Look her up and you'll read that Jamie Grace is an 18 year old musician, speaker and actress. At the age of 11 she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and it was around this time that, though she had always loved to sing, she discovered she loves speaking to her peers and acting as well. Now in her second year of college studying children's ministry, Jamie Grace wants to travel, perform, act, to be a living example of resilience. This, she says, is what her faith in God has taught her during her toughest times.
Watch a few of her videos and the earnest words are embodied in a surge of sweet energy. On Facebook her smiles seem similarly transformative as she poses with young fans and not so young politicians, as she embraces other artists and devotees: they all elicit a convincing warmth from this young woman. Here's a great example: Hold Me featuring tobyMac:
Luna Guitars interviews
LG: Did you take lessons or teach yourself to play?
JG:When I was 11 I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. "TS" is a neurological condition that causes uncontrollable movements and sounds called tics. Learning how to live with TS was not only difficult and "transitional" for me but for my entire family. It was our Faith and our love for music that brought and kept us together.
My granddad lent me a drum set and my sister Morgan a guitar to cheer us up. Before we knew it years had past as we were teaching ourselves instrument after instrument as well as learning to harmonize and write our own songs.
JG: I play the drums, guitar, ukulele and some piano. My goal is to teach myself a new instrument every year so I do know some things on the bass, mandolin and harp - thanks to my sis for the last two!
LG: When did you write your first song?
JG: I've been writing songs since I was very very young but the songs that I'll
actually share with people *smile* I've written in the past 4 or 5 years....
LG: Is your family musically inclined?
JG: My mom's a singer and writer and my dad is a drummer and bassist. Dad's
last music lesson... when he was 10? My mom's dad has taught himself to play numerous instruments and both of my grandmothers sing. Our family really loves to grab random instruments and just learn to play! Currently, my brother-in-law is picking up drums and guitar.
My sister also plays a heap of instruments, sings and writes. We're writing a lot together these days - look out for some "Harper Still" co-writes on my new album!
LG: Who were your musical influences?
JG: I go through a lot of phases but some of the artists whose songs have added to my story are DC Talk, Zooey Deschanel (She & Him), Group 1 Crew, The Band Perry, Needtobreathe, Johnny Cash, Mahalia Jackson and Sugarland.
LG: What are some of your other passions?
JG: When I'm not singing I'm also a motivational speaker, actress and have a little video production company, eye4see. I've also always loved to run and have lately gotten into bike riding. I love to read, write and as long as I can blast jazz music I absolutely love to cook.
LG: Did you have to sacrifice anything in particular to pursue your
JG: I'm a junior in college and the past three years I've changed my major a little and even transferred once, but I always knew I would graduate in four years. No matter how much I changed my mind, the four year track was really important to me.
Lately, looking at my schedule and everything I'm not really sure how many years it'll take me to get my college degree. I am 100% determined to graduate but moving a little bit slower with my classes seems to be the plan right now. As I said the four year thing was really big to me but now I've decided to work on balancing music and school so I can do a great job at both!
LG: What are you most proud of musically?
JG: This might sound cheesy, but honestly I still get excited to hear my song on the radio! ... July 2011 will mark my 5 year youtube anniversary (party!!) and I'm just so glad I didn't give up.
LG: What's your next CD and its scheduled release date?
JG: My EP was released on February 22nd and for the week of March 29th it's the iTunes Discovery Download! Right now those are 4 songs in a random iPod playlists and we're aiming for the full length album to come out this Fall.
LG: Are you touring or appearing somewhere that you'd like Luna fans
to know about?
JG: Wrapping up the Revolve Tour Creation Fest NE and NW
Lots of bookings coming up for this year and still booking for 2011 and 2012. Full listing jamie-grace.com
LG: Do you play any benefit shows? What causes are close to your
JG: I love working with young people and I would love to see an end to human trafficking.
I also fully support Want Less Give More, my sister's foundation stimulating people to do exactly what it says.
LG: What attracted you to Luna Guitars?
JG: I first heard ...someone I like play one. I looked them up and from there I saw Luna made ukuleles. I had been trying to teach myself to play the uke for years but ... only when I was spending a few minutes in the 4-string section of guitar stores. Finally, I was going to buy one and Luna was the only nice priced one with electronics and tons of cuteness. From there I started looking at Luna Guitars and it was obvious I had to get the Flora Lotus! I love Luna Guitars because they're nice sizes and look adorable but also because they sound amazing. Plus, it's a great perk to have both XLR and quarter inch capabilities for plugging my acoustic electric in.
LG: Which Luna instruments do you have/play?
JG: I have a Flora Lotus acoustic electric guitar and a High Tide Concert ukulele.
LG: What were fans' reactions?
JG: People always love my Luna! The bold color and flower are usually what
people will compliment on but often other musicians compliment the sound....
LG: What do you love most about your Luna?
JG: As a girl, and a definite "girly girl," I love the look of my Luna. It's really
important to me that it goes with my style and matches my shoes :) But I also love the full sound that flows every time I strum my guitar whether
writing a new tune in my dorm room or playing one of my songs in a full arena.