Kansas born and raised, singer-songwriter, Grace Maher, has been in Nashville full-time since 2015. Currently an independent artist, Grace is writing, recording, and releasing music as she prepares for upcoming tours. Most recently, Grace's music video for "Stronger" was nominated for the Josie Music Awards, Best Female Country Music Video of 2021. Her latest single, "Liars", is available on all major streaming platforms.
How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist?
It’s been good! A little weird still for me because I’m still getting used to not performing 5-7 days a week and not doing the whole downtown cover band thing very much anymore. But I’m loving the change. And I’m really enjoying getting calls and booking requests from venues again for artist shows. Finally!
Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
Sure. Uh, let’s see. In the beginning, I would just say I was very green. Very inexperienced. Both as an artist and in my industry knowledge. Over my 2 years performing in Kansas, I learned a lot from my band members. They were seriously the best and so encouraging and supportive of me. I needed that. In Nashville, it was trial by fire. Ha But my voice developed further, my stage presence… and I found myself more. As a person and then that translates into figuring out more who I want to be as an artist. I’ve struggled a little with imposter syndrome but I’m learning to put that to rest. I LOVE what I do and believing not just that I belong here but that I have a gift for music, is something I’m getting better at.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Overland Park, Kansas. We moved to Easton, Kansas when I was 15. I lived in the KC area, generally speaking, till I moved to Nashville in 2015.
Where do you live now?
I live in Nashville! And I am currently looking for a place. Wish me luck. The housing market is INSANE.
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
I do. At least for me. I have definitely been influenced by all the incredible talent around me here. It’s inspiring and sparks my own creativity. I also collaborate with other amazing creatives here so, yes.
What was the inspiration to make music your career?
Honestly, I have always loved music but didn’t really think I was going to pursue it. I spent two years in weekly therapy back in 2011-2013 I think? Toward the end of that time, I had just healed a lot of hurt and broken ideas that didn’t serve me well at all. And I realized there was so much opportunity for me. I started praying about what I wanted to do. I was in church one day and it hit me. Music. I thought it was stupid. I was 28 I think. It felt way too late to begin pursuing a music career and so… frivolous maybe? Also, I had had a hard time controlling my drinking before this therapy so I was concerned about that environment. But I couldn’t shake that this was the path meant for me. So I trusted I would be protected and guided through it and I went for it. 2 years later I was in Nashville. 2 1/2 years later I was a full time musician.
How do you want to shape your career?
I just want to keep creating and playing music that is appreciated. I’d love to tour a little more than I do currently and release more music more consistently.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
With music, I pretty much go with the flow. Ha I have set timelines and held to them but generally speaking, I don’t like to force the creative process into a box. I do think it would be good for me to work on getting a little better about timelines though. Balance I guess.
How did your latest title of your music come to be?
The one I’ll be releasing soon, “My Way” is about wishing things were different. It’s not like the Sinatra song, an anthem about doing things my own way. It’s about heartache and wishing things could have been different and what that would have looked like if I could choose.
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
I’m usually very excited to share music when it’s done. I’d be lying though if I said there isn’t a small part of me that is guarded and really hoping the world doesn’t hate it or think it’s super lame. Ha “Stronger” was the hardest to release. Especially the music video. That was a challenging time for me because it was so vulnerable. That’s the most vulnerable I’ve been in my music career by far.
Do you feel an emotional attachment with your music?
I’d say to some degree yes. It really depends on the song. I used to distance myself from the feelings about my own songs to kind of protect myself from being hurt if people didn’t like them. Or I just judged them really harshly myself ahead of time. Haha Now, I am still probably my biggest critic, but I am proud of my songs, I enjoy performing them and I love seeing people enjoying them with me. And I hope to keep getting better.
What song was the easiest to finish?
Of the songs people have or will hear soon… The one I’m about to put out I think, “My Way”. I wrote most of that one pretty quickly one afternoon at my friend Cindy’s house. She was out of town, I was house sitting and it just kind of came out. We changed the melody and added a second verse and bridge when I brought it to a write with Chris and Holly. And that part happened really quick too.
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Oh geez. One word… Original? Not as in, I wrote it but as in, it doesn’t sound like everybody else. At least I don’t think it does. One word is hard. But yeah, I guess I’d go with that one.
Where do they go to listen NOW?
iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play… My website. Wherever music is streamed, I should be there. Grace Maher.
What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
It’s hard to pin it on one but I got some really neat messages when I released “Whiskey & Jesus”. I remember somebody’s brother had been struggling with addiction and it was just a really timely song for them when they shared it. And “Stronger”, I received a LOT of neat, personal messages ...and tears in the audience when I first released that one. Might have been because I couldn’t make it through the performance without crying haha but that was really special. The music video was also played at a women’s shelter in MO on my birthday the next week. That song has had the most powerful reactions for me.
Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
I have conversations about some potentially exciting things going on but I don’t share those until there’s something concrete because that can happen a lot and they don’t come to fruition. This industry is crazy. But I will be releasing “My Way” soon borrowing anything crazy. Final vocal track is scheduled for May 6th.
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
Yes, I performed “My Way” at The Listening Room Cafe last weekend and will again tonight and in KS at the end of the month.
Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you! Thank you for this interview!