”I want to inspire people to be bold and take risks,” Liam Grae recently told AXS. The soul-pop artist, who, as of February, has released two successful singles, had made his way from Dallas to Germany to Nashville, before firmly planting his roots in Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old singer-songwriter infuses soul, gospel, and pop into his music, giving way to an evocative sound. Blending nostalgic charm with a modern style is carving out a distinctive niche for Grae.
AXS: What is the No. 1 thing everyone should know about you and your music?
Liam Grae: While everyone else is looking forward, I am looking backward for inspiration. I’m obsessed with bringing back pop songs that will stand the test of time and introduce new generations to what made pop music so popular.
AXS: You seem to tip your hat to artists such as Frank Sinatra and Robin Thicke. Who do you often hear yourself compared to?
LG: I’ve been compared to everyone from George Michael to a young Justin Timberlake – which is super flattering, but also daunting to live up to such success. I try to remain focused on being true to myself and creating music that my fans will connect to.
AXS: While listeners can relate pieces of your sound and style to other great musicians, you have a flair that makes you original. What words would you use to describe who you are and what you do?
LG: I’m an old soul trapped in the 21st century. I combine nostalgic elements with progressive songwriting to create a sound that is uniquely my own.
AXS: What, or who serves as your biggest inspirations, both musically, and personally?
LG: My biggest influences have to be Frank Sinatra and George Michael. The vocal tones of these two pop giants were undeniable and iconic.
AXS: You released your debut single, “Uniform” in October. You dropped “Typical” in February. Tell me about how these two songs differ for you and why you’re choosing to release these songs in the order that you are?
LG: “Uniform” was the perfect debut single because it was so left-of-center for pop music at that time and it allowed me to pave my lane within the pop music landscape. “Typical” was the perfect second song in that it allowed me to show an honest side of me and shared my struggles with dating in Los Angeles. “Typical” allowed me to bring a human element to my music and let me share my life with my fans on a different level.
AXS: You just released the video for “Typical.” Tell me a little bit about bringing that to life.
LG: It was a very organic process. The video was the brainchild of me and my videographer, Leo Deveney. We wanted to create a video that was “atypical” of what everyone was expecting. We wanted to find beauty within sex and intimacy and allow space for the viewers to find their own meaning within the music and the video.
AXS: Since you’ve been in L.A., you’ve linked up with talents like Dale Anthoni, who saw massive success with The Vamps. “Typical” was co-written with Tommy Parker, and produced by Todd Bergman along with Andrew Furze. Deveney, who is one of the best videographers in Los Angeles, was also the director for your latest video. How is working with these guys shaping you as an artist and where do you hope to go with them in the future?
LG: I am all about surrounding myself with good people, and I am loyal to a fault. Andrew Furze and Todd Bergman saw potential within me and helped introduce me to phenomenal writers like Tommy Parker and Dale Anthoni. Leo Deveney and I have become fast friends, and we love creating content together. Each of these people are helping shape my story and helping me communicate who I am through the music and the visuals I create. I am creating a team of friends who all believe in my music and are excited for what’s to come.
AXS: When can we expect your album?
LG: At the moment, I am focused on singles and am saving an album until a later time. This allows me flexibility and gives me more space to take risks within my music.
AXS: Where can fans come to see you live? Is there a tour in your future?
LG: I played my debut show at The Study Hollywood last month and am actively booking shows throughout the summer. Touring is a huge aspect for me, and I expect great things in my live performances in the near future.
AXS: What do you see for yourself in the future overall?
LG: I see myself making music for future generations. Music is what I was made to do, and it's only up from here.