Baker Grace’s new track “Keeper” defies societal pressures and reaches for self-appreciation. The singer garnered more than 23 million Spotify streams in her debut EP “Girl, I Know” in 2019, which was followed by her sophomore EP “Yourz Truly.”
The artist said her single “Keeper” is actually a letter to herself — her own “best friend” and also her “worst enemy.”
“I realized that I was constantly trying to prove that I was worthy and was always putting pressure on myself to always be busy, successful and look beautiful,” Grace said. “My song is a reminder that I’m beautiful and worthy because I am alive, and I am human. I don’t need anyone else but myself to believe it.”
Grace expressed that there is so much pressure and comparison in her generation’s culture.
“It’s hard to fully embrace who you are, flaws and all, when there’s perfection, wealth and fame plastered everywhere,” she said. “But it’s so important to understand that you have meaning and that you deserve to be happy no matter how you look, or what clothes you wear or who you hang out with.”
The music follows the narrative of the lyrics. In the verses, the music is calm and refined as Grace kindly asks herself for some admiration. In the chorus, it becomes more chaotic and dark as she frees herself from the chains of self-doubt.
“I think the idea of being your own guardian angel or ‘keeper’ definitely created interesting imagery. I wanted to bring the conversations I have with myself in my head alive through music,” the singer mentioned.
Baker Grace wants others to live like a child again and to feel love for the first time after hearing “Keeper.”
“I want people to feel worthy, capable and loved because we all can be if we choose to believe it,” she mentioned.
Grace loves to write poetry and derives songs from her poems. When she is inspired, the words start to flow, and she incorporates abstract ideas and poetic language into the lyrics and a melody.
Grace remembered listening to the song on a train back from Connecticut and her producer asking what she thought about the song.
“On the verge of tears, I said, ‘Wait, this is like so cool.’ Sometimes I’m surprised when I listen to songs because when I write, I’m in such a meditative and elated state that I don’t realize what I’ve created until I hear it back,” she confessed.
The singer remembered going into the recording session of “Keeper” feeling a loss of self-worth, but this song helped her gain back control.
“When I was recording the song, the words ‘Don’t you know that you’re not perfect’ definitely hit me hard. It was like me telling myself I didn’t have to be perfect or even close to perfect to be worthy of love, and that was really powerful for me,” she revealed.
According to Grace, the most important line in “Keeper” is “Hold my heart, you’re my keeper. Let your guard down deeper.” Grace said that once she learned to value herself, being vulnerable wasn’t scary anymore.
“I learned that no matter what I gained or lost, no matter how much people loved me or not, I had the strength and courage to respect myself and live to my fullest potential,” she said.
The New Jersey native grew up across the Hudson River from New York. She had always thought very deeply about the world around her.
“I wanted to know anything and everything, and I still do. I love to travel and I love adventure, whether that be wandering the city streets or going to different continents,” she said. “I have always tried to challenge myself and absorb as much information as I can and use that knowledge to help others.”
Grace wants to encourage people to fight for themselves and help them realize that their voices deserve to be heard. “You got one life; don’t waste it because it really is whatever you make of it,” she said.
Singing and songwriting are a way of communicating for Grace. When she can’t explain with just words, she puts her ideas into a song.
“I remember being five years old looking out the car window and making up songs in my head. I loved car rides because they allowed me to be calm and still, knowing I was on a good path and something exciting was ahead,” she reminisced.
She continued, “Music was always a passion for me, and since I was exposed to instruments and songwriting since childhood from my father, that passion or fire was always fueled.”
Grace finished with advice to aspiring singers, “If you really want to have a music career, you have to fully commit. Desire and hard work are just as important as talent,” she said. “Embrace your vision and individuality, but also know when to listen and recognize when someone else knows better.”
Contact Ron Rocky Coloma at rcoloma ‘at’ stanford.edu.