Althea Grace has always known the kind of music that she wanted to create — she once performed a Jimi Hendrix song at an elementary school talent show. Growing up in Chicago, Althea was exposed to the local music scene at a young age, jamming with people who were at least twenty years her senior. “I grew up playing and listening to [blues music] and as I got older, I kind of changed it into my own thing. I took all of the influences of blues and classic rock and jam bands and kind of molded it into a lot more contemporary music,” she says.
To Althea, creating music that could be conceptualized as ‘contemporary’ doesn’t mean that she has to completely abandon her roots. “[My music] sounds contemporary now but it’s still completely natural. It’s just brought out of that blues/rock world a little bit,” she explains.
By the age of 18, Althea has already released a self-produced solo album, as well as a record with her duo Future Stuff, which is comprised of herself and fellow singer-songwriter Gabe Burdulis. Althea’s newest release, her Dreamers EP, is set to drop this Friday.
The EP, which is comprised of 4 tracks, marks an evolution of Althea’s music making process. On her first album, Running the Show, Althea took the reins and recorded and produced the entire thing, with the help of some local musicians who lent their talents. For Althea, who always thought of herself as a musician first, lyrics came secondary. As she’s grown and evolved, she found herself honing in and perfecting her craft, including her songwriting, which she now considers to be at the forefront.
By the time she recorded Dreamers, she gave local musician Doyle Bramhall II full permission to produce the album. “That was a really weird thing for me to let go of because I was so used to doing everything,” she admits, “Now I focus more on the lyrics and take more of a musical input from other people.”
Althea Grace met Bramhall at a show in Chicago. The pair connected over their love of music and Bramhall’s new solo record, which was the first one he had released in 15 years. Eventually, Bramhall invited Althea Grace and her band to tour the country with them in 2016. Afterwards, they started work on Dreamers.
“Trapped,” she tells us, was her favorite song on the EP to write. A song about growing up and coming out of your shell, the track is a great reminder to love yourself first. “That’s kind of the theme of the EP — being myself and feeling comfortable being myself. Everyone should feel the same!”
You can catch up with Althea on social media at:
And be sure to be on the look out for her new EP, Dreamers, which drops tomorrow!