First place Grace!
Since taking home the crown — not to mention a million dollars — on season 11 of “America’s Got Talent,” 14-year-old Grace VanderWaal has won a spot in the hearts of fans all over the world. Now, she’s pursuing her dreams and opening for the North American leg of Imagine Dragons’ Evolve World Tour all over the country!
Want the 411 on this pint-sized powerhouse? We caught up with Grace for the inside scoop on everything from the first song she ever wrote to the surprising reason she auditioned for “AGT” and more!
Why did you name your debut album “Just the Beginning”?
Grace: I was really stressing out; I wanted it to be perfect. I was in the car with my dad, and he was like, “What if you name it ‘Just the Beginning?’” I loved it! I think it’s just the beginning, really, of music in my life. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. No one does. But I know I’m going to make music in the future no matter what it is—no matter if it’s a number-one hit on the radio or no one ever hears of it. I know I’m still going to make it. This is just the beginning of my music love and career.
Is there one original song that holds a special place in your heart?
Grace: I’m really attached to “Moonlight” because it was my first real song. It was my first music video. It has a lot of personal attachment. It has a lot of firsts to it, or a lot of great memories to it. It was the first song I opened up with on tour. I’m forever remembering walking out onstage on tour.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Grace: It was so bad! It was my first attempt at a real song. It was about the shadow of me underneath the door. [I wrote it] because I was super bored!
What made you decide to audition for AGT—on which you ended up winning the coveted golden buzzer—back in 2016?
Grace: It wasn’t even to be on the show! I had just started going to the open mic every month. You know, the open calls, like the lines? We just wanted to go to that to see all the crazy people line up. I still remember. She called me downstairs. She was lying on the couch. She had a computer. She was like, “Do you want to wait in line for the America’s Got Talent auditions“ I never imagined I would win the golden buzzer. It was just really emotional. A lot of emotions going through me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Grace: The best piece of advice is what my dad always tells me, actually. He always reminds me just to be kind to everyone, no matter what, and always try to be polite, no matter what’s happening. Because you never know when you’re going to meet these people again, or you never know when you’ll see this person again.