Goody Grace talks The Smiths and Style ahead of Lollapalooza debut

Sitting across from me in his denim jacket adorned with sharpie drawings, a bright red manicure, and an eclectic mix of rings on his fingers, 20-year-old singer-songwriter Goody Grace got real about his inspirations, his first round of festivals, and how he ended up making a song with the Neon Icon himself.

Listen to the interview or read through it below:

Morgan: Alright, I’m Morgan and I’m here with Goody Grace.

Goody: Hello!

M: We’re going to start out with the most basic question ever: how did you get into making music?

G: I’ve been playing guitar since I was four, so I’ve been making music my whole life. I don’t remember getting into it, I just always did it and it went well… it’s been going well. I’ve been writing songs since I was 12.

M: I see your The Smiths pin…

G: Oh yeah, I love them.

M: So are you a Smiths fan?

G: I have some of their lyrics tattooed on my arm from a song called “Rubber Ring”. This pin is The Smiths too. It says “To die by your side”.

M: Oh yeah, that’s awesome! So you like The Smiths… who else are you into that inspires you?

G: I like Bob Dylan. I love all kinds of music from Young Thug to Johnny Cash. Literally everything all inspires me equally. The Smiths are my all time favorite though. But, I love all kinds of punk music. I love The Misfits and then I love Vampire Weekend. It’s all over the place.

M: So you live in LA now, is that correct?

G: Yeah.

M: And you work with gnash a lot. Am I saying that right. gnash? I don’t know how you’re supposed to say it because of the g.

G: It’s silent.

M: How did that come about? How did you two meet?

G: He was one of the first people that I became friends with when I moved to LA. We met through a mutual friend. It was super random, we went shopping. He wasn’t even really making music yet, and I was starting to more seriously. I hadn’t lived in LA, I grew up in Canada and was still living there, so we started working via email a lot and now I think I’ve been on every tour he’s been on. We frequently work and tour and whatnot. We have a bunch of collaborations. As he started progressing in music we just became closer and started working more.

M: One of your collaborations is “2 Shots” which is my favorite song by you. What’s the inspiration behind that song? It seems pretty obvious, but…

G: Yeah, it’s pretty obvious. That song is really funny actually. It’s just a random song that we came up with on the spot. It started as more of a joke. The lyrics were more rap-y and we were just joking. There wasn’t a melody. It was more of a rap thing and then I started playing a progression on the acoustic guitar and put a melody to it and then I recorded it and we started the idea and he got on it. I love that song a lot.

M: Your set today you played all acoustic. Is that something that you typically do?

G: I switch it up. I’ve done three festivals this summer. I did Bonnaroo, Firefly, and now Lollapalooza today. I was super inspired by Bright Eyes. The singer Conor Oberst headlined Coachella a few years back and the music is band-y, but he did it acoustic and it was super inspiring. All my music starts acoustic and I play acoustic a lot, so I just kind of feel it out. I just headlined a show in LA at The Roxy and I did it half with a band and half acoustic. I kind of just see how I feel about how I want to play, but I think acoustic is definitely my favorite way to play because it’s just so intimate and I can talk to the crowd. It’s way more personal, I feel like, and not a big production. I really like playing acoustic. I like playing festivals acoustic especially, because I feel like everybody goes for such a big production and band and everything, so it’s something special about being at a festival and walking up and seeing someone playing with a guitar.

M: You mentioned you played Bonnaroo, Firefly, and now you’re here at Lolla, How has the festival circuit treated you?

G: So well. So fun. They were all amazing. Bonnaroo and Firefly were back-to-back weekends and Firefly was on my birthday weekend. It was very good. So much fun.

M: You just released a song “Strange Things”?

G: It’s actually called “Strange Times”. It’s a Riff Raff song.

M: Yeah! How did you get to make a song with Riff Raff?

G: It’s pretty funny. I had started the song. I produced it with a friend of mine and I had my parts all done and kind of sent it to a few rapper friends of mine including Riff Raff. We followed each other, I don’t even really know him, honestly. It’s kind of funny. I DMed him the song, didn’t hear back, didn’t hear him say “yo, this is fire” or anything. It wasn’t even acknowledged that he heard it and then he replied back just with a verse on it. We got talking and he was like “yo, could this song be a me featuring you kind of thing” and I was like “absolutely”. That’s Riff Raff featuring me. I like that song a lot.

M: I saw it pop up on Spotify. It’s wild. Riff Raff is wild.

G: He’s amazing.

M: Un-music related, but image related, you’re a pretty well dressed guy. Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?

G: Thank you. I don’t know. I dress different everyday. Some days I wear all black with a blazer and boots. What I’m in now is my show outfit: I always wear bandanas and denims and stuff when I play. But, I switch it up. I’m actually thankful you said that. I don’t dress that crazy. I kind of dress the same every day, so I really appreciate that you said that. Me and all my friends are really into clothes and dressing. It’s important. My fashion inspiration: I think back. I’m more inspired by the 50s and how people dressed, but evolved. I try to look either out of Grease or like I’m going to a wedding or a funeral, but modern.

M: Last question, and the question I ask everybody, what are you currently listening to?

G: I don’t know. I actually thought of this the other day. Some days I open my Spotify and I’m like “wait, what do I even listen to?”. But, currently right now I like Travis Scott. I listen to Travis Scott a lot. He’s great. Oh, Cigarettes After Sex.

M: Yes!

G: You know them?

M: Yes, I do.

G: They’re my favorite band right now. They are the coolest guys ever. I’ve actually never met them, but I promote them and tweet so highly about them on social media that pretty much every member of the band has personally contacted me being like “thank you for the support”.

M: That’s so nice!

G: They’re amazing. I really hope to meet them or work with them. They’re like my favorite. Their album is amazing.