Alana Grace is an American singer, songwriter, and actress that received national exposure for her breakthrough single "Black Roses Red", which was also featured on 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" soundtrack.
From rocking the stage at the House of Blues, to scoring a role in the upcoming film "Country Strong" alongside Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow, Alana is well on her way to becoming an international rock star set apart from the rest.
Check out the "Black Roses Red" music video below, and read the interview for more!
EY: How would you describe your music?
AG: I always say my music has a rock production with pop melodies. My lyrics tend to describe the basic human emotional experience. Sometimes the songs are soothing and on others it gets pretty heavy. I guess you just have to take it song by song.
EY: “Black Roses Red” was your breakthrough song, which was also featured on ‘the sisterhood of the traveling pants’ soundtrack, how did it feel to finally get your music out there?
AG: “Black Roses Red” continuously surprises me. Because of the film it has reached a much broader audience than it otherwise would have. It was a very fun night getting to see it in the film and it has brought me many opportunities like performing on “The Today Show.”
EY: You’ve often been called the next Alanis Morissette, how does that make you feel, and who are some of your musical influences?
AG: Well I have always been a huge fan of Alanis Morissette so I love this comparison. She was very raw and honest in her lyrics and really kind of defined rock/pop music for my generation. Some of my older influences have been Styx, Queen, Aerosmith, Laura Nyro, and Joni Mitchell but more recently I’ve been inspired by bands like U2 and Coldplay.
EY: What was it like performing on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour along with Paramore, Katy Perry and Joan Jett?
AG: The 2009 Vans Warped Tour was by far one of the coolest things I have ever done! It really taught me a lot about which songs audiences like and didn’t like as well as how to perform through anything. A lot goes wrong on festivals like that and you can’t stop the show for any reason! We lived with the saying “The show must go on”! Paramore made a one day appearance that year and they were really great to see live, as I’d never seen them before. I’m afraid Katy Perry and Joan Jett were on the 2008 tour so I didn’t get to meet them or watch what they did!
EY: You were performing at 2 years old, taking piano lessons at 5, and singing and acting by 8, so is it safe to say that being an entertainer was always your dream?
AG: Yes. It has always been my dream and will always be. I honestly have no plan B so if music or acting doesn’t work out I’m pretty screwed. Haha!
EY: You’re also a songwriter, what inspires your lyrics?
AG: It’s funny. I used to wait for inspiration to come naturally through stories that I experienced and things my friends were going through, but after you’ve been writing for so long the stories don’t come around very often! I find myself mostly making things up and drawing on past feelings these days. You can write about anything. If I feel like writing a love song then I make up a love story that I would want to happen to me. If I’m in a bad mood, I might start a song about road rage and end up writing about freedom fighters. When you’re open to anything the imagination can take you a lot of unexpected places.
EY: How would you describe the concept of your first album “Break the Silence”, and how does it differ from your sophomore release “With One Word”?
AG: “Break the Silence” was really written in my early teen years. There’s a lot of sadness and angst in it all about wanting to feel free and express myself. It has a heavier production sound and is very polished. For my sophomore album, “With One Word”, I really tried to look inward and truly write about who I was in that moment. It was more about facing some things and events that had happened that I didn’t want to face. I think the album track “Goodbye Lost Innocence” describes the place I was in pretty perfectly.
EY: There’s a song on ‘With One Word’ called “Cold Day for August”, it’s a beautiful song that seems so personal, what is the story behind the words?
AG: Thank you. That song is very personal to me. It’s a memorial song to a friend of mine that died named August. I was close to him when I was in my early teen years, and though we had lost touch, his death really hit me hard. I guess it just brought to light how fragile our lives are.
EY: “7 Month Itch” is your latest that will be included on your upcoming third album. It has a rockier sound, is that the concept you’re going for with the third album, and when will it be out?
AG: I’ll say again that creativity can take you in many unexpected directions. That had been the template for the new album, but after being in the studio and really going with my gut about production I’m afraid that this song does not really fit with the new music anymore! For the new album I decided to make music that I might want to listen to when I was getting ready to go out or if I needed to feel really confident and powerful. I know that the bands I love always have a time and place when their music sets a particular mood so that’s the mood I decided on. The music is definitely more rock but it is also less dark lyrically. The songs are mostly up-tempo and have many interesting twists. We have not set the exact release date but we are shooting for February or early March.
EY: Other than being an entertainer, you also contribute to various charities and environmental organizations. What are some of the causes that you’re supporting, and what gives you that drive to want to make a difference?
AG: Well the main cause that I support is the Children’s Miracle Network. I’ve actually been going to children’s hospitals and performing at their benefits since I was 12 years old. I really think the research that comes out of those hospitals benefits everyone. The children have taught me the importance of never giving up and are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met.
EY: You’ve done national tours, but how about going overseas?
AG: I would love to go overseas. I went to Ireland this year and am planning to go back. I performed at the biggest Harley Davidson festival there and thought it was a really great experience. It’s really just a matter of time before I get on a tour over there. I also do USO tours where we perform overseas but that is just for the troops. I am hoping for a European tour within the next year.
EY: What is the film “Befallen” about, and what kind of role do you portray in it?
AG: The film actually lost funding so it won’t be made unless money suddenly drops from the sky! The film business has been hit by the bad economy as much or more than other businesses.
EY: Are you working on any other movies, or TV shows?
AG: I was in a film coming out in January called “Country Strong.” I just saw the premiere last week and it was really good! I’m working on getting other acting jobs but it’s a tough time for that business as well.
EY: What’s next for Alana Grace, where do you hope to see yourself in the future?
AG: I am more confident than I have ever been about my career. My goal is to become more well known for my music internationally though radio/internet airplay as well as placement in TV, films and other media. I will continue to take any opportunity to act and host in TV or film. And who knows, I may even open a bakery!
For more information, visit Alana Grace’s Official Website