Order This Issue!

Leigh Keily

Jo Baker

Hair Styling:
Jenny Cho

Wardrobe Styling:
Laura Sophie Cox
  Grace Gaustad turns her life story into music, takes us into a visual journey filled with emotions, and uses her platform to offer help to teens currently struggling. “Writing this album taught me more about myself and who I am than I ever could have imagined." Grace Gaustad opens up to Glamoholic magazine about her debut album "BLKBX: wht r u hding?", Stream all 12 tracks now!  



"The reality is we never stop growing, learning, and changing. There is no such thing as indefinite darkness. It’s all about processing trauma and pain to unlock what healing really is."


First of all, I want to know your feelings about finally being able to share your debut album “BLKBX: wht r u hding?”
I can’t even begin to express the amount of gratitude I have for all of the incredible people who helped this project come to life in the most magical way possible. Two years ago, “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” was a Christmas gift for my mom and to see all that it has become is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I feel so happy knowing that “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” is now in the hands of people who feel the same way I do - different. 
In this album you’re taking us into your own world, with all the emotions, struggles, love, identity and self-acceptance. What was it like to turn all of that into music?
It was magical turning my life story into music. Up until I started writing “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” I had no idea just how much self-exploration I still had left to do. It’s hard to imagine that we as human beings don’t know ourselves, but the reality is we never stop growing, learning, and changing. Writing this album taught me more about myself and who I am than I ever could have imagined. 
Were there any areas that you found difficult to revisit while writing or recording this album? 
I think the ‘Creature’ era on the album was a particularly difficult time to revisit. Unfortunately at that time in my life I was filled with self-hate and a lot of pain, so reopening those wounds was definitely tricky for me. It brought up a lot of memories I had forgotten and a lot of very difficult times. 
Turning all of your experiences into art must have been a therapeutic experience. What positive conclusion would you like the listener to take out of it? 
I think the most positive thing about “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. There is no such thing as indefinite darkness. It’s all about processing trauma and pain to unlock what healing really is.
In partnership with therapist Jaz Robbins and nonprofit organizations, you’ve created the “BLKBX Project”. Can you tell me more about the educational and therapeutic resources it offers? 
When I was younger I recall searching all over the internet for answers to questions I had about myself and my identity, and the truth is I never really found anything helpful. I created blkbxproject.org in an attempt to give teens today the resources I wish I had when I was younger. On the site, Jaz Robbins walks us through the 12 topics discussed in “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” such as depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, etc., and offers advice and free resources to teens currently struggling. 
Going back to your own experiences, what would you say gave you the strength to beat the hard times you’ve gone through? 
My mom gave me the strength to beat many of the hard times I went through back then and even now. She is my lifeline and is always a voice of reason and love when I can’t seem to find a path forward. 
You’ve filmed music videos for all 12 tracks. How did that help you explore those stories and give them another aspect? 
Van Alpert (director of BLKBX) and I spent so many hours coming up with beautiful visuals to retell the BLKBX story in a unique way. A big goal was to be able to tell the story without the music. While watching the BLKBX music videos, even if you can’t hear the song or understand the words, the visuals tell you the whole story. I think there is so much power in visual art and it’s something I will continue to explore in any additional projects. 
What was it like to do this huge effort, especially during a global pandemic? 
It was very difficult! We finished “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” under very unusual circumstances. We did almost all of the planning virtually, we had covid testing every single day on set, and were all wearing masks. We also had a limited crew, among many other things, but we all felt passionate enough about the project that we kept going and kept creating, despite all of the obstacles we faced.

The music videos will be edited together to create a powerful short film, coming out later this Fall. Will it include additional footage that we haven’t seen? 
The film will include additional footage that hasn’t been seen! The film is a way to experience “BLKBX: wht r u hding?” as a whole rather than by each singular video. The goal of the film was to tell the whole story in a short, but meaningful way.
Do you think that being an independent artist gave you more freedom to bring this multi-format concept album to life?
Absolutely. As an independent artist, I have a tremendous amount of creative freedom and without that, I wouldn’t be able to create multi-dimensional projects. My team trusts me and I trust them, so we have a perfect formula right now. 
Your passion for music is present in every project you do. When was the first time you knew that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life?
I’ve been telling my mom since I was a little kid that I was going to be a rockstar, but I think the first time I ever heard ‘Poker Face’ on the radio was when I knew for certain that there was nothing in this world I wanted to do other than music.
Do you remember a specific song that helped you deal with your struggles as a teenager? 
Lady Gaga has been my hero for a long time and she has so many songs that have helped me through so many things over the years. Three particular favorites of mine that have gotten me through very hard times are ‘Speechless’, ‘Marry The Night’, and ‘Hair’. 
Are you already thinking about album #2?
Album number two is almost done actually! I live for the creation of art, so as soon as BLKBX was finished, I jumped right back in.
Is there any artist you’d like to collaborate with?
Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift would be an absolute dream. For any young artist, I think collaborating with your idols is the ultimate goal.
What’s your favorite album / song of 2021 so far? 
Either ‘good 4 u’ by Olivia Rodrigo or ‘Bad Habits’ by Ed Sheeran 
It’s beautiful to see how your music and personality translate into your fashion style. Would you like to have a fashion line of your own?
Fashion has always been a form of self-expression for me, among many other things. I use my style to dictate how I’m feeling to the world and I would absolutely love to have my own line of clothing and shoes one day.
Tell me a fun fact that people don’t know yet about you!
I love to cook! I use all of my grandma’s old family recipes. 
What is your guilty pleasure? 
Sneaker shopping!
What makes you smile on a regular day?
My mom, my girlfriend, and my doggy Bentley!

For more on Grace, visit gracegaustad.com.

This story will be featured in Glamoholic Magazine's upcoming "Next Big Thing" Issue (#40).

Order | Follow Us: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Glamoholic © 2021. Created By Bashar Zidane.