“Grab someone cute—but you can’t grab me.”
TRACE is giving instructions to a captivated audience before performing “Honey,” a possible follow-up to her internet smash “Heavy Shoulders.” Genuine charm and wit ooze from the pores of the native Californian. Before gracing the stage with impeccably timed one-liners and soothing vocals, her California-cool was evident.
Upon arrival at the famed Bootleg Theater she’s informed she can’t enter with the bottled water nestled under her right arm and has to show I.D. to prove she’s a performer. While awaiting permission to enter the venue, amongst the typical street noise she overhears singing at a Spanish-speaking church service across the street. “They’re a serious competitor. I might actually just go see them.” She keeps cool.
Finally we go inside. Three minutes before soundcheck we’re told to evacuate the building due to a smoky aroma flooding the building. TRACE and company stay inside while eight fire engines rush eastbound on Beverly Boulevard to inspect the building. Over the roar of sirens, TRACE can be heard rehearsing the one cover in her set, Beyonce’s “Halo.” She keeps cool.
In spite of the chaos around her, coupled with anxiety she’s expressed openly on social media the last few days, she croons seemingly unaffected. She keeps cool.
“Music allows you to interpret and to own up to your own emotions.”
Where are you from originally? I was born in Orange County, lived in Huntington Beach until I was about ten, then moved to Anaheim. I’m as Southern Californian as it gets, though constantly craving cold and grayish weather.
Have you always been a performer? I lived with three roommates in San Diego three years ago and I never sang in front of them. Performing itself is completely new to me, though the idea of entertaining and swaying people is something I’m pretty drawn to.
Who and/or what inspires you musically? My mom is the ultimate inspiration. She’s been singing for forty-five years and so being around her—raised by her, really has shaped how I view a life after music to look like. As for what: There’s that timeless, classic jazz tune that always manages to break your heart while it plays on the record, or that track that faithfully flips your mood when you’re low. I suppose what inspires me about music in general is that everyone feels it and everyone feels it differently. Music allows you to interpret and to own up to your own emotions
“Knowing what’s right can be boring sometimes.”
Your single, “Heavy Shoulders,” was that written out of a certain experience? I think the initial thought behind this song was that I really just find myself often knowing better and I get tired of it. Sure, there’s familiarity and safety in routine and normality but “Heavy Shoulders” is about maybe, one day perhaps, giving into what isn’t our typical, our usual. Knowing what’s right can be boring sometimes.
“[Doing music] is essentially reading your diary out loud in a melodious tone to strangers.”
What about music makes you the most nervous? Music is a confessional. Of course we all want to be heard and understood. But beyond that, I think it’s nervous thing because I’m not sure if I desire a response or just a reaction when I sing. There’s a tension about confessing. Oh and it’s nerve wracking in general because it’s essentially reading your diary out loud in a melodious tone to strangers. So there’s that.
If you could only keep one album for the rest of your life what would it be? This is the worst question in the world! … But I’ll have to go with ‘The Reminder’ by Feist.
What is your favorite meal? Gosh, food is my jam. Let’s see… it’s definitely meat centered. I’ll go with steak and eggs, which is weird but maybe it’s because I’m answering this during intense brunch hours.
When can we expect more music from you? I will be releasing my second single in October. And if all goes to plan, my EP will be releasing end of this year. Fingers crossed.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
TRACE has a show coming up at the El Rey on November 5th.