By Dean Temple

Q&A – Grace Gaustad

Grace Gaustad is a 19-year-old Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.

Published 04/02/2021
Photography By Shervin Lainez
Don’t judge yourself based on what the media portrays as beautiful.

Grace Gaustad is a 19-year-old Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. On her 16th birthday, her parents allowed her to launch a YouTube channel and switch her Instagram from “private” to “public.”

Grace uploaded a piano and vocal cover of Hozier’s Take Me To Church, amassing 25 million views.

We caught up with Grace over email to see how she’s been getting on over lockdown.

How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

I think like almost everyone I have definitely been struggling with my mental health during such a chaotic time.

At the beginning, my depression became very severe and I found that one of the most helpful things to do was to find a small circle of safe friends and colleagues to hang out with that way I didn’t feel so isolated.

One or two friends can make all the difference in the world and it absolutely helped me feel much happier and less alone.

Are you doing anything differently to look after your mental health during this period?

I have been working out every day and it has made a huge difference! It makes me feel energised and healthy and is the perfect thing not only to boost your self esteem but also your mood.

What are you looking forward to doing once things improve?

I can’t wait to be able to see my family and friends again.

I can’t wait to go to a concert or music festival. And maybe most importantly, I can’t wait to start playing my own live shows again!

What new TV, films, music or books have you discovered during lockdown that you’d recommend?

I won’t lie, I think I found comfort in rewatching some of my favourite shows and films during the pandemic because they represent a safe and predictable space for me, however, I recently watched “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix which was incredible! “The Undoing” was also a fantastic show I was able to watch over the holidays with my parents! I’m also a mega Mariska Hargitay fan and binge watch Law & Order SVU.

What advice would you give to a 16 year old you?

Don’t judge yourself based on what the media portrays as beautiful.

When I was 16, I found myself comparing all of my features to those I saw on girls in magazines and on social media only to discover that nobody looks like that. Not even those girls. Hair, make-up, and lighting can make you look like a totally different person and that is something I wish I had known as a teenage girl! It would have made me feel a lot better about myself.

If you had to draw a pie chart for what keeps you mentally well – what would it look like?

25% Eating well & exercising
25% medication & a healthy sleep schedule
50% creativity and productivity

What are you passionate about?

All things art whether it be a song, a painting, a poem etc. Anything that involves creative expression and freedom is something I am totally into! I love not only creating my own art but also diving into the minds of other artists as well.

Tell us something not many people know about you.

I’ll say a few things just for fun;

1. I exclusively wear coloured socks. No black, white or grey.
2. I love lego. I’ve probably built over 100 sets.
3. My Starbucks order is an iced blonde vanilla latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

@gracegaustad