When someone like Gavin Glass suggests another local artist to film with, you simply say: ‘Yes, please’. In The Influences’ fifteen years of existence, I’ve filmed many musicians who I knew for years and plenty that I only ‘discovered’ shortly before filming. Not often was I as floored and blown away by the sheer talent as I was when filming young Irish songwriter Rachel Grace in Wexford, Ireland. Seated at the piano in Gavin Glass’ Orphan Recording studios, Grace – who released her first album at thirteen and is now in her early twenties – played breathtaking covers of Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now and her own Game For Two.
Rachel Grace is a rising singer songwriter hailing from County Wexford in Ireland. She came onto the scene at thirteen with the release of her first album, Song For You, and in 2018 she released a five-track EP, Routes. Later this year, we can expect another album, Grace says: “I’m just putting the finishing touches on an album which will be out at the end of this year, hopefully. I’ll also be releasing my next single, Lately, in March so it’s all go.”
“These are the songs I wished I wrote myself.”
“I chose these songs because they are the songs I wished I wrote myself. Bonnie Raitt’s music always feels so warm and familiar, it’s always very comforting to listen to her voice. I feel the same way about Joni Mitchell too, her lyric writing is incredible. What I love the most about Joni is her versatility, she didn’t want to be put into the box of being a female folk singer and wrote however she wanted, from Blue to Court and Spark. That is also very comforting and encouraging for me as a songwriter. Both Sides Now and I Can’t Make You Love Me are both so incredibly well written and they have so much emotion and vulnerability in them, which is what I always strive to achieve when I write my own songs.”
“I love any artist that makes me feel things, and they make me feel a lot! I’m not too fussy when it comes to music. I listen to a wide range of genres from a capella music to Steely Dan and everything in between.”
Rachel Grace: “I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration.”
Rachel Grace’s father is a ‘massive U2 fan’ and her mother a ‘massive Tina Turner fan’, so being introduced to different sounds helped to broaden her taste, she reflects. “I started learning guitar when I was around ten and I think my singing and writing naturally progressed as a result of that. I’m very lucky that my parents have always been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to take singing lessons with a lovely family friend, which helped me massively in finding my voice. It was the support and encouragement of the people around me when I was starting out that made me realize that music was something I should pursue music professionally.”
“I think writing music made me more of an active listener for sure. I go to a music college and remember being told something along the lines of: ‘Once you understand how songs are made it’ll change the way you listen to music’. I think that is definitely true! I’m also always looking for inspiration in other people’s music and performances in order to try and improve my own writing and playing.”
“I love the whole retromania style of music in artists like Amy Winehouse, Yebba, Duffy and Adele. I also really love Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy and Lawrence – an insane pop/soul band I discovered recently on TikTok. I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration and new ways to refine my sound. And I would love to work with Hozier – he’s an incredible songwriter.”
Working with producer Gavin Glass
Not only did we film this session at Gavin Glass’s Orphan Recording Studios in Wexford, the producer and musician (who worked with Lisa Hannigan and David Keenan – among many others) also is producing Rachel Grace’s upcoming album and has become a mentor for her. “I’m very lucky to work with him! From the very first recording session I knew that I wanted him to produce my music. It’s been an amazing experience getting to work with Gavin over the years. He has this incredible ability to articulate exactly what I want my music to sound like, without me having to say a word. I feel like he really understood what each song needed.”
“On top of that, he’s been a great mentor personally. I’ve been very lucky to assist on a couple of his recording sessions in Orphan Recording Studios and learn the tricks of the trade and it’s been so interesting to see how he works. He’s the best!”
Filmed by Matthijs van der Ven & David Lawson Froggatt.
Edited by Matthijs van der Ven.
Audio recorded & mixed by Gavin Glass.
Orphan Recording studios
There is no better way to discover music than watching great musicians cover the songs they love. The Influences has been producing these videos ever since 2008.Read more.
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