If there's one word to describe Grace Weber's music it's soulful.
We recently caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist who released her self-defining album The Refinery last fall, to learn a bit more about her passion for all things music and the many ways art can be used as a vehicle for bringing people together:
At what age did you first pick up an instrument and which was it?
I started playing piano when I was 10 years old, but it wasn't until I decided to start playing flute around age 12 that I really started falling in love with reading music and playing it on an instrument other than my voice. I think because I was always a singer, flute came naturally to me since it's a melodic instrument. Playing flute helped me with my breath control as a singer and I think made me a better vocalist. I still have my flute in my closet...I need to dust that thing off!
What is your fondest memory associated with music?
I would have to say singing with my Grandpa is one of my fondest musical memories. He played piano and every time I would go over to my grandparents house, he would sit down and start playing a tune that I could sing. He instilled such a strong love of music in me and in my whole family, it's what connects me to my aunts and uncles and my cousins in such a deep way. I will always be able to picture my Grandpa sitting at the piano, squinting his eyes to read the sheet music, and teaching me what music was all about.
What can music do and what did it do for you?
Art is a universal language because it communicates through human emotion and empathy. I think music has the power to communicate an emotion, a message, a calling in a way that brings people together for good or else to just help us not feel alone through sharing a common feeling together. Whether that feeling is anger, joy, pain, or love, music helps us realize that we aren't alone in feeling those things and in that way, I think music helps us find a common ground.
For me personally, music has given me purpose in my life. Music allows me to express who I am in the most authentic way, and for that I am so deeply grateful.
What are you most proud of?
I'm proud of what I've done in my music career, of the music I've made and performances on different stages, but I think most of all, beyond anything I've done, I am so proud of the relationships I have created and maintained in my life. At the end of the day, what matters most to me are my relationships with my family, my boyfriend, and my friends. They are the people who make life worth living. I'm proud of the fact that I'm close with all the people I love in my life and that I try my best to show them love and be there for them above anything else.
What do you regret the most?
I don't like to label anything in my life as a regret. Any of the mistakes I've made in my life have been incredible learning experiences for me and have helped me grow into the person I am today. I do wish in some ways I could have found more confidence in myself when I was in my early twenties, I think it would have helped me find myself sooner, but the journey I've gone on to find that self confidence has given me wisdom that I'm very grateful for. I hope I can use my experiences, good and bad, to help young girls find their truest selves and learn how to love themselves at as young an age as possible.
Who are your heroes?
There are so many people out there who remind me how beautiful the world is and how having love and compassion for others and for yourself is really all that matters. Seeing someone put another person before themselves is one of the most inspiring and uplifting things to witness as a human being. My heroes include people who live their lives in the service of others. People like my art and music teachers growing up, who spent every day of their lives helping their students accomplish their dreams and become their best selves. People like my sister, who wakes up every day and shows her kids the most amazing love and care any mother can give. People like those who sacrificed or ignored their own well being or injuries to help those in harm's way, or individuals such as Nelson Mandela or Gandhi who dedicated their lives to help uplift an entire people. There are so many heroes walking this earth and I try to live my life being inspired and encouraged by their love, empathy, and courage.
What lessons would you pass on to your younger self?
Embrace the beauty of being patient and trust the journey you're on. Being able to do those two things will help you live in the moment more and ultimately, help you see how beautiful your life is. I would tell my younger self to trust your gut and love who you are.
What was an important learning experience for you?
I've often found myself in situations where I didn't trust my gut and I acted in fear of letting someone down instead of standing up for what I knew was the right thing to do. Every single time that's happened, the outcome has been disappointing for everyone involved. I've learned how important it is to listen to your gut the moment something feels off as it's usually the universe suggesting the right path or pointing out something you need to consider more carefully.
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