By Erin Cross
With a rich connection to music running through her blood, Grace Farriss talks to Rock City Jester about her new single All The People and her upcoming debut album, Grace.
As Farriss' angelic voice contrasts with huge 70’s inspired funk disco, as an introduction to the artist, the addictive All The People is a timely single and a funky dream, setting the stage for her upcoming album.
The daughter of INXS star Andrew Farriss, she admits writing her first album has been a long time in the making.
"A good chunk of my life is in this album and I'm very excited for people to hear it," she says.
Farriss admits that it was her collection of material including music written six years ago that ultimately inspired the album and led to the unique sound.
“It’s a beautiful journey because it’s very intense and quite outward at both ends of the album. When you go closer to the middle it becomes much more introspective and a little bit more thought provoking and emotional,” she says.
“To have the songs there and to have them work so beautifully together is something that I am just so excited about. I'm very proud of Grace.”
All The People showcases Farriss' raw talent for writing music and poetry. She explains that the whole song came to her in an hour while she was "thinking deeply about the larger and more worldly aspects of life."
"This song is an explosion of my heart and I feel in many ways at this time, the world's heart. I have always had such a deep fascination with how all of the world’s cultures united and came to be and how we all interact with one another and interconnect through our wonderful cultural differences."
With an amazing list of achievements behind her, the poet, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, artist and environmentalist has spent her whole life creating. With her father's immense achievements in the music business and influence of mother Shelly Farriss, a lead theatre actor and yoga teacher, art has always been an integral part of her life.
“Obviously being around such amazing energy growing up, it's bound to influence anybody. But I also think it was something I naturally gravitated towards at a really young age. I feel really blessed that I continued on that path,” she says.
As she begins to create her own musical path, Farriss has never been one to follow trends and will be showcasing her talent in her album, that features performances from some of the world’s greatest musicians - The Section Quartet, Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley) on drums, Joey Waronker (Beck) on drums, Abe Rounds (Andrew Bird, Meshell Ndegeocello, Birds of Prey Score) on drums, Benji Lysaght (Adele, Father John Misty) on guitar, Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and the B-52’s) on saxophone, John Kirby (Solange) on keys, and Todd M. Simon (Angel City All-Star Brass Band) on horns.
“I just like to make music according to what I like and what feels good to me or for the song or what the song is asking for,” she says.
While Farriss has already worked with some amazing musicians, she hopes to collaborate with more Indigenous artists in the future, citing classical and Indigenous music as her main sources of inspiration.
"I know they're on the other ends of the spectrum in regards to genre... It will always have me on the edge of my seat and I'm always referring back to that kind of music,” she says.
"I would love to work with many Indigenous artists. I would love to just go down the road and play with the Wreck Bay Community. There's parts of Arnhem Land as well, there's a whole bunch of people up there doing great things."
While collaborating live has been postponed for now, Grace looks forward to planning her tour and seeing what other artists have created in their time at home.
“I think the music world will bloom and flourish more than ever once all this settles. I just can't wait for some of my songs to be in those settings because there's no other feeling like playing live. Everybody witnesses and feels the exact same thing in that moment; there's something very special about that and very overwhelming.”
All The People is out now.