Ready to Fly: 5 Questions with Jamie Grace
Jamie Grace talks to The Underground about her sound, influences, Tourette Syndrome and her favorite song on her new album, “Ready to Fly”
Though she’s only 22-years old, Atlanta-native, Jamie Grace has already made a name for herself. In 2011, she released the infections hit, “Hold Me, ” she appeared in the faith-based film, “Grace Unplugged” and won the 2012 New Artist of the Year Dove Award.
After such early successes, Grace is set to set the Christian pop scene alight again with her latest release, “Ready to Fly.”
“Ready to Fly,” is Grace’s sophomore album. As the title suggests, the album is about being ready for life even if you don’t know what the future holds. It will be released Tuesday (Jan. 28) and feature tracks such as “White Boots,” “Fighter” and the hit single, “Beautiful Day.”
We don’t know how we managed to do it (Jesus loves us!), but we wrangled an interview with Jamie. She talked to us about her sound, influences, Tourette Syndrome and her favorite song on her new album, “Ready to Fly.”
Your sound is infections pop, comparable to Colbie Caillat or Sarah Barrelies. When people first see you, they aren’t expecting that kind of voice to come out of that body. When people see an African-American, they are expecting them to sing R&B or rap or something stereotypical.
When my sister (Morgan) and I were growing up, and we would tell people that we wanted to do music, people would say, “Oh, are you guys going to be the next Mary, Mary?”
We grew up listening to Mary, Mary and artists like that, but we also listened to Bill Gaither, TobyMac, Amy and Natalie Grant…music with a positive message.
We always just wanted to make music about Jesus– Music that would make people smile.
So when we started to write music, our sound just happened. I try not to focus on a style because I love so many. I love pop, country, urban, soul, folk.
You have Tourette Syndrome, and you are an advocate for that cause. How does having TS affect your performances?
My Tourette’s really showed up when I was a kid from ages nine to 15. I couldn’t walk without twitching or bumping my head when I got in the car.
Now, I still have my bad days, but it’s not as impairing as it was when I was a little girl.
Actually, music makes it go away a little bit. When things are bad, I listen to music and try to stay neutral and chill and stay in a peaceful place.
If there was one thing you wanted people to know about Tourette’s, what would it be?
I started an organization for people with Tourette’s when I was 14. I was getting bullied a lot. At first, I wanted people with Tourette’s to be like everybody else. Then I realized that we all have things in our lives that we can’t control, but we can choose how to respond.
We have to choose to be strong. My foundation’s website, ImAFighter.org focuses on people who are fighters in the midst of things falling apart. If you’re ever having a bad day, it’s the place to go for encouragement. You can also submit your own fighters.
What song are you most proud of on the album?
I get so excited about all the songs. “The Waiting” is one of my favorites. I wrote it with my sister and Natalie Grant. Like most single girls in their 20s and 30s, I’m waiting on my future husband. During that time, I also had a friend in a coma. She’s awake now and recovering, but when I was writing the song, I was waiting on her to wake up. When I would pray about it, God didn’t give me an answer right away. He didn’t tell me what would happen. I had to learn how to trust the LORD.
Which song should your fans put on repeat if they want to get an authentic glimpse of you and know you a little better?
The song that is most “me” is “White Boots.” My sister and I wanted to write a song about purity, and my mom came up with the idea of using boots as a metaphor. Everybody who knows me knows that I’m a little bit country and I almost always have on cowboy boots. This song is fun, honest and true to a conversation my mom, sister and I might have at home.
What’s the best part about working with Toby Mac and being on Goatee Records?
Working with Toby Mac—the whole thing is generally awesome. It’s a small label, so I can actually talk to the president directly. I can give him a call and ask him question about the business. It’s like taking a music business class. The label is also like a family. I’m big on family. My mom is my manager and my sister is one of my songwriting partners. When I’m in Nashville, TobyMac and his wife step in. It’s really cool. He’s like a big brother to me.