so fun! I’m doing okay with everything, I guess.
How are you staying creative in isolation?
Haha, I don’t know really… I guess I’m just drinking a lot of coffee.
Haven’t you learned anything about yourself in isolation?
I have actually become super-spiritual in quarantine which is good as it’s giving me time to reflect on my journey. I’m learning how to stay peaceful.
You’ve had quite an amazing musical journey so far, how has it been to cross over into acting?
To be honest, it was weird and nerve-racking. I was definitely afraid I wasn’t going to be able to do it. But, I was lucky to have the amazing cast and crew with me – I can’t imagine a better cast and crew. They all really took the time to make me feel comfortable and ok with everything.
Is acting something you would like to keep pursuing alongside music?
I would definitely be open to acting more, but I don’t know if it’s my main priority right now.
Who are some of your musical heroes in life?
I love Tyler, The Creator! He’s just so amazing. I love Etta James and a band called Dr. Dog.
What’s your creative process like when it comes to making music?
It differs every time, to be honest! There’s a little bit of a routine, I have to find the chords before anything – but the most important thing to me is just going with the flow.
What inspired you to take up the ukulele?
A lady called Gabriella, I believe, stayed in our house when I was younger, and she played the ukulele and I just thought she was the coolest, most beautiful woman in the whole world and I just wanted to be her, so that’s how I started playing the ukulele.
Have you gotten any great advice that has stayed with you?
I guess what I have learned to stick by is to just work hard and no have expectations. That’s what has never let me down is working as hard as I can while also not having any reserved expectations of the outcome.
Is there a certain type of energy you like to give off when it comes to performing in front of a live audience?
I think the energy of my live shows is so unique and there’s so much adrenaline involved that it brings this amazing energy to the surface.
Do you have a subject you’re enjoying writing the most about right now?
I have noticed recently I have an almost angry tone of voice in my writing, which is funny because I’m such a calm person and I never really get angry. It’s nice though because I am releasing that negative emotion through creativity and music. It’s a pretty healthy way to let it all out I guess!