Universal Music NZ
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Universal Music NZ

Ones to Watch: Gracie Abrams

Kellie Given

Representing her fellow Gen Z audience, 20-year-old Gracie Abrams makes dreamy bedroom-pop melodies that powerfully convey heartbreak and emotion during adolescence. With an angelic voice that mimics Lorde and Billie Eilish and a passion for turning pain into poetry, Abrams is making a name for herself as one of the coolest girls of 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about the rising star.

Born into a pretty successful family (her dad is famous filmmaker J.J. Abrams and her mum is PR executive Katie McGrath), Abrams knew she loved music from a young age. From age 6 she’d keep a journal and by age 8 she was learning to play the drums and writing her first song. She drew inspiration from a number of her favourite musicians, including Joni Mitchell, The 1975, Tyler, The Creator and even Green Day’s album American Idiot that she played on her CD player every night before bed. Music became her therapy, and she worked on it constantly until it finally started to pay off.

Her debut single Mean It dropped in October 2019, its vulnerable and heartbreaking relay of a lost relationship relating to other teens. After showcasing her musical style online with covers (and other typical teenage IG content of memes, activism and gorgeous selfies), Abrams had already built up a loyal fanbase and it only grew bigger once she started releasing music. Soon followed the hopeful Stay in November, a track that now has over 13 million streams on Spotify.

With the success of the end of 2019, 2020 set out to be a great year for the rising star. After gaining a follow from Lorde on IG, Abrams linked up with NZ producer Joel Little (Taylor Swift, Lorde, Sam Smith) to create her third single 21. The synth-pop goodness followed the same blueprint of dreamy heartbreak and filled the Lorde-shaped hole our lives have been missing. And it wasn’t long before Abrams mixed up another hit. I miss you, I’m sorry joins 21 on the star’s debut project minor, due in July, and the homemade lyric video for the track has gained Abrams a whopping 4.5 million views on YouTube.

The beautiful Long Sleeves marks Abrams latest release, a track that wraps up all the emotion of closure into one 3-minute heavenly melody. And while the global pandemic has thrown a sort of spanner into the works, Abrams still plans to set out on her goal of touring and playing live shows eventually. Having never performed live before (only online), it’s definitely at the top of her list. But while she waits, she’ll continue teasing upcoming music, being a perfect Gen Z activist, and drooling over Timothée Chalamet. Just like any other 20-year-old girl would do.

Listen to ‘Long Sleeves’ out now.

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Originally published at https://umusic.co.nz on July 2, 2020.




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