Katie set to Grace national stage

A teenage indie singer has been shortlisted for a national award.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:00 am
Katie Grace. Picture by Gordon Armstrong
Katie Grace. Picture by Gordon Armstrong

Katie Grace, 16, is heading down to London on October 20 for the 2021 Youth Music Awards.

Her thought-provoking take on teenage years — the haunting and evocative 2555 — is one of three pieces of work shortlisted in the ‘outstanding lyrics in an original track’ category.

Judges at the award include Grammy award winning musician Eve, George the Poet and DJs Edith Bowman, Trevor Nelson and Vick Hope.

Katie, from Tynemouth, said: “Everyone loves a trip to London.

“I’m so excited to have been nominated and I’ve picked up a lovely dress. I’ve been planning my outfit for months!

“My lyrics are really important to me so it means even more that I’ve been recognised for that side of my songwriting.

"I just love the process of writing songs, fitting the words to the melodies and making it all come together.

“It does feel like there’s something special happening in North Tyneside right now.

"Sam (Fender) is up there leading the charge – I met him in a café in Tynemouth a couple of years ago after I’d been busking on Front Street and he was so nice.

“He was with his mates and he’d never met me before but he took the time to have a chat and that meant a lot to me as a 14-year-old trying to find my way.

“Seeing up and coming artists like Heidi (Curtis), who I’ve known for a few years, beginning to gain real traction is so inspirational and just proves that new music in the North East is a force to be reckoned with.

“It feels like there’s a lot of support from a community of like-minded artists. And I know there are so many more coming through.”

The Youth Music Awards celebrate the most forward-thinking projects and people making, learning and earning in music.

And the awards are open to anyone who has taken part in a Youth Music funded project since January 2015.

Katie started attending Standing Upright three years ago after initially struggling with her confidence.

The Youth Music funded project for 12 to 24-year-olds is part of North Tyneside Music Education Hub and its aim is to develop musicianship and confidence and mentor the music and arts-based leaders of the future.

Katie said: “Standing Upright has transformed the way I think about music and the opportunities it provides.

“It’s introduced me to so many people with industry experience and to musicians who’ve become my friends.

“We work together, bring our own songs to the table for peer review and develop projects across the arts.

“2555 is one of the four songs on there. It’s a reference to the number of days in your teenage years.

“The song’s about the changing idea of what it means to be a teenager in today’s society.”

Katie’s looking ahead to a busy week as she combines A-Levels at King’s Priory School with her dream of becoming a full-time songwriter and producer.

Following the Youth Music Awards she’ll be playing an acoustic set at Newcastle Eagles’ Vertu Motors Arena on Friday.

And on Saturday she opens up for folk rockers Holy Moly and the Crackers at Richmondshire Cricket Club in North Yorkshire.