Grace Mitchell has a voice — in multiple senses of the word — that goes far beyond her nineteen years. As she gears up for a set at Coachella and rides the wave of buzz surrounding her new single ‘Kids (Ain’t All Right)’, we caught up with her about everything from touring with St. Lucia to her upcoming debut full-length album.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Coachella is coming up, and it will be your first time playing the festival. How does that feel?
Really sad. I hate when really monumental things happen…No, it feels awesome! Duh.
At nineteen, you already have a few years behind you as an artist. It’s really cool that you found your passion so early. Is this what you’ve always wanted to do? How old were you when you got started? How old were you when you knew you could be serious about it?
From a young age my parents were really supportive of my creative writing and my mom was really musical, so she wanted me to learn an instrument early. I started taking guitar lessons at eight or nine. I’ve always wanted to do music because I knew it would be the thing that would propel me to do whatever I wanted to do.
Do you have any favorite moments from touring with St. Lucia?
Just mobbing around new cities with a big crew of musicians and not knowing where you are or what you’re doing is super freeing. I like to get into all sorts of trouble with my band because we’re only going to be there for a night or two, so why not?
Is there anything you miss about living in Portland, OR? Do you ever find yourself exhibiting behavior that is obviously “Portlandian”?
Sometimes I miss the environment, like the trees and mountains. I miss the kind of crunchy, hippie, Patagonia-wearing people there…but my community is definitely in LA. I think the novelty shit that people do in LA is way more kitschy and obvious than in Portland. The SoCal lifestyle is totally infectious and easy to make fun of.
Did you go to shows growing up? Do you remember being inspired by any particular artist or live show?
Yes, I went to a lot of different types of concerts. I saw Hot Chip play at the Roseland once. That was tight.
What’s the weirdest or most unique venue you’ve played?
I played a casino this year for an alternative radio station in LA. It was so weird because we were in the ballroom of this huge casino and there were maybe 30 people there, so before we went on stage I had a pow-wow with my band and told them to go f*cking nuts because it was so ridiculous in there!
If someone hasn’t heard you before, what song should they listen to first?
“NoLo” or “Kids (Ain’t All Right)”. They’re the best example of the progression of where my music is headed.
I’m releasing a full length album soon and then I’d like to tour it a bunch.