Baker Grace has always been a musical gift. The New Jersey native taught herself how to play piano and guitar as a child, and she went on to self-release her first album under the name Bitter's Kiss in 2015. Though she credits Carole King and Tupac Shakur as two of her biggest influences, Grace has shaped herself into a remarkable musical talent like no other. The 18-year-old is now back with another revolutionary single, "Like You," which digs deep into Grace's core.
On "Like You," Grace exclusively shared with us,
"I wrote 'Like You' when I had the realization that only I can be responsible for my emotions and actions. I was justifying my behavior by putting the blame on the people around me and it was only making me bitter and unhappy. Sometimes it is so easy to distance yourself from people who you feel don't understand you but we miss the opportunity to feel the compassion and empathy that connects us and makes us feel less alone."
Preaching a message of love after a moment of self-discovery, Grace advocates for compassion, empathy, and understanding. In her signature pop fashion, Grace has crafted a lighthearted single that incorporates her stunning vocals and stirring electronics. At the end of the polished track, Grace literally gives us wise advice, stating, "Sometimes the people that you think are the worst people in the world are the people who are most like you / And really, it's yourself that you have a problem with."
Grace expanded on "Like You," sharing,
"'Like You' is a song about compassion, empathy, and understanding. It's about recognizing somebody else's pain and seeing from their perspective in order to realize we are all more similar than we think. Maybe if we give love to those we disagree with, there will be a little less hate."
In celebration of her new music, we reunited with Grace to chat about what her life has been like since releasing her debut EP Girl, I Know, the importance of perspective, and of course, "Like You."
Ones To Watch: We last spoke to you in May around the release of Girl, I Know. How have you been since then?
Baker Grace: The release of Girl, I Know sparked a lot of creativity and motivation in me. When I saw how the music connected with others, it gave me the confidence to continue to be vulnerable and keep writing new material. I've been finding ways to become happier and enjoy life more (yoga, cooking, dancing, reading, music, and giving back to others). I'm learning a lot more about myself and surrounding myself with people whom I can give good energy to and receive good energy from, and it's been super beneficial for my mental health.
How's your experience with music production going? Have you continued to learn a lot more this year?
I have been learning more and more every week. It is definitely a process especially because I am not very skilled with technology, but it has been amazing to be able to bring the music I hear in my head to life. The ability to produce my own tracks has made me further develop as an artist and hone my own style of music.
What's your advice for people who are going through something similar to your situation at the time you wrote "Like You?"
My advice would be to start by having compassion for yourself. When you learn to love yourself and stop judging yourself, it's much easier to give that same care to others. You stop being mad at others for having more than you or being more satisfied than you because you are content with yourself. You'll also start to realize that NOBODY is perfect and so there is no reason for you to be. It is so easy to forget to enjoy life and get lost in our worries and faults, but being negative just isn't beneficial for anybody.
Would you say your perspective of others has changed drastically since writing "Like You?"
I used to think I had to be perfect and that if I wasn't perfect, I wasn't good enough. I would get frustrated with others because I saw them living their lives carefree and I was envious that I couldn't just let myself enjoy things without overthinking and overanalyzing. I was blaming other people for making me feel bad about myself, and it wasn't making me happy. I realized the only person who could change the way I saw myself was me and as I started having more compassion and less judgment towards myself, I wanted to share that love and understanding with others, and I was able to appreciate other people for who they are rather than criticizing for what they're not.
What's the inspiration behind the "Like You" visualizer?
I find a lot of my problems with others I've experienced in life have come from misunderstanding and being deceitful. A lot of the time you are jealous of people because you think they have everything when really they have their troubles too. When you dig deeper than what's on the surface (beauty, wealth, fame, and social media), you start to realize people are more "Like You" than you might think. The visualizer represents the truth you find when you try to understand people rather than judge them.
How does Girl, I Know compare to your forthcoming EP?
Girl, I know gave people a taste of my values and what I can do musically in a polished and refined way. I think the new EP exposes more about me as a person; it is more raw and unfiltered. I was able to bring in elements of poetry and hip-hop that I grew up around and own my signature style. The songs are more emotional for me, and it's the most authentic art I have ever created.
If you could sell out a headlining show anywhere in the world, where would you pick? Who would be your openers?
It would have to be in Brazil or Peru. My fans from South America have been so loyal and motivated me immensely throughout my career thus far. It would be an honor to give back to them for all their support. It would be cool to have upcoming Latin artists as openers as I love Latin music.
Who are your Ones To Watch?
I recently went to Alec Benjamin's show and was so impressed. He is definitely one of my favorite new artists. I also really love the rapper YBN Cordae who has been becoming really popular recently.