After her fantastic Low EP, Trace has released a brand new song entitled ‘Oh My My’ and it’s just as wonderful as her others. We spoke to the up and coming artist about her DIY ethic, having a famous mother and life without music.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t for music?
Hmm. I really enjoy doing a lot and having had two careers prior, I feel like it’s safe to say it would definitely be in the creative industry. If music didn’t exist, I could see myself doing something with Creative Direction for brands.
You recorded your Low EP in your apartment, is it true you recorded it all in the bathroom and was there any particular reason for this?
I did! My producer then and I were just looking for the quietest place in my apartment. The bathroom happened to be the best spot for tracking vocals. A small, quiet space haha.
You’ve also self-released your music, is this Do-It-Yourself ethic important in your music?
Starting out I was able to really pull off DIY tactics since I had (and still have) a community of creatives who have helped me greatly along the way. Doing things myself and independently is really important to me, of course–but what is more important to me is doing things that are authentically me.
Have any bands or artists influenced you to think differently about writing, performing or even thinking about music?
Absolutely. There are so many. To name a few I’d say first would be Feist. I just think her skills as a songwriter, singer and musician is beyond–and she’s so low key brilliant. It feels natural which is something I’m trying to hone in on. I’d also say currently Frank Ocean really pushes the way I write and sing and Sampha has challenged my writing overall. I’m thinking different in the sense of knowing that there’s a lot to unearth in my art but that there’s also freedom to explore and try everything and to fail too. Because even with “failing” there is a plethora of tools that come out of it to be used for good–for the golden stuff we are all looking for.
Can you tell us about being the “daughter of a Vietnamese pop icon”, and how that might have influenced you in terms of music?
It’s weird because it feels normal. But every time I read that phrase I realize it’s not! I just think growing up my mom often travelled, had late nights and would also take me along to all her shows or radio interviews or what have you, so it felt like a part of my daily life. Also seeing people love my mom and her music and her voice and her general spirit has been able to impact me in the sense that you could do a hard and time consuming career and also be able to enjoy yourself, share the goods with others and impact people. In that way, I feel like I’ve been discreetly and subconsciously prepped!
You music is very emotive at times, what is the process of turning these emotions into songs?
It looks different every time but it’s usually when I leave a date or go on a walk by myself and have coffee with a friend that a clever phrase is uttered, or a raw emotion is felt. I usually go straight into my Voice Memo and record the thought.
How have you felt with the positive reactions to Low?
It’s completely unreal. Feels unreal. I didn’t have the greatest of expectations for my EP in general but seeing the feedback, especially for the track Low has been a mixture of encouraging, surprising, confirming and well… really emotional.