Boasting a rich musical pedigree, it's no surprise that explosive newcomer Grace Farriss is sure to impress and set tongues wagging as she today shares her impressive debut single, All The People, a funky fireball of a track with a powerful and timely message - to celebrate the interconnection between the diverse cultures that shape the world.
In a nutshell, Grace Farriss is a poet, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, painter, artist, author and environmentalist. Born into an artistic and musical family and the daughter of rock and roll royalty, Grace grew up in the United Kingdom and Australia, her parents Shelley Farriss, a lead theatre actor and yoga teacher and Andrew Farriss, a farmer and the main composer and songwriter for INXS. Having played guitar for most of her life after being gifted a nylon string guitar from her parents for her twelth birthday, Farriss explains, "I was always encouraged to play the piano and guitar growing up, we express a lot of music and art in our family and my Dad's amazing writing style is genius and has inspired me beyond knowledge and so greatly."
All The People was recorded and produced by Tony Buchen (The Preachers, Montaigne, G-Flip) in LA at his Lucy's Meat Market Studio, and Valentine Recording Studios, and mastered by Leon Zervos (Amy Shark, P!nk, Maroon 5). It is a bold and soulful introduction to this exciting artist that oozes talent and fun with this effortlessly cool, 70s-inspired funky disco powerhouse track that is driven by crisp saxophones and gallant horns, balanced perfectly with a potently catchy, dreamy chorus – exceptional musicianship on full display here from the minute that drum beat, saxophone and bass groove hits.
Currently studying her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, Farriss is also an Ambassador for both the Jane Goodall Institute and SeaShepherd, and has founded her own environmental institute, The Grace Earth Organisation. "I am an active advocate for the welfare of our earth and the environment we inhabit. I support environmental causes, as this is what feels most important to me," insights Farriss. "I grew up with and have close relationships with Aboriginal people and Elders who have so much essential knowledge that have taught me a great deal about the land and world we live in, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the movement towards us becoming more aware and conscious of our environment."
Farriss is set to release her debut album Grace later this year, featuring performances from some of the world's greatest musicians - The Section Quartet, Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley) on drums, Joey Waronker (Beck) on drums, Abe Rounds (Andrew Bird, Meshell Ndegeocello, Birds of Prey Score) on drums, Benji Lysaght (Adele, Father John Misty) on guitar, Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and the B-52's) on saxophone, John Kirby (Solange) on keys, and Todd M. Simon (Angel City All-Star Brass Band) on horns.
And as if she's not busy enough, Farriss is also set to publish her first book, Poetry, Sayings and Stories that is due to hit bookstores later this year.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Grace Farriss : Introspective, Artistic, Expressive, Experimental.
Question: Can you tell us about All The People?
Grace Farriss : All The People is a song that came to me quickly as well as the arrangement and the sound which became obvious soon afterward. A year of experimentation and understanding what the song wanted from conception to the sound I created in the build-up to recording the song was essential.
Writing this song I often felt my consciousness rising on topics of the human consciousness and our place on earth in our time. It is also a very fun song to play and sing.
The first single from my titled debut album "Grace" titled "All The People" is a combination of pop, rock, funk and disco. Which as I describe as an explosion of my heart and I feel in many ways at this time, the world's heart. I have always had such a deep fascination with how all of the cultures united come to be and how we all interact with one another and interconnect through our wonderful cultural differences. I do ﬁnd it so incredibly fascinating. What I feel other cultures teach you is that we are all one and the same. Which I feel music and the arts certainly accomplish to bring this awareness to us all so intimately and so beautifully, internally and in celebration with one another. This is what inspired the song "All The People". I worked on it consistently for a year until I was happy with it before going into the studio. The song itself came to me very quickly as well as the arrangement and the direction I felt the song wanted to go in."
Question: How does it feel to release your debut solo single and album later this year?
Grace Farriss : It feels amazing to finally share "All The People" with the world. From conception it felt like a song that others needed to hear, not just me. There are quite a few song's like this on my debut album 'Grace'. I would even go as far as to say all of them. 'Grace' is my heart and soul on an album. For me and the way I chose the order and the succession of the songs to be placed in, I feel people will most certainly be taken on a beautiful ride and I do feel my lyrics offer subjectivity for the listener. I write from my own personal experiences or messages that come through and I hope people interpret the songs that best suit them in their life and offer them solace in that timeless moment of listening.
Question: Is there a particular message you hope listeners take from your music?
Grace Farriss : I would hope that listeners feel connected to their true selves and that they are inspired by the artistic expression and our natural need as people to express ourselves in different ways. I hope they can apply my music to whatever they may be feeling in their life and know the music is there to dream to and explore with and interpret in their own way and is there for them privately or shared with the ones they love.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Grace Farriss : I prefer song-writing and recording absolutely. I am a writer first and for me, it is all about the music.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Grace Farriss : It really depends on what I am feeling or experiencing at the time. Although I am very inspired by the full spectrum of emotions I experience day to day. Other art forms inspire me greatly as well as the natural world and relationships. I also love sounds and arranging. Which is very exciting once the song comes to me. I know exactly what I want the song to sound like then and there. At times it can feel surreal but raw like I am creating my own world and at times a safe place to have deeper feelings expressed.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Grace Farriss : I am always listening to classical music, as well as folk music. I usually gravitate to what I love and come back to it most of the time. But some artists that I love right now are Alkalino, Wu-tang Clan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Paul McCartney, Laraaji, Frank Sinatra.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Grace Farriss : Antonio Vivaldi, Mozart, Brian Wilson and Joni Mitchell.
Question: You also have a book coming out! What can you tell us about it?
Grace Farriss : My book will comprise all of my lyrics, poetry, writings, sayings and stories I have written up until this point in my life. This book will be much of my heart and my mind in a book. But also providing much mystery for the reader as many of my lyrics and poetry tends to be quite cryptic and offers a subjective point of view for the reader. The book will be about 2000 pages long and there will be three chapters being, "Poems, Sayings and Stories" which is in fact the title of the book. "Poems, Sayings and Stories" will be published upon the release of my debut album 'Grace' and "All The People" Is one of the songs from the album 'Grace'. The "All The People" lyrics will also be found in the book "Poems, Sayings and Stories".
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Grace Farriss : I have never not wanted to write. Although there were moments where I was so high on adrenaline, especially during recording as I had to be in the right headspace and in the "sweet spot" to focus and keep the same perspective I had when I wrote the music. I felt the pressure from myself upon writing a couple of the songs as I felt the arrangement and can feel it so intensely in my head and at times it would not want to come out the way I heard it in my head. Although in the end it turned out exactly or close to how I felt it in my heart and head and how I wanted it. Writing comes very easily to me and I love the process very much.
Question: How would you describe your personal style?
Grace Farriss : I like to wear items of clothing that are practical, artistic or that have sentimental value to me.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Grace Farriss : I wake up and do yoga or go for a long walk either on a beach, in the bush or the forest. I love to cook, paint, and garden.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Grace Farriss : To be able to share my music with the world. I always have my music and my art. Although to share it with others and to give someone solace for the duration of a song is such a real honour.
Question: What's next, for you?
Grace Farriss : I am currently founding a non for profit environmental organisation called "The Grace Earth Organisation" which will allow for and open the conversation to new ways of living within our community whilst thinking appropriately, logically and in a future forward way about our impact on our environment and how we can best live in harmony with our home whilst still moving forward, innovating and adjusting as mankind. Like we have always done. It will be an information based organisation and will direct people to information that can help them move forward in life and in an environmentally friendly way without having to let go of their everyday creature comforts. I was raised and grew up my whole life surrounded by nature in all its natural forms. By the ocean and in the countryside. Enjoying locally grown food and sharing this with the community is important to me. "The Grace Earth Organisation" will launch towards November/December of 2020.
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Grace Farriss : Facebook
Interview by Gwen van Montfort