Saygrace Wants the Girls Who Are Told They're 'Doin' Too Much' to Hear Her 'Anthem of Authenticity'

Allison Rhian
Saygrace

Grace Sewell isn't afraid of switching things up. Despite being just 22 yeas old, the Australian singer has already had an entire career in music under the mononymous stage name Grace. But after a brief hiatus, the star left her old persona behind and rebranded herself last month as Saygrace. Now, she's ready to have some fun with your expectations.

In her new video for "Doin' Too Much" (premiering below), Saygrace depicts a world where young girls run rampant, doing what they want when they want, which in this case, involves sticking up a candy store with water guns. For those looking to find the singer in her new video, don't bother -- as with her already-popular gender-bending debut video "Boys Ain't S--t," Saygrace herself does not appear in the video, but is rather replaced by a younger, unrestrained version of herself (played by actress Sasha Milstein) having the time of her life. 

Saygrace has spent the last few years gearing herself up to unveil her new identity to the world, along with her upcoming EP, The Defining Moments of SayGrace: Girlhood, F--kboys & Situationships. She tells Billboard that she after taking some time to free herself from "controlling" situations, she feels that she can do anything. "I reached a point where I was like, 'This is my life, and I have to take control,'" she says. "Saygrace was a way to do that, for me. This is a fresh start, a new chapter."

Billboard talked with Saygrace about her rebranding herself for the public, her problems with the "no longer relevant" performance of gender, and her new music video for "Doin' Too Much."

Where did the inspiration for the "Doin' Too Much" video come from?

Throughout the process of creating this project, the running theme that kept coming up for me was, like, "Damn, I wish I could've gone back in time and given this pearl of wisdom to my younger self." That sparked this trilogy of videos, where we're casting a mini-me, a young Grace to star in it. With "Boys Ain't S--t" being the debut, the title sort of speaks for itself, but we wanted to kind of take the stereotypical things that little boys to do girls and flip it on its head, and show little girls being empowered and badass and teasing the boys in a playful way. On this one, we just wanted to see little girls doing too much, to be quite frank!

The process of the last few years, coming up to this complete rebranding and switching the name and everything, has definitely been about the evolution of truth and discovery. I think, when I started writing the music, I was in this very stagnant place, and I felt very controlled by the people I was working with in the industry. I felt controlled by the standards and norms that female artists are held to. When I wrote "Doin' Too Much," I was like, "F--k this. I'm gonna do what I want, say what I want, dress how I want." It's kind of amongst the EP, the anthem of authenticity for me. 

What has been your biggest change since making the switch from Grace to Saygrace?

I think, honestly, it's just me growing up. I'm coming into my own as a young woman -- when I first started, I was 15, 16 years old, I was a baby. I was completely naive to everything, and it left me in a super vulnerable position, and I 100% got taken advantage of. My voice was minimized and undermined because I was a kid. And I think I reached a point where I was like, "This is my life, and I have to take control." Saygrace was a way to do that, for me. This is a fresh start, a new chapter. So it's all me now, I'm not being filtered at all. It is what it is, and if people connect with it, that's awesome. But it's too much of a burden for me to carry trying to please everybody.

Let's talk for a second about "Boys Ain't S--t" -- that video has already racked up 2 million views in the month since you released it. What does that mean to you, seeing that number rise so quickly?

It is so cool! It's really amazing to see that it's connecting in the way that it is. It's only been out a couple weeks, and I feel like it was all of these nerves and anticipation built up in the few weeks leading up to it being released. So yeah, the people loving it and f--king with it the way they are, it's just so awesome. I can't wait to keep releasing s--t and giving the people more. 

I loved that you were playing so heavily with gender in that video — why was that an important topic for you to tackle, with your first song under your new persona?

I just think that the concept of fitting into a box is no longer relevant. Even on set, talking with the girls that were all dressed up in the suits, half of them were talking about how they hated wearing dresses and loved their suit. I was like, "Yeah man, wear what you wanna wear. It should not be dictated to you that you should wear some frilly dress." It was so cool to see that this is the reality for them. Also, like, I f--king hate wearing dresses! I hate that s--t! So yeah, gender norms is just a dead concept to me. It's no longer relevant to follow these antiquated rules. Music and art should represent that. 


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.