When Grace VanderWaal waltzed her way onto the stage of America’s Got Talent she was armed with little more than a ukulele, an original song, and the unbridled exuberance you’d expect from a child just wrapping up the 6th grade. But that little girl would captivate audiences across the world, and now, a year and a half later Grace is set to continue her impressive climb with that same raspy and soulful voice she used to win the 11th season of America’s Got Talent. That is, if she decides that’s really even what she wants to do.
“I’m literally making my life path decision when I’m 13 years old, which is like, the most pressuring thing,” she explained. “Because sometimes I’m like ‘Yes, I want to be there. I want to go to the Grammys.’ But other times I’m like ‘I quit. I’m done. Call my manager, I don’t want to do it anymore.'”
Still, even at this early point in her career (and in her life), Grace is already aware of the way her music impacts her fans, and how she wants it to be an escape for them just like it is for her. “Writing a song is such a refreshing way to just get something off of your chest,” she says. “I just want my music to be a second for someone to just focus on that song and just disconnect for a second.”
So yes, Grace VanderWaal may have broken through by proclaiming “I don’t know my name” on America’s Got Talent, but if she continues belting out touching and resonant records like her debut album Just The Beginning, she’ll be just about the only person around that doesn’t know her name.
Watch the video above to get a closer look at Grace VanderWaal’s rise and what inspires her.