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Grace Weber Details Upcoming Album With The Social Experiment, Shares New Single 'Elated': Exclusive

Grace Weber
Lloyd Pursall

Grace Weber

Milwaukee native Grace Weber is arriving to the music scene as a solo artist with a bit of clout following collaborations with Chance The Rapper and Francis & The Lights -- the former earning her a GRAMMY as a co-writer and singer on Coloring Book -- but she’s not even close to showing the world what she can do when the mic is all hers.

On her upcoming debut album, set to drop in early 2018 via Big Mouth Entertainment, Weber is joined by esteemed production team The Social Experiment, led by Peter Cottontale, Nate Fox, and Nico Segal. The group first made waves with Chance The Rapper on the 2015 collab album Surf, and now they’re continuing their boundary-pushing partnerships with Weber, who will be the first female artist and first singer to have an album produced solely by The Social Experiment.

As the new kid in the studio, Weber was unsure how she would fit into their established process at first, but she was pleasantly surprised to be immediately embraced into an environment where ideas drove everything and structure was only a hindrance.

“We didn’t really talk that much about it in the beginning, we just started creating,” Weber recalls. “I instantly felt this feeling of limitless potential and creativity, and my imagination opened up because there were no rules.”

Brainstorming sessions operated like a chain reaction as one member of the crew picked up an idea that sparked the next step and continued until the combined skills of everyone present mixed into an elaborate and delectable concoction. This process would start differently for each song, according to Grace, and would not always end with a neat, finished work. In fact, the journey of Grace’s latest single “Elated” spans almost the entirety of the creation of her debut record, starting with one of the first studio sessions with The Social Experiment.

What began as some piano noodling and vocal improvisations recorded on an iPhone with Cottontale at her Airbnb in Los Angeles became an exercise in vocal manipulations, harmonies, and a pooling of talent that makes “Elated” such a testament to their collective vision. Within hours, Grace’s “mumbling words” were pitched down by Cottontale, transforming the gibberish into a decipherable word that inspired the song’s title.

The accidental discovery caused Weber to pull a thread on an emotion that unveiled the purpose and potential for “Elated.” “Starting a song for me always comes from the natural moment of a lyric and a melody falling out of me and that being my first little breadcrumb to understanding where the song is supposed to go,” Weber tells Billboard.

The song was put on the backburner as Weber fleshed out the lyrics, but there were still a few missing pieces that required some time and extra hands to fill. During The Social Experiment’s preparations for Chance’s Coloring World tour, Weber was put in touch with the Chicago-based “Sunday Candy” singer Jamila Woods, who helped move “Elated” into its next phase.

“Jamila was choosing a couple of [melodies]... that I don’t usually choose, in a really good way,” Weber raves. “Those little rhythmic things helped me really, like, dance with the song.”

The final product is a euphoric delight that offers many of The Social Experiment’s touchstones, such as the bouncy rhythm section and Segal’s rich, brass accompaniment, with the welcome addition of Weber’s versatile vocals -- which move between high exuberance and deep soul.

Weber embodies the lighthearted “self-love song” with the spirit that she could “really ‘go in’ vocally on this song in a way that is very freeing for me.” It’s the perfect example of the artist having the right tools to paint the honest portrait of herself that she hopes to present on her debut. However, as someone who has already garnered the type of acclaim that many artists aspire for, Weber faced the daunting task of making an introduction that would stand above her past work on its own merits.

“A lot of it was just like relaxing into the process of creating, and not putting any expectations on what I’m supposed to be, and just instead being in the moment and taking steps towards being who I actually am,” Weber says. “When you listen to it from the top to the bottom, that’s when you really understand my sound and that’s when you really understand the range of what I’m trying to get across.”

Check out “Elated” below and find it on all platforms here.

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