American musician gains international popularity as she works on her latest album

From humble beginnings in New Jersey, 21 year old musician Christina Grimmie now finds herself living with success in Los Angeles when she’s not touring across the globe. Starting with posting videos on Youtube, to now being chosen to be the opening act at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September, Grimmie’s evolution as a musician has been an incredible journey.

The Calgary Journal recently spoke to Christina Grimmie about the success that she has been graced with in the last few years.Some parts of the Q & A have been edited for length and clarity.

 Brandon Tucker: Your journey as a musician began over 5 years ago, when you first started posting videos of yourself singing on Youtube. How do you feel you’ve evolved as an artist since you first started?

Christina Grimmie: I feel like when I first started Youtube, I didn’t really know who I was as an artist. I liked to sing and arrange music, and that was kind of it. Throughout the years I got to write with different people, and it was trial and error with the things that I was writing and the different styles that I was going for. Some worked and some didn’t, and I think that when I went on The Voice, I really figured out who I was as an artist.

BT: I’m glad you mentioned The Voice, because you came in third place on the sixth season of the show. What was that experience like?

CG: The Voice was definitely the greatest thing that I’ve ever done. It just put me under a lot of pressure, and a lot of last minute learning for songs. But it was hands down the greatest thing, because I feel like I grew so much in such a short period of time. It just helped me in my artistry so much.

BT: Despite getting to the finals on The Voice, you still aren’t signed to a record label. How important to you is being signed to a label?

CG: It’s a pretty big deal to be signed, because you kind of have your foot in the door at that point. You have the connections that you don’t have when you’re independent, like how I am right now. So it’s definitely harder to get radio play and get the top writers and producers. It’s all about the connections really. But being independent has it’s own perks as well, like having the freedom to musically explore a little bit and release music whenever you want. So that stuff is cool, but it would be really nice to be signed of course.Grimmie serenades the audience at the 2014 Citadel Tree Lighting in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of Justin Higuchi

BT: You’ve recently released two singles entitled Cliche and Stay With Me, and both tracks have large electronic components to them, which is quite different from your previous singles like Over Overthinking You and Liar Liar. Tell me about what made you want to pursue electronic music, and how the experience has been for you?

CG: I’ve always loved electronic music, but I’ve just been so afraid to go near it. Early on in my career I was all about “my voice” and I didn’t want electronic music to cloud that. But for the most part I’m over that now, because that’s just how I write. I write in the electronic, pop, R&B lane, so a lot of the stuff naturally coming out of me is like that. There are just never-ending possibilities for writing in that area.

BT: What are your music plans for the near future?

CG: Well I have a remix album dropping in hopefully a couple months, but maybe even less than that. It’s just going to be a releasing of a bunch of different songs that I’ve previously released from my EP Find Me and my album With Love. It’ll be a little breath of fresh air for people who haven’t heard the EDM and R&B type stuff that I’ve been doing. So it’s just a nice thing to get out for my fans. Other than that, I’m currently working on an actual album with lots of new and original content.

BT: Will this new content be similar to the electronic singles that you’ve released, or will they be more like your traditional stuff?

CG: I don’t want to go too heavy on the electronic, it terms of dubstep. I’m not going to go there per se, but I definitely want this future bass vibe that I’m been going for. It’s mostly going to be stuff out of the pop-EDM realm.

btucker@cjournal.ca

To contact the editor responsible for this story; Ato Baako at abaako@cjournal.ca

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Disney