Singer, songwriter,and multi-instrumentalist Charles Grace, from California, just released his debut album 'The Wreckage'. Louder Than The Music caught up with Charles to find out how he started out making music, the stories behind his full-length album, and how he hopes his music will touch those struggling with self-doubt and depression.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
Sure! My name is Charles Grace. I live in Orange County, California. I spent my formative years growing up in South Carolina, which is where I cut my teeth learning how to play and performed everywhere from indie music venues, weddings, recitals, coffeehouses, and even a funeral one time. I studied classical guitar at Coastal Carolina University, and released four records with my former band. I have been back in California since 2018.
Tell us about your new album 'The Wreckage' and what the inspiration behind it was?
The Wreckage is my favorite body of work, both creatively and personally. These songs are really a coming of age for me. There is a lot of growing up on this record. The Wreckage for me is very much about identity, where we find it, and what we value. As a person of faith, I am constantly growing in my understanding of who Jesus is and who I am.
Which is your favorite track on the album and why?
Ooh! This one tends to change over time. Right now, my favorite song off the record is Eulogy.
I call this one the secret weapon on the album. The lasting impact of the message in this song snuck up on me after I released it and people began responding to it. Eulogy is essentially about the pain of dying to yourself in order to live into the true love that is waiting to embrace you.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
As a music fan, one of my favorite experiences is when I get goosebumps because I feel like an artist has so accurately gotten inside my head and explained how I am feeling like nobody else.
For anyone who has ever struggled with self-doubt, depression, anxiety, or just plain loneliness, this album is for them. I want those people to feel heard and understood. It is a testament to the power of forgiveness and the beauty of bringing those things to God in prayer. Those prayers often became the lyrics.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
My music is an eclectic blend of indie rock, blues, folk, and soul. My biggest influences are Jeff Buckley, Glen Hansard, and Ray LaMontagne.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
If we could bring back Bill Withers, then I would love to sit under his tree. The man is a masterful storyteller. The song Grandma’s Hands is a perfect example of his unique ability to make something seemingly insignificant into something that you will never forget. I want to learn from him how to tap into small things, and make them a big deal.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Although the definition has changed for me over the years, my favorite view of success is lighting the long fuse. For me, that means making something beautiful from a sincere place and connecting with others. The most successful I feel is when I am creating in community.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Grace by Jeff Buckley. Hands down.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Oh gosh! This one’s hard. I would probably go with “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” off my favorite album, just to be consistent.
What does the next year hold for you?
The top of my list is to pursue sync licensing. I would love to have one or more of my songs placed in television or film. Hopefully, next year holds more opportunities to perform live gigs so I can properly promote this new album, haha! I am also planning to continue writing and releasing new music.