When it came time for recording artist JEĀN CLĀUDE to put out his next single, he knew he wanted to be able to give back to the community. With “God of Grace” (premiering exclusively on Billboard below), he’s trying to do just that.
On the brand-new track, CLĀUDE establishes the hardship the world is currently experiencing, but reassures listeners through powerful lyrics and sweeping melodies that in the end of it all, we will pull through. “Hearts are broken, chips are falling,” he sings in the chorus. “Mends are taught to be rough.”
The song is also meant to literally help where it can. The star tells Billboard that he is donating 100 percent of the song’s proceeds to the Recording Academy and its charitable foundation MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund for artists. “I wanted to release this single and help as many other artists as possible. I encourage everyone to find ways to be of service during this uncertain time,” he explains. “Find beauty in solitude, and be the light they want to see in the world.”
For CLĀUDE, the song represents coming out on the other side of a difficult situation, something he says he knows about from his experiences throughout childhood. “Songwriting helped me survive domestic abuse growing up in the midst of the Los Angeles riots,” he explains. “Specifically this track gave me strength and reminded me of my power.”
One of the people who helped him create “God of Grace” was Interpol frontman Paul Banks, who offered some invaluable advice to take the song from a moody ballad to an uplifting anthem. “Paul loved my voice and wanted to add driving percussion throughout,” he says. “His feedback helped me broaden the composition of the song, ultimately merging my classical roots with rock … Having Paul as a mentor in the early stages of my career truly inspired me to complete my full length album.”
CLĀUDE’s album, however, is currently experiencing a delay — the singer had an entire rollout planned, with releases riding on his performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival and a European tour. But with the spread of COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped, while he and his team “had to go back to the drawing board and restructure the entire album release.”
But CLĀUDE isn’t worried — he says that at the end of the day, healing will come. “Amidst the current pandemic, I hope the song will not only aid us in reflecting on how we’ve impacted earth & one another, but also be the anthemic healing we need.”
Check out JEĀN CLĀUDE’s “God of Grace” below: