On her newly released Yourz Truly EP, Baker Grace centers herself, whether that means taking a hard look in the mirror to interrogate the truth, holding herself accountable for previous actions or learning to love herself — inside and out — exactly as she is. This type of internal deep dive is admirable, when most would choose to deflect, and Grace packages all her findings into eight earwormy, alt-pop tracks.
The 19-year-old musician, who previously released in 2019 her debut Girl, I Know EP, says this sophomore effort is "about creating your path and being a leader instead of a follower." She references the confusing "age of social media" we live in today, which Grace says offers "quick fixes" rather than encouraging people to figure out what's best for themselves. "Authenticity and individuality has opened so many doors," she adds, "and brought so much happiness."
Whether she's singing about the importance of self-validation after blaming others for her insecurities or accepting that she misjudged someone who didn't deserve that treatment, it's clear on Yourz Truly that Grace is putting in the work — something we all should be doing, especially in a time of extreme reflection and isolation.
Below, the New York City-based artist gives PAPER a track-by-track breakdown of the EP, out today.
This song is an anthem for everybody growing up in a world that puts too much emphasis on appearance. I want us to be able to define beauty for ourselves and feel beautiful because we are strong, capable and unique. I don't want to feel like I have to live up to anyone else's expectations. I'm done letting other people decide how I feel about how I look and myself in general. I'm gonna take back control and be proud of what I have and who I am, because why the hell not?
"Bottle of Wine"
I wrote this song when I was missing somebody in my life and was getting frustrated because I never felt like I was loved even though this person wasn't necessarily doing anything to make me feel that way. I realized that I was blaming other people for my own self-doubt when really it was me who needed to give that love to myself. I realized that nothing I do or no one in my life will ever be enough if I don't validate myself first.
This song is a love letter to myself, a reminder to have my back. As someone who struggles with anxiety, self doubt and obsessive negative thoughts, it was really important for me to write a song that challenged the delusional thoughts I had about myself that held me back. Sometimes things can be so much bigger and more important than they actually are, and I need to take a step back and realize everything I have to be grateful for, including myself.
I wrote this at a time when I felt like I was living on the surface and everything was artificial. I was too focused on what was going on around me and trying to avoid problems in my life that I became numb and wasn't feeling much. I was craving something to make me feel alive and whole again and there's nothing that makes me feel alive quite like love does.
My father has always been an inspiration to me, and is a big reason why I have the strength and courage to continue my journey in music. He always told me not to limit myself and that I was capable of achieving my dreams if I dedicated myself. I wanted to share that connection and gift of confidence with everyone else.
"Up All Night"
It's easier to blame others and much harder to look ourselves in the mirror and accept we were wrong. I think it's good to normalize messing up; we are all human and we all make mistakes. I honestly think the biggest mistake is to not admit when you're wrong, cause it stops you from growing. I wrote this song because I misjudged somebody without getting the chance to know them and I wanted to hold myself accountable.
This song is about regaining my self-worth. I realized that the goal in life isn't to be happy all the time, that's unrealistic. There's gonna be pain and sorrow, but as long as I support myself and have the tools to handle the hard times, I can rise above again and again. I don't have to pretend to be somebody I'm not or constantly try to fix myself to please others, I just have to accept where I am and continue to learn and get better.
We are living in such an interesting time right now. The whole world is going through something so devastating and real, but at the same time there is a whole other world online that looks pretty and perfect. This song is a reminder that what you see isn't always the truth and that no person or life is even close to perfect. As we continue to share our beauty and triumphs online I wanted to "strip it all away," and be vulnerable enough to also show the hurt and pain that is underneath, because it makes me who I am and it is part of what makes me beautiful.
Photos courtesy of Stefen Pompée