"I’m not that kid anymore," sings Toronto alt-pop musician GRAE in an intimate photo booth session with friends for "Boxes," out everywhere now. This is when we realize she’s growing up — and as the melody grows with her, more and more friends join the party. At first there's one or a few at a time, but by the second chorus they’re at a full-blown party having the time of their lives.
"I decided to write about the process of coming to terms with what it means to be an 'adult,'" as GRAE explains, whose Gemma Warren-directed video captures "youth, nostalgia and memories." She says the song centers on "coming to terms with leaving a part of you behind, and the photo booth set captured that sentimentality" of teenage years.
"I’m feeling a little too cautious" GRAE admits, but it’s her friends who persuade her to let loose. It only takes a minute of palling around before the singer unwinds, allowing her thoughts to "go down the drain." The video jumps back and forth between her once tidy hair at the beginning to her increasingly messy, bubblegum pink locks.
Cue alcohol, a smoky haze and good times for GRAE, who, by the end of the song, is definitely out of her box. Below, she introduces PAPER to all her friends featured in "Boxes" and where to follow them online.
Nilo Blues (@bluelikenilo)
Nilo Blues is a super rad R&B singer and incredible dancer. I love his song, "I Can’t I Wont." He has such a dope vibe about him and brings all the good energy. Like for real, you can’t help but smile and laugh in his presence, he’s so fun.
Deelo is the coolest person, like ever? He’s super chill and has major star energy to him. He’s an amazing singer and is part of the band, Garçons. I love their music. He’s also my style inspo.
Taylor Burtlake (@taylor_burtlake)
Taylor is a sick stylist and creative director in Toronto. I met her on set for my music video "Slow Down." She’s honestly the sweetest and makes you feel like the best version of yourself when you’re around her. She for real has a heart of gold.
I met Alyx in highschool. She's one of the most determined and optimistic people I’ve ever met. She’s an incredible model and extremely hard working. She’s the only friend I still communicate with from that time in my life and I have a lot of love for her. The kindest human being ever.
Julian is an indie-pop singer from Toronto and is hilarious. I met him through a mutual friend. The first time we hung out we bonded over sleepless nights and panic attacks [laughs]. Sounds a bit unfortunate for us, but the point being he’s such an open and down to earth guy. You feel like you can talk to him about anything and I really appreciate that about him.
Photo courtesy of Gemma Warren