Exclusive: Grace VanderWaal Dishes on Becoming Fender’s Youngest Signature Artist with New Ukulele Launch

Exclusive: Grace VanderWaal Dishes on Becoming Fender’s Youngest Signature Artist with New Ukulele Launch

You go, girl!

Grace VanderWaal just became Fender’s youngest-ever signature artist with the launch of two brand-new ukuleles, and we couldn’t be prouder!

To celebrate, we caught up with the pint-sized powerhouse, who took home the crown on “America’s Got Talent” season 11 and is set to star in upcoming Disney feature film “Stargirl,” to get the inside scoop on everything from what collaborating with the iconic instrument manufacturer means to her to the advice she’d give to beginner ukulele players and more.

“I wanted it to be pretty but also have a good sound. Fender perfectly accomplished that and made my dream ukulele come true,” she gushed.

After working on these ukuleles for almost two years, they’re finally here! How are you feeling?
Grace: It feels super empowering and it’s motivation to keep working and keep doing projects and stuff like that because…I’m just so pleased and content right now!

What does it mean to you to be the youngest-ever Fender signature artist?
Grace: It’s an honor! It’s really fulfilling. It’s just really cool! I get to be really proud of myself, like you know you did something.

Is it less nerve-racking taking the stage with your ukulele in hand than going out empty handed?
Grace: Absolutely! The first time that I sang without the ukulele, I felt so vulnerable. I was just like, ‘what do I do with my hands?’ It’s such a safe feeling. I’m always doing something with my hands…it’s definitely like a safety blanket for me.

What was the first song you ever learned on ukulele?
Grace: I learned “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato. That’s not a song to learn on the ukulele because it’s such a sad, slow song. But I learned it…I remember it clear as day. I was 11.

What inspired you to learn how to play?
Grace: I had a friend from Brazil stay at our house, and she played the ukulele. And it was an instant connection. I just loved it! I loved the sound, I loved everything about it. I loved how easily I picked it up!

What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out on the ukulele?
Grace: I would say just don’t take it too seriously, and just let yourself go with it. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing.

In case you missed it, Grace recently dished on her upcoming album!

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