Artists in pop music often go on a trip into the depths of their emotions, and for Grace Gachot, a young Spanish-British talent, this investigation finds significant expression in her newest record, 'Built To Be Bad,' offered under the SoundOn label.
This soul-stirring song is a strong vehicle for contemplation, striking listeners with a relatable force comparable to a blast of wind in the face. Gachot's newest masterpiece navigates the treacherous terrain of love and fortitude, drawing inspiration from a seismic tragedy and sculpted by the wise words of her 93-year-old grandmother - an emotional moment uploaded on TikTok, getting over 1.4 million views.
Her fragile vocals rise above crescendo strings and passionate piano chords, weaving a moving story.
Co-written with Ollie Green, 'Built To Be Bad' is a bold statement of intent from this potential pop superstar. It has already piqued the interest of BBC Radio 1's Jack Saunders, who passionately praised the TikTok and Instagram tune. This single, as Gachot's musical journey progresses, serves as a testimony to her creative skill and emotional depth, promising an intriguing future in the world of pop music. Gachot describes her ability to translate her emotions into powerful lyrics during an interview with us.
Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind your new single 'Built To Be Bad' and how your 93-year-old grandmother's wisdom shaped the song?
The song was inspired by the breakdown of my first love and the difficulty of leaving a situation that was hurting me. I went to my beautiful grandmother for advice (as we all should!), and she was overwhelmingly passionate about the fact I had to leave him. Her reaction was so heated that it made me laugh, and I took out my phone to capture it. The video of her advice has now gone viral on TikTok with over 1.5 million views! However, when I filmed it, I was listening really attentively to what she had to say as I knew she had so much experience in situations like this. A few weeks later, I was in the studio, and I told my co-writer, Ollie Green, that we needed to include these lyrics in the chorus somehow! I’m so thrilled with the final result, and it makes me smile to know that she will always have a big part to play in the creation of the song.
What emotions and experiences influenced the creation of this soul-searching ballad?
Heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There are so many complex emotions that come with a broken heart. In my case, my heart was shattered by someone I saw forever with. The shock to my system after discovering betrayal was so immense that it stopped me from thinking rationally. Despite all of his wrongdoings and the way it tore me apart, I always found a pocket of kindness within myself to show him. The night before I wrote the song, I remember writing in my notes, “I’ll be by your side the first time you cry, though I’ve cried alone the last ten damn nights.” This evoked the exhausting battle between hatred and compassion within myself, and I knew this needed to be a song.
In ‘Built To Be Bad, your vulnerable vocal soars across climactic strings and heartfelt piano chords. How did the musical arrangement contribute to conveying the emotions and messages you wanted to express in the song?
The musical arrangement of the song is so special to me! It feels like a mirrored image of my journey. Ollie’s beautiful piano, alongside the incredible live strings, makes the track what it is today. The piano at the beginning of the song feels soft. It’s gentle, just as life is at the sweet beginnings of a relationship. As the song progresses and the story unfolds, the piano progressively gets stronger and stronger. The lyrics begin to go off into a spiral of their own, and the piano follows. Eventually, once all chaos has ensued, the strings kick in and the drama of the song hits it’s all time high, emotions are soaring and uncontrollable here. However, abruptly after this climactic final chorus, we return to calmness. I feel this is an accurate portrayal of how life unfolds and the “calm after the storm.” despite the outpouring of emotions, you realize your situation remains the same, and all you are left with is a broken heart.
You mention it's a song for those who have been fooled, lied to, and endlessly messed around. How do you hope your audience will connect with the message of "Built To Be Bad"?
I hope the song sheds light on the fine line that can occur between compassion and hatred. We are often frustrated with ourselves for not being more firm in a situation that hurts us. We know we deserve better, yet our judgment can be clouded by our strong emotions. Time is the best healer for this, eventually you realise you can’t put up with it any longer and everything falls into place however, the lines can be blurry so I hope that through this song, the audience can feel less alone. It’s ok to trip up, show empathy, be confused by your emotions and then finally take a bold stance. If you relate to the song, I think that’s beautiful because not being “built to be bad” to someone who has broken you says a lot about who you are, and I think that’s amazing. When I wrote it, I felt guilt and frustration in that sentiment, but now I look back and feel proud.
The video for 'Built To Be Bad' is described as a soulful, black-and-white visual that acts as the song's aesthetic anchor. Can you share more about the creative process behind the video and how it complements the emotional journey depicted in the song?
The video was directed by the incredible Callum Lloyd-James and it all came about so quickly.
We wanted a very simple concept to allow for the lyrics to shine through and Callum killed it! The
idea was for me to sit on a stool and lay out my emotions from beginning to end without getting
up. The only three things in play were the spooky curtains, a love letter from my ex and a giant
wind machine! The simple nature of this really pushed for me to deliver the most emotive performance I could. The amazing choreographer, Paulette Minott, worked wonders in squeezing every inch of emotion out of me and the final product would not have been the same without her. The video was shot at a time where I was really struggling in my personal life with the heartbreak, I was experiencing real pain so it didn’t feel like acting - it was just a huge release. I didn’t realise how much of an aesthetic anchor the music video would be for the song but I am so thrilled it is as it mirrors what the song is to me; vulnerable, raw, passionate, honest and chaotic. The shoot as a whole was a dream come true and is up there with one of my favourite experiences I have ever been a part of.
You mentioned that 'Built To Be Bad' profoundly mirrors your reality. Can you delve into how personal experiences shaped the creation of this song and why it stands out as your favorite among your releases?
These lyrics are the biggest outpour of personal experience I have shared. The honesty feels vulnerable but hopefully relatable to those who have gone through a similar experience. At the time of writing the song, I felt as though I was in the middle of an emotional storm and wasn’t thinking straight. It was a song born out of pure emotion rather than perfected curation. It selfishly needed to be exhaled out of my conscious and once it was, I felt I understood my emotions on a deeper level. It’s almost like writing a diary of your thoughts and reading it over and over again until you fully understand exactly what you are feeling. It is my favourite song so far as it is the biggest piece of my heart I have ever shared with my audience. I feel deeply connected to it, so if someone is moved by it, I feel a genuine personal connection to them because they have connected to me, the most stripped-back and real version of me that exists.
What themes or topics do you aim to explore as a rising artist in your future music, and how do you see your sound evolving in the coming years?
I would love to share a message of kindness through my music, treating others with love and empathy is something I have always felt strongly about. We are all human and only trying our best and I think music is a wonderful way to express the way in which we are all in the same boat. At least more than we think! In terms of my sound over the next few years, I would love to let this happen organically, with my music and story-telling reflecting the way my life unfolds… in the freshest and most honest way possible.
In the music video, you're described as seamlessly braiding confidence with relatable vulnerability. How important is it for you to convey authenticity and relatability through your music and visuals?
It is probably the most important aspect for me. I think honesty leads to relatability and we only truly connect to the songs that we feel seen in. I love story-telling and lyric-driven songs that feel as though the artist is in need of saying what they are saying, as though the sentiment is on the tip of their tongue. I also love to feel that personal connection with my audience, and it means so much to me when they connect to an authentic experience, whether it be in my music or videos. I love how an extremely ugly emotion can turn into something beautiful.
'Built To Be Bad' has gained significant attention on TikTok, with over 1.4 million views. How do you feel about the response from your audience, especially on social media platforms, and how does this engagement impact your connection with fans?
This has changed everything for me! The way in which I have connected to my audience has felt more special than anything I have ever experienced. To be a comfort blanket to those who are struggling is all I could ever wish to achieve. Nothing has ever given me the gratification that a personal message from a fan has. It means more to me than anything and is the reason I do what I do. It’s incredible how the power of music can connect us all on such a deep level.
What comes after the release of the single for you? Are there any upcoming releases or shows in your plans?
Yes, I’m always writing and am so excited to begin releasing music in 2024! I would love to play a debut show next year and meet some of my incredible supporters. However, at the moment, I’m excited to recharge over Christmas with my family and come back, raring to go in the new year.