Grace Acladna is back with another self-produced masterpiece; amalgamating the culture that flows through her and the diversity that she was birthed in, singing a true melody that defines what it means to be British in 2019. We catch up with multifaceted Hounslow creative, to unpick the methodology of her artistic process and find out what her plans are for her new project, ‘Phono-phobia’.
Tell me about your family background and where you grew up?
My grandparents on my mothers side are from Barbados and my Fathers grandparents from England and Egypt. I grew up in hounslow, in just about London. I think people hear how I speak and think I come from some cute little town, but no. It’s really multicultural, so much culture; Filipino, African, polish, Russian, Indian and Pakistani. I feel really uncomfortable if I’m not in a multicultural environment.
How does the vastness of different cultures affect your music?
My parents always to exposed us to different mediums of art and music from different cultures. My family would take us to Barbados often, and I love Soca. I love the rhythms, it’s the sound that makes me want to move my hips. But then I also love the melodies of Arabic music. Then there is the Englishness that I’m immersed in all the time, thats my whole perspective.
When I listened to “London” I really felt that fusion of culture. I felt like it really defined the perspective of an inner-city British youth. Your music is described as alternative, does that allow any freedom in your creativity?
Its allows me to change, I think it allows me to be experimental. I like to lead people on a journey to a place that they’ve not been before, but have an anchor that is familiar. My drive has always been to make music that I’ve never heard before.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but I’m really inspired by the drag queens on Ru Pauls Drag Race. I’m so attracted to people who’re extreme and just unapologetic about it, because that is how I’d like to be. My goals are to be unapologetically crazy and free. Like Grace Jones I love her!!! And she’s another Grace.
Who is inspiring you musically?
I have been listening to a lot of Peggy Gou, I just think that her beats are so joyful. I love Paranoid London, I love how dark and sexy his beats are. At the moment I’m focusing on production, so I’m listening to thing that will influence that; A lot of house and electronic music. But Little Dragon is my all time favourite.
So you are also an actress, model and artist; do these disciplines satisfy you creatively in there own separate ways or do they move as one?
I think they move as one. They’re all there to serve a common-goal in finding a voice and identity. A freedom to express oneself in the way that one wants to. My friend brought back some clothes he’d designed in turkey and I was trying them on to music that I made. I just thought how beautiful is it that we’re experiencing the world through our art. So those disciplines just move together for experiences like that.
You designed the art work for your last EP, tell me about your influences for that?
My mum is a photographer and a graphic designer and has always encouraged me to do art. When I was in secondary school I had an obsession with hair, and identity in hair in particular. While I was doing GCSE art I discovered this artist called Lorna Simpson; She photographs black women and places patterns and water colours where there hair would be. Her work is something that has stuck with me and something that I’ve experimented with in my own art.
Tell me how you keep your creative fresh?
I often mishear or misread things. It’s such a great way for me to reimagine a phrase or word. I remember thinking I heard someone say tear juice, So I wrote a song from that, when in fact they probably said something like Pear juice.
So tell me about the new EP?
It’s called Phonophobia, which is the fear of sudden loud noises. It’s a metaphor for not being afraid of being as loud and outrageous.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into the creative industry?
Don’t give a crap about what anybody thinks, trust yourself and your perspective as an artist.
Videography & Photography by @Justbailey
Interview by @Justbailey