With singles featured on local and global smooth jazz radio stations, Grace Brancale has grown her audience across 216 countries.
Considering that her first release was just in August 2017, and almost 20 releases since, many across the US and around the world have reached out to her to let her know they are a fan of her music because of its universal appeal and their personal connection with it. Her musical roots, as a multi-instrumentalist, classically trained pianist and composer are her tools creating a multitude of music on a daily basis.
Grace has received the attention of Guinness World Records who has invited her to attempt at a world record this year.
We would like to welcome Grace Brancale to JazzMonthly.com.
Jazz Monthly: Releasing a CD is usually something that an artist does once a year or longer. It has been said that you released nearly 20 albums in a year! That is incredible! How did this come about?
Grace Brancale: Thank you very much. I just approved the releases for albums 20 and 21 tonight and preparing the releases for albums 23 and 24. I enjoy the entire process of creation, production, delivery, and marketing very much. I fall in love with every song and every album and just when I think I've felt the most fulfillment in producing and releasing the current album, I fall in love just as much again with the next song and the next album that I am inspired to create. There really wasn't much to how it came about other than just deciding one day that I was going to just share everything positive, atmospheric, inspiring, healing, relaxing, loving, etc. conveyed in audio imagery I would paint with sounds to anyone in the world that wants or needs it and that I would share it as each inspiration arrived.
In no time, what was one album became 2, then 3, and then before I knew it I had reached 19 and now 21 about to get to 24. Like what they say: if you love what you do, it does not feel like work, you don't feel tired by it, you are immersed in it. For me, it's been like reading a best seller, series of books that I can't wait to get to the next volume and you just want to read it all, and you're so satisfied by it that you cherish the idea that there is more to come. Funny, it just occurred to me that I was this way as a kid, going to the library and reading entire collections over several weeks. I guess that's what caught the eye of Guinness World Records to think I might just have a shot at attempting a world record, but I'm thinking about it. I'm just letting the language of music take me as far as it would like to go. I can also liken this to a writer or a poet. Once you learn how to tap your inner writer or poet, there's no limit to what you can communicate. For me, it's being able to speak the language of music. The more you speak it, the more you immerse yourself in it, the more fluent you become.
JM: Vacations Vol 1 includes many musical blends along with smooth hypnotic arrangements. Where do you pull this vast inspiration?
GB: I recognize that inspiration is a personal capability that makes each artist unique and special in what they can tap into in the ocean of creativity. For me, before I draw my straw into the ocean of creativity, it starts with asking myself what I want to give to the world and the people who would own the music. For Vacations Vol. 1, I wanted to give everyone an easy and immediate vacation, getaway, or recharge of batteries when they wanted it without the cost and time away. Things can get tough for all of us these days, but it never means that we are any less deserving or wanting a vacation filled with relaxation, great memories, or moments that make us feel completely rejuvenated. Once I have my wish for the world, I think about the atmosphere and story the music has to tell, and what it has to say to transport the person's five senses to that moment, that place, that memory, and I just go with what comes to mind.
JM: When you compose, do you have the complete song in your mind or do you create with an idea and over time write the song in stages. Any special writing method?
GB: Hmmm. This is an interesting question. For me learning how to speak the language of music is the best metaphor I share with you. I kind of evolved as a composer over time. I remember composing my first piece when I was 3 sitting at the piano oblivious to everyone in the house because all I was immersed in was hearing what the notes were saying. Then for a time life was typical when we're all too busy to think about anything else but day-to-day things. When the school band years and private music lessons opened me up to opportunities to learn and play the piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums, guitar, organ, baritone, pan flute, flute, etc. in my teen years, I remember the work was to learn how to read and play the music sort of like spelling words and making sentences. As years rolled by and I performed with groups, in concerts, and competitions, I started to develop an almost urgent desire to need to speak the music not just play it.
As a young adult and early in my professional career, I started to compose but it would be very limited starting with an idea, writing the song in stages taking a few years to do a handful of songs (2 or 3 if I was lucky), but I was fulfilled because I felt like I was finally interacting with music like a writer able to speak it on my terms. Speaking meaning composing the music and playing it. Then like all of us, life got tough and busy again and the music composition went silent. I spoke not a word of it for years even though I played on occasion. I was so rusty that I remember my mind and playing feeling forced. Then I experienced a sudden change a little over a year ago and almost overnight music started arriving in complete songs in my mind and I could hear everything about what it needed to sound like, what musical voices I had to use, what key, what tempo, rhythms, moods, transitions, etc. and what it wanted to be named and the picture it was painting.
One song a day, suddenly became 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. whenever the inspiration arrived. I described it to my family as like being given the privilege of being able to visit our Almighty's music room anytime and feeling really humbled by the opportunity to bring that inspiration to this world, because I'm just an average person. Often the music is in the air like radio waves and sound waves and at those moments I am immersed in it. What's interesting is that I also write lyrics, and often some of the songs come into my mind with complete lyrics and full orchestration. I just haven't had time to do the amount of singing needed with my compositions, but I plan to. I even have a set of compositions I hope to have the time and courage to perform in acapella for an album.
JM: Did you grow up with music at a young age? When did you start learning? First instrument?
GB: I guess I already answered a bit earlier. My apologies. So I'd like to make a distinction between when I started playing and when I started learning. I started play at 3 on the piano preferring to play the upright to the 2-octave baby piano designed for my size because the notes were not pleasing, and wondering when my hands would be big enough to span an octave. Sometimes I would play duets from when I was 3 to 5 years old with my grandfather. I couldn't read words yet at that age let alone music, but I knew how to play what I wanted. I started learning at 12 almost several instruments at the same time because the bands, orchestras I was with was always short one instrument or another and I didn't mind learning something new in a hurry.
JM: What do you think was the defining moment when you decided that you have this passion for music?
GB: When I was 3 and instead of napping in the afternoon while my mother was busy with chores at the end of the house, I'd jump out of bed and quietly sneak into the living room and pile up books to be able to climb up on the piano bench and open it to feel the ivory keys. Pressing one note was mesmerizing, pressing two in harmony was hypnotic, pressing many and with two hands doing different things transported me into another time where I felt I was not limited by the frustration of thinking I would remain the size of a 3 year old forever.
JM: How would you characterize Grace Brancale?
GB: An average person that loves music, that writes, performs and releases it worldwide because I am inspired, shares it because it's a universal language that as a human race we can enjoy, relax, be inspired, be healed, be rejuvenated, be energized, be transported, be empowered by. I have always received similar gifts from the music of all the great artists and fellow artists that inspired me and that still inspire today. Music is in everyone and in that spirit we are all artists in some way.
JM: Listeners from 216 countries have been enjoying your music and many have reached out to you. Are there any songs your fans favor or is it pretty much across the board? What are some of your favorite songs on Vacations Vol 1?
GB: Immediate and ongoing fan favorites since the first day of release have been 9 out of the 10 songs on the album (usually certain countries would prefer certain ones over others, but pretty much almost the whole album): Easy Morning, Staycation, Luxury Cruise, Sandy Shores, The Magician, Woody Rain Forest, Tropical Paradise, Festivals, and Starry Tropical Night. I love them all and listen to them when I want to experience a quick getaway. I work all the time and this is my vacation too that I'm sharing. While not as popular as the other 9, I also love Wings to Relaxation. This song is different from the others in that it is not about a destination or a vacation activity. It is about the moments of renewing exhale you can experience when traveling to your vacation spot. In this case, it is your flight to your vacation destination and you are soaring above the clouds on a sunny day, in a sunset moment, or sparkling night sky in your silver eagle, the airplane, and all you feel is every part of you relaxing and preparing for some R&R.
JM: Can you give us a brief insight on how you record your music? Any specific equipment you enjoy using for your productions?
GB: I use my computer, my instruments, my 5 synthesizers, my microphone to record the music and edit it until I get the sound I want. I like to layer tracks and find that I can't write and play it as fast as it is appearing in my mind.
JM: You are releasing your HOLIDAYS COLLECTION worldwide this week. Tell us more about your new holiday release.
GB: It's a 30-song collection. A few originals in there about a hot cup of cocoa, decorating a tree, and a quiet winter's day at home. You'll find all the favorites traditional and classical but redone in a smooth jazz, contemporary dialect.
JM: What are your goals now that you are an international recording artist? How will you work your busy creative and personal schedule for your many fans eager to hear more from Grace Brancale?
GB: To keep composing, performing, and releasing music as inspiration comes and whenever I would like to tap into the ocean of creativity. I hope that my music could also be used for commercial applications too as my work has also been likened to folks who compose for movies and TV series. I would like someday to be able to hone my craft for therapeutic and medical applications, because I believe music can help someone heal and grow in positivity and good health. I want my music to be a body of work and inspiration that everyone can enjoy anytime.