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View Full Version : Grace VanderWaal - new ukulele playing star in the making.



Mivo
06-09-2016, 07:11 PM
I wonder if she'll become the next ukulele-playing pop star:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxO9MpQ2vA

Great voice for someone so young, and great lyrics too. Curious if she wrote the song herself.

PhilUSAFRet
06-10-2016, 12:38 AM
Holy Crap! I love this kid.....a super star in the making, with or without the uke. Thanks for sharing, I would not want to have missed this.

DownUpDave
06-10-2016, 01:01 AM
Mivo, my sister just sent me this about an hour, I was "holy crap", same as Phil

I take back everything I said about expensive instruments in the "right sound" post, she rocked that Luna tattoo. Might have had a lot to do with her great voice.

Good stuff brother, thanks for sharing

wayfarer75
06-10-2016, 01:23 AM
She's amazing, and yes, she wrote the song too. So funny how she says most of her friends didn't know she sang. Well they do now!

caukulele
06-10-2016, 02:58 AM
A wonderful talent with a unique voice! Hope she continues, I really love her voice and spirit.

Ukulele Eddie
06-10-2016, 04:42 AM
I showed that to my almost 9 years old daughter who loved as much as I did. Amazing what kids can do.

I don't know the song she did. Does anybody?

Croaky Keith
06-10-2016, 05:24 AM
I don't know the song she did. Does anybody?

She said at the start that it was an original.

Hope she makes it, seems to have a nice personality.

Ukulele Eddie
06-10-2016, 07:56 AM
She said at the start that it was an original.

Hope she makes it, seems to have a nice personality.

Thanks, I missed that part. What a talent!

sukie
06-10-2016, 08:11 AM
I can't wait to see what she does for her next number.
I loved her personality.

rappsy
06-10-2016, 08:18 AM
Same here. My daughter sent it to me Wow, what a personality.

mds725
06-10-2016, 09:55 AM
This video has been going viral on Facebook. I watched it four times yesterday. Thanks for posting it here.

wayfarer75
06-10-2016, 10:09 AM
She has a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qc1KM4zgRoOpysqVEaNbw/feed

Kanya
06-10-2016, 11:55 PM
Thanks a lot for sharing this video! She's amazing and she has a great voice!

hendulele
06-11-2016, 02:33 AM
I don't keep up with the music competition shows (though my wife loves them), and it was a delight to see this video before she did and share it with her!! What a charming, talented young lady!

Ukejenny
06-11-2016, 05:30 AM
Even Simon says she will be the next Taylor Swift!!!! What a voice, and what a talent for song writing!!!!

spookelele
06-11-2016, 05:58 AM
She's definitely got "it". There's an honesty to her too that is compelling. Hope she never loses that.

jtelander
07-26-2016, 10:59 AM
Sharp as a tack and cute as a button!

I like her on this song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SbLtb3vv2s

spookelele
07-27-2016, 03:08 AM
Grace is unusually gifted, and it looks like she's bound for greatness.
But part of that, is going to be being a public figure.
Art in a vacuum isn't art, it must be shared to be experienced.
You can't emote, and share yourself without letting people peer into your soul.

On the one hand, it's troubling to see someone young thrust into a spotlight they may not be ready for.
But on the other hand, she seems mature beyond her years, and grounded in a way most adults can't match.

She has to be given the freedom to grow, and sometimes part of growing up is falling down.

Papa Bear
08-24-2016, 06:25 AM
Her latest performance. They are definitely marketing her as the next Taylor Swift. The backdrop is very similar to Taylor's staging in concert.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/08/24/agt-star-grace-vanderwaal-bigger-than-taylor-swift/89245642/
She got rid of the Luna. I can't tell what brand this is, but I do believe it's solid Koa.

whmeltonjr
08-24-2016, 06:53 AM
Her latest performance. They are definitely marketing her as the next Taylor Swift. The backdrop is very similar to Taylor's staging in concert.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/08/24/agt-star-grace-vanderwaal-bigger-than-taylor-swift/89245642/
She got rid of the Luna. I can't tell what brand this is, but I do believe it's solid Koa.

There was a youtube video where she talked about her ukes she has, and that is a custom her mom had made. Its a Bruce Wei, which she mentions in the comments section of this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaYqVHE9_A0

Toucan Mango
08-24-2016, 08:10 AM
She is awesome!! I wish her the best. And as a little bonus, During her interview last night I saw she uses my hangers to hang her ukulele collection, that was cool. :cool:

Papa Bear
08-31-2016, 03:08 PM
Here's her third performance on AGT. She's losing her voice. I hope she can even sing the next show. I have to say this performance was pretty substandard compared to the other two. She was using the Luna again and I think she had a problem with it because she didn't play it most of the song.
I hope her mom makes her rest her voice for a few days. Otherwise, she may have to drop out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTCNXvSWgsE

Sharpshin
08-31-2016, 06:41 PM
She may be the best thing to happen to the ukulele in quite a while. Third performance on AGT and she mostly aced it. Vunerable, catchy, confident lyrics and that crackle in her voice that makes her sound so much older than she actually is. To think that someone that young could hold up under that much pressure just astounds me. What a special family she must have to provide support, to allow her to follow a dream, and to encourage her confidence!

kohanmike
08-31-2016, 07:53 PM
She made it through. Hard to say how far she can go despite Howie's prediction. By this stage I would guess all of the performers are going to have very successful careers.

Iulia
09-01-2016, 01:51 AM
I've not really been following the show - she has an extremely interesting voice for her age - and I imagine its been a great boost for people running uke clubs and school programmes.

I'm always just a bit ambivalent about talent shows as high profile as this being open to all ages.

cua94
09-01-2016, 02:13 AM
I worry about her voice too. I don't know if her voice is mature enough to take the stress of all the performing. I don't know much about voices but I had a chorus teacher who said her voice was ruined by early voice training...she sounded like a frog.

spookelele
09-01-2016, 03:14 AM
She was using the Luna again and I think she had a problem with it because she didn't play it most of the song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTCNXvSWgsE

I think the amp wasn't working, and what you hear is it coming in through her mic rather than the pickup.

wayfarer75
09-01-2016, 05:59 AM
I have concerns about her voice too, I think she needs a good singing teacher who can help her protect it as she grows. Her speaking voice is gravelly.

I have no concerns about her song writing ability, she's great, no matter her age.

UkerDanno
09-01-2016, 07:46 AM
She was using the Luna again and I think she had a problem with it because she didn't play it most of the song.

I think that's a different Luna from the first show, this one is a tattoo...

I worry more about the big networks and recording companies ruining her sweet, innocent presence.

There was this adorable, talented little British girl on Britains got Talent a few years ago, wonder what ever happened to her?

this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZReRCzl5BI

Iulia
09-01-2016, 10:30 AM
my point exactly. If someone is talented at 12, they should be still talented at 15. Or 16. But if the only appeal is cuteness, you have a shelf life of a yoghurt, and who wants kids exposed to that??

wayfarer75
09-01-2016, 10:33 AM
I think that's a different Luna from the first show, this one is a tattoo...

I worry more about the big networks and recording companies ruining her sweet, innocent presence.

There was this adorable, talented little British girl on Britains got Talent a few years ago, wonder what ever happened to her?

this, you can skip to the 1:30 mark for the song...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hze0OIgQJkg

Her audition was with a Luna Tattoo. The first live show was a Bruce Wei, and this week she's back to the Luna.

Connie's still singing, she's pretty cute, isn't she? You don't have to win these shows to have a good career. All you need is some exposure. If Grace has a nice family, she should grow up okay and not turn into a train wreck.

Papa Bear
09-04-2016, 02:38 AM
Here is the video where she talks about her ukuleles. Skip to about the 3/4 point. A lot of personal stuff in the beginning.
Apparently, she damaged the Bruce Wei custom (with the heart soundhole) 5 days before her AGT audition. She had to get the Luna to make do for the audition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRqJQ0wHVaM

Choirguy
09-04-2016, 04:44 AM
Thanks for the video. I love that she purchased her first ukulele at 11. I've been educated about the Bruce Wei ukulele customs (incredibly inexpensive but apparently they don't always sound great, which doesn't matter if you are using a pickup). If I were at a ukulele manufacturer, I would be working to sign the young lady to a contract, have her play our ukuleles, and get a custom (mass replicated) model out ASAP. I would have done that the day after her first audition. The ukulele "pros" aren't in the public eye as a whole. As great as Jake Shimabukuro and James Hill are, 21 Pilots have had far more of an impact on (current) kids being interested in ukulele. Grace, with all of the attention she is getting, could be the driver for a lot of ukulele sales.

As a middle school teacher, a singer, and now a ukulele player, Grace's rise to fame has been fascinating for me to watch.

She seems incredibly grounded for a 12-13 year old, and while she has incredible "adult" moments, she is also still a kid. It seems like she has great support at home with a supportive family. From her own description, she sounds a bit like she is on her own at school (small group of friends) which isn't surprising--many of my best "music" students have shared that level of social integration.

I am simply blown away by her songs--I have never had a student in twenty years of teaching (middle school or high school) that has been able to write songs like she does. While the harmonic sequence of her songs seem to be pretty basic (let's be honest...the same is true for many songs), she is able to craft songs with memorable, catchy tunes.

There is no doubt that her "whole package" is part of her appeal (appearance, personality, instrument, her own songs), and it is unlikely she would get the same shot if she were 21 or 35.

I do worry about her speaking voice and singing voice a little bit, as a singer and teacher of voice. The "gravely" parts of her voice are not healthy, and while that sound is part of her appeal, it may not serve her well in the long run. I am hoping that they are working with or seeking a good voice teacher that can help her develop her own style (which is usually not the case) yet avoiding vocal disfunction.

I don't know what her "lasting power" will be, or if she will even choose to pursue music after high school (she still has 5 or 6 years of school before then). But for this period of time, she is bringing joy and encouragement to a lot of people, and if this is "it," six months in the national eye without losing yourself is a pretty good run in and of itself, too.

Papa Bear
09-13-2016, 08:08 PM
OK. She's not Clay. My daughter's going to laugh when she sees that Grace was playing the exact model Kala that she loved playing at Sam Ash on the way to seeing the Legend of Zelda Orchestra concert. Even the same color! Grace has found her niche. Even if she doesn't win the final, she'll get a recording deal.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a0RWW0bPnk

wayfarer75
09-14-2016, 03:00 AM
That was great! I think her voice sounded better/healthier in this video than the previous one. She seemed less nervous, and performed very well.

And UAS seems to have taken hold of her too! ;)

UkerDanno
09-14-2016, 03:20 AM
Yeah, her voice sounded better, the song wasn't that great. Maybe she should have done a cover...saw her do Exes and Ohs, it was awesome.

It's in post #17...

kohanmike
09-14-2016, 06:59 AM
OK. She's not Clay. My daughter's going to laugh when she sees that Grace was playing the exact model Kala that she loved playing at Sam Ash on the way to seeing the Legend of Zelda Orchestra concert. Even the same color! Grace has found her niche. Even if she doesn't win the final, she'll get a recording deal.

Yep. This final group of performers are probably the best the show has ever had (or as good as Terry Fader from season one) and no doubt most of them will go on to very successful careers. Case-in-point, one of my tenants was on American Idol this past season, Mackenzie Bourg, who came in 4th place and still got a recording contract. He's recording an album right now (he even asked me and other members of The CC Strummers to play uke on one of his songs).

Sharpshin
09-14-2016, 12:22 PM
I loved it. She is a song writer. There are some great performers on AGT this season and this 12 year old is right up there with them. She is honest and present. May she continue her craft building.

wayfarer75
09-14-2016, 04:29 PM
Aw, she won! I thought she would. She does not seem to fit in with the Vegas crowd as much as The Clairvoyants, though. Best of luck to her and the other contestants. Always good to see talent recognized.

(But man, does the show have to be so dramatic? I thought Grace was going to have several heart attacks as they kept eliminating people. Goes to show why I never watch these things...)

sukie
09-14-2016, 04:42 PM
YAY FOR HER!!!! She did good.

Joyful Uke
09-14-2016, 04:52 PM
Aw, she won! I thought she would. She does not seem to fit in with the Vegas crowd as much as The Clairvoyants, though.

My understanding from another site is that the winner only plays something like 3 days in Vegas, and not a regular Vegas show.
I'd agree that she's not a Vegas act, but hopefully she'll help interest lots of youngsters in ukulele!

whmeltonjr
09-14-2016, 04:53 PM
Lots of controversy on social media. People saying she didn't deserve it etc. I'm very happy for her, and couldn't disagree with the naysayers more. She writes her own music, can sing, and plays an instrument. Thought it was well deserved.

Joyful Uke
09-14-2016, 04:58 PM
Lots of controversy on social media. People saying she didn't deserve it etc. I'm very happy for her, and couldn't disagree with the naysayers more. She writes her own music, can sing, and plays an instrument. Thought it was well deserved.

I hope that she is up to handling all the negative comments. Hard for anyone, let alone someone so young. Many of the comments that I saw, though, seemed stuck on the Vegas act idea, (she's not the typical Vegas act), but if the Vegas part is really only 3 days, then it really doesn't matter. I bet that some of the others will get a Vegas contract, and Grace will move on to a recording career. I have mixed feelings about someone so young being in the spotlight like this, but hope that she can handle it.

UkerDanno
09-14-2016, 05:39 PM
But man, does the show have to be so dramatic? I thought Grace was going to have several heart attacks as they kept eliminating people. Goes to show why I never watch these things...)

Exactly...I taped it and will watch later, did she perform again? If not, I'll just erase it...

kohanmike
09-14-2016, 08:26 PM
Exactly...I taped it and will watch later, did she perform again? If not, I'll just erase it...

Yes, she performed again. She's so good, but I also don't see her as an ongoing Vegas show. She will definitely have a career. I actually wasn't expecting her to win, I thought Lincoln Bridge had a good chance.

Croaky Keith
09-14-2016, 09:59 PM
I expect to see uke sales rise as everyone tries to emulate her. :)

No, but seriously, I think uke sales will go up, especially in the U.S., on the back of her win, which can't be a bad thing, because it will give a more lasting exposure for our favourite four stringed friend.

wayfarer75
09-15-2016, 03:00 AM
My understanding from another site is that the winner only plays something like 3 days in Vegas, and not a regular Vegas show.
I'd agree that she's not a Vegas act, but hopefully she'll help interest lots of youngsters in ukulele!

Oh, well that's different. I thought it was like a year-long residency. That would be kind of crazy for a 12-year-old anyway, regardless of what kind of performer she is.

There were so many wonderful acts that made it to the final. I hope the exposure helps them get great gigs!

UkieOkie
09-15-2016, 05:57 AM
We loved it. My 7 year old has a Luna tattoo. She was super jazzed.

lfoo6952
09-15-2016, 08:25 AM
I predict she will be the next Taylor Swift. She has the same qualities: writes her own songs, has beauty and personality, can sing and play an instrument.

igorthebarbarian
09-15-2016, 08:46 AM
The popularity of the ukulele ebbs-and-flows. This should in theory give it another rise, after it kind of dipped recently.
That's good news for this forum.



I expect to see uke sales rise as everyone tries to emulate her. :)

No, but seriously, I think uke sales will go up, especially in the U.S., on the back of her win, which can't be a bad thing, because it will give a more lasting exposure for our favourite four stringed friend.

UkerDanno
09-15-2016, 09:25 AM
I predict she will be the next Taylor Swift. She has the same qualities: writes her own songs, has beauty and personality, can sing and play an instrument.

I'd rather see her being the next ukulele playing Sheryl Crow...

Suppose she'll transition to guitar?

hoosierhiver
09-15-2016, 10:15 AM
Hope to see her playing at some uke fests in the future

UkerDanno
09-15-2016, 04:01 PM
Hope to see her playing at some uke fests in the future

^^^YEAH!^^^:shaka:

PhilUSAFRet
09-15-2016, 04:20 PM
She should come out with a "Gracelele"....might sell a bunch.

Papa Bear
09-16-2016, 02:06 AM
She should come out with a "Gracelele"....might sell a bunch.

Agreed. She needs to develop an elaborate signature so it can be printed on it. Price point at about 149.00 would be ideal.

I suspect she will be shopping for some more ukes after winning that million bucks.

sukie
09-16-2016, 04:00 AM
Agreed. She needs to develop an elaborate signature so it can be printed on it. Price point at about 149.00 would be ideal.

I suspect she will be shopping for some more ukes after winning that million bucks.

I figure most ukulele companies will be sending her free ones. And which company will sponsor her? Or has Kala already done so?

Good for her.

hoosierhiver
09-16-2016, 07:08 AM
This is great,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHmb-akpbJM

Nickie
09-16-2016, 12:15 PM
I think it's possible she's a child prodigy. I hope that they let her be a kid, and let her finish school with her friends. Rushing a child to stardom can be very harmful, as we all know.
And yes, she needs a good voice coach. Singing while untrained can cause permanent damage.
I think for now, she's great for the ukulele biz. I hope the biz will be good for her.

UkerDanno
09-16-2016, 01:08 PM
I think it's possible she's a child prodigy. I hope that they let her be a kid, and let her finish school with her friends. Rushing a child to stardom can be very harmful, as we all know.
And yes, she needs a good voice coach. Singing while untrained can cause permanent damage.
I think for now, she's great for the ukulele biz. I hope the biz will be good for her.

Yes! I already heard her talking about online school! She's 12, she should finish school where she is and play and write and have fun!

Joyful Uke
09-16-2016, 01:25 PM
Yes! I already heard her talking about online school! She's 12, she should finish school where she is and play and write and have fun!

She's probably under contract now, and has lost that option. That's one reason I hate when someone that young goes on those shows, (and in this case, wins.) Hopefully, she has a very supportive, stable family who can help her through all the upheaval she's about to experience.

Michael N.
09-17-2016, 02:46 AM
She's got long fingers. They are longer than mine but I'm 40 years her senior! That croaky type voice is certainly a big part of the charm. Very talented.

OhioBelle
01-16-2017, 04:08 AM
Sitting home watching daytime TV with my morning coffee. I never do this, but it's MLK Day and I am off work.

What to my surprise but Grace VanderWaal appears with her ukulele on Live with Kelly. She sang her original song "I don't Know My Name" and I was struck once again by what a great performer she is.

Kelly asked what she did with the million dollars she received as winner of America's Got Talent. Grace's answer? She bought a puppy!

She looked totally cute and funky with her cat ear headband and f-hole ukulele. And today is her 13th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Grace!

96951

Debussychopin
01-16-2017, 09:25 AM
She is so wonderful. She is very passionate about her music and is very talented and openly sincere. I enjoyed the one video she had explaining all the ukuleles she owns. She goes through them explaining them like any UU member would do.