- Words Laviea Thomas
Internet sensation Grace Gaustad talks all things creative, their makeup brand BAKEUP Beauty, and non-stop music.
When entering the creative sphere of Grace Gaustad’s music, you’re presented with three things: vibrancy, quirky production and innovative visuals. Lauded for their technicoloured aesthetic and armed with a catalogue of addictive releases, between the artist’s riveting storytelling skills and acute eye for detail, Grace offers fans a sweet escape into the unusual with each distinctive offering.
Coming off the back of their stargazing single “The Cloud”, Grace recently dropped an official music video to accompany its release and it doesn’t disappoint. Taken from their forthcoming concept album ‘PILLBX: whts ur fantasy?’, “The Cloud” is the ninth episode of this new project and is further proof that their creative vision extends far beyond music. Creating a thought-provoking storyline through gripping visuals, throughout their discography Grace transcends their music into a one-of-a-kind experience for their fans.
This year, Grace is all about transforming their dreams into real-life bodies of work and is currently balancing the success of their co-founded makeup brand BAKEUP Beauty, alongside drip-feeding mini-episodes of a new album. Their next single “Are You Happy” is scheduled for release on Friday 24th March. We spoke to the artist about what ‘PILLBX: whts ur fantasy?’ has in store, performing at Madison Square Garden and dream collaborations.
Hey Grace, how’s 2023 treating you so far?
2023 has been great so far. It’s been very peaceful and for that I am grateful.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest single “The Cloud”? What are some of the themes, and the meaning behind the track-title?
“The Cloud” is all about the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that we often feel because of technology. The song focuses on the idea that we spend so much time ‘connected’ through our phones but those phones actually often leave us feeling lonely and disconnected. The track-title is a direct reference to iCloud which stores all of our memories and secrets.
“The Cloud” comes with a cinematic music video. It’s clear you have an eye for creative visuals, what drives your vision for your music videos? Are you ‘all hands on deck’ in the creative process?
All of my music videos are geared towards storytelling. If you watch the videos in order of release, you realise that they are all a continuation of the one before. I’m probably about as ‘all hands on deck’ as a person can be. Both my albums along with their corresponding video concepts are things I dreamt of in my bedroom and then made into reality. I love taking a small idea and making it huge.
Throughout your discography, you’ve released concept albums that tackle mental health, sexuality, and gender. These are all very important topics, when exploring them how do you make sure to convey your message as positively and effectively as possible throughout your music?
I tackle important topics by staying in truth. I can’t speak for anyone else but what I can do is share all of my experiences from a very honest and authentic place and hope that by sharing my story, others feel less alone and inspired to do the same.
You’ve previously performed at Madison Square Garden, that’s cool. Is there a location/event you’ve played so far that’s been a career-defining moment for you?
Playing the Hulu Theater was definitely a career highlight, but I also hold the Whisky a Go Go venue near and dear to my heart because I played my first-ever headline show there back in 2019.
Alongside working on your music career, you’re also the co-founder of BAKEUP Beauty, what made you want to develop your own make-up brand? How did you get into makeup in the first place?
When I was younger, my mum ran her own beauty company and I used to go to work with her all the time and create shower gels, lip glosses, and fragrances. I grew up around the beauty industry so it’s been in my DNA for as long as I can remember. I knew I wanted my own brand one day and when I met Jo Baker, I realised she was the perfect partner. We built BAKEUP Beauty together based on the foundations of inclusivity, art, self expression, and fun.
And how have you found managing this alongside your music career so far? Any challenges?
One of the best things about working as a creative is it never feels like work so I always have plenty of time for my creative endeavours.
You have a pretty massive social media following, do you feel it’s an important way of expressing your creative vision? Do you feel the pressure of posting sometimes?
Like every artist, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I believe social media is essential for connecting with fans, and other creators, and sharing your latest ideas but at the same time, I definitely think it creates a lot of pressure surrounding image and self-esteem. It is a double-edged sword if there ever was one.
With a very successful music career and a side project in beauty, are there any hidden hobbies or talents you have that you like to do in your spare time? Any ways you switch off outside of music?
I love to cook, write poetry, work out, go fishing, and I also collect sneakers. I enjoy creating music so much that I never really ‘switch off’ from it, but I love to do many different things.
This year you’re scheduled to drop a brand-new album titled ‘PILLBX: whts ur fantasy?’. I read that each song on this project is scheduled to be released as an episodic mini series. What does this entail?
‘PILLBX: whts ur fantasy’ tells the story of what it would be like if you could take a pill and make your wildest dreams come true in an instant. Through the episodes, you follow me through an array of different fantasies like becoming Lady Gaga in the song “GAGA”, travelling back in time with “Old Ways” and turning into my alter ego with “Nothing To Me”.
In the trailer for your forthcoming album the credits detail a list of choreographers, editors and more. Are there any artists in particular you’d love to work with / support on tour this year?
I would love to open for Halsey or Lana Del Rey. I think they are both phenomenal artists and singers.
Lastly, alongside a brand-new album, are there any other exciting projects that you have lined up this year?
All I can say is that after the album is done, the music will not stop.