Creativity radiates from every fiber of Addison Grace’s being. Whether she’s writing her next indie-pop heartbreaker, decorating her bright yellow car with flowers and vines, experimenting with her bubbly, androgynous fashion sense or making goofy jokes about being young and queer, Grace is eager to share the contents of her heart with the world.

The 20-year-old, Utah-based singer/songwriter (who is non-binary and uses all pronouns) was always singing throughout her childhood, and she later learned to play the ukulele after some inspiration from YouTube musicians like Dodie, Conan Gray, Tessa Violet, Cavetown and Chloe Moriondo. In her mid-teens, Grace began covering these artists and writing her own songs, and she shared clips of each on Instagram and YouTube, quickly gaining a loyal following. A few years later, she started a TikTok account, initially just to watch videos and entertain herself, but soon after, she began creating her own content, showcasing many facets of her sunny personality. To her surprise, her TikTok audience exploded, quickly ballooning to over 3.5 million followers, all eager to watch her play a snippet of music, make self-deprecating jokes about her feelings or simply dance freely in her outfit of the day.

Grace was drawn to the music of Dodie and other YouTubers because she also saw herself as a shy, artsy teen, and like many of them, she grappled with questions about her sexuality. After realizing that she was bisexual, Grace found catharsis in sharing her experiences online, as well as in her music. Her first single “Sugar Rush” was about her attraction to a girl who only saw her as a friend, and it explored her fear of being outcast for her sexuality. Another song “Honeysuckle” is a celebration of her self-love journey, which she cleverly shrouded in a third-person narrative. Recent single “Party Killer” is her most visceral and playful track yet, displaying her feelings of inadequacy, while also depicting herself as the murderer at an innocent get-together gone horribly wrong.

Grace’s sound is rooted in sweetly-sung indie-pop, though her sonic palette changes just as often as her clothes, hair and makeup do. With subtle hints of folk, rock and R&B, her songs have a light flutter to them, enlivened by tuneful strums, diary-like lyrics and a youthful, expressive glow. Grace has worked with producers like Robin Skinner (Cavetown, mxmtoon, Chloe Moriondo), Elie Jay Rizk (Mazie, Spill Tab) and Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear), and she was joined by Pete Robertson (Beabadoobee, Clairo) on her newest single “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” (out on May 7). The upbeat, dynamic song is a repudiation of the common character trope that demotes whimsical, interesting women to mere sidekicks of their boring male partners.

Though Grace creates art as a coping mechanism and a mode of free expression, she also hopes her content helps people understand themselves more intimately, much like other young creatives did for her. No matter if she’s filming herself styling her curled pixie cut or breaking into an angsty acoustic cover of one of her favorite songs, she wants people to feel a moment of comfort or if nothing more, simply take a breath and smile.

Addison Grace