December 1, 2020 Interview – Demi Grace
A model, singer and songwriter, Demi Grace is a versatile artist with a lust for life. Breaking down boundaries as the first model with dreadlocks in a Pantene hair care commercial back in 2017, Grace has also been featured in advertisements for over 20 major brands, from Digicel to Sephora. Receiving over 4 million streams for her singles back in 2018, Grace continues to create new music that is drawing a mass of attention.
Featuring a sound that is within the realm of Afrobeat, Grace is an artist who has endless potential as she makes a push as an international star. Always looking to challenge herself and take her career to the next level, Grace recently sat down to talk her love for music, working as a model, plans for new music, and much more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in music since a young age. What inspired you to pursue it professionally?
Demi Grace – When I was young, I remember seeing TLC and Monica’s music videos on TV and I just felt so connected. I can’t really explain it because I was about 4 or 5. It’s hard to explain finding your purpose at that age, but all I know is that I felt seen, I felt connected, and that was when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.
Cryptic Rock – And look at where it has led you. Interestingly, you are of Nigerian roots born in London, but later moved to the United States. As someone who has lived in various different cultures, what do you think these experiences have meant to your development as an artist?
Demi Grace – I think my experiences in different countries has taught me to be open, artistically, and that’s exactly what I do. Today I’m doing Afrobeats, one day I want to dip into Rock, yesterday I was into EDM, and the whole Dance world. I’m open artistically.
Cryptic Rock – Being open like that is a very good thing because then you do not box yourself in. Besides living in various corners of the world, you have also been fortunate to perform in various places, as well. While the media always seems to point out our differences, what do you find are the common things that thread us all together as human beings?
Demi Grace – The most common thing I’ve seen with all humans I’ve come in contact with is that we all want to feel good and we all want to feel understood. That helps me when I’m performing, because I’m able to feel through the crowd’s energy and what they might need. For example, do they need to laugh to open up, loosen up? Are they feeling vulnerable, etc.?
Cryptic Rock – Those are insightful observations. Your music is quite uplifting. How important is it for you as a performer to shine some light on the world with a positive message?
Demi Grace – It’s very important for me to spread a positive message, because that’s how I feel I can do my part to make the world a better place. If I can’t do anything else, at least I can spread some light.
Cryptic Rock – Yes, and we could all use some light in these trying times. Having success with several singles over the last year, you recently signed on with Universal Music Group. How exciting is this for you, and what can we expect next from you?
Demi Grace – I am working on so much music that I’m still deciding how to share it, whether it be an album, EP, etc. I’m also producing a couple of projects that I hope to release soon.
Cryptic Rock – It sounds like you have a lot of positive things coming up. You released the album Forward Movement Only back in 2014. A very up-tempo record full of dance-able music, what will your follow-up album be like?
Demi Grace – My follow up album will definitely be more rhythmic and soulful. I’m definitely in a more soulful place right now and I believe that will reflect in my music.
Cryptic Rock – It will be exciting to hear it! Beyond music, you also model. Was modeling something that always attracted you, and how do you compare modeling to performing?
Demi Grace – Growing up, I had zero connections in the music industry (at least none that I was aware of), and my parents were very serious about my education, so the best way I knew to start building a network in entertainment and learn some branding and confidence along the way was to be a model. I only intended to model for a couple of years, but I’ve actually been a model for over 10 years, and it has luckily been the gig that has kept me active during this pandemic. I love performing: performing is rewarding in a way that is not comparable to how I feel when I’m modeling. When I’m modeling, I’m doing a job and I’m contributing to someone else’s vision. When I’m performing, I’m fulfilling my own.
Cryptic Rock – It is nice to have those different artistic outlets like that. So with the release of some new singles in 2020, can we expect more new music soon?
Demi Grace – Yes, you can definitely expect new music soon. The changes that took place in the world really caused me to reevaluate where my soul was, artistically, so I paused on a few remaining releases. I can’t promise that it will be in 2020, but that’s also not out of the question.
Cryptic Rock – Again, it will be exciting to see hear it all. You have a very lively sound, so what are some of your musical influences?
Demi Grace – My influences change constantly because I’m always exploring music, but overall I am influenced by Grace Jones and her fierceness, Missy Elliot and her originality and her writing style and arrangements. There are more but those two women are the two that have stuck with me long term.
Cryptic Rock – Those are two very strong leading ladies. Last question. Cryptic Rock covers movies as well, particularly in the Horror and Sci-Fi genres. If you are a fan, do you have any favorites in these genres and why?
Demi Grace – I am a huge Marvel fan. I adore Sci-Fi. I also like Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016). I just love the messages that are so discreetly etched into these genres. I also like to believe that I am a magical creature so that helps. (Smiles)