Nobody can capture the essence of cinematic, emotional indie pop quite like Grace Hughes, who is commonly known on the streets as Yorke. Her new single ‘Thought I Could’ can't get any realer than real. It's an honest tribute and an ethereal masterpiece. Her headline tour is right around the corner, don't miss it! Here's a hint: tickets are right below the interview.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and growing up in Byron Bay.
I was born in Sydney but we moved to Byron when I was 8, which is probably around the same time I wrote my first song. We went from living in a little Sydney suburb to a 13 acres farm with cows and dogs. As a kid, I’d always loved to make up little songs and put on shows, but it was when I started learning piano that I started actually sitting down and writing a song. I’d come home after school and that was my favourite thing to do. I think all of them were love songs… from a 9 year old's perspective.
I was really lucky to have been supported by such a creative community. There was any amount of songwriting competitions, workshops and opportunities. Many people have been extremely supportive of my music from day one, and I know that is a huge reason why I still get to do what I love.
When was the first moment you discovered that you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?
I think I was 8 when I decided I wanted to be a singing, songwriting, marine biologist/ archaeologist when I ‘grew up’. I’m glad one of them came true, haha.
What are a few favourite highlights from your music career so far?
Honestly, everything has been a highlight, haha. I’m constantly just in awe of all the support I’ve had so far.
I think the moment that stands out though would be supporting RUEL on his tour recently.
Who or what inspires you to songwrite?
I think the ability to articulate a moment or emotion forever is something that really inspires me. I’d be lost without words.
What is the meaning behind your latest single, 'Thought I Could'?
‘Thought I Could’ is a really personal song for me. The day I wrote it, I had finally decided to move to Sydney for awhile. I needed to tell someone special that I was planning to do this, but I didn’t know how to find the words. So I wrote a song about it instead, and I never really told them… I just kept saying ‘I’d be back soon’.
Can you share about your past experiences in performing, including opening for RUEL?
As I said before about the RUEL tour, it was incredible! Honestly, it has changed everything for me. It put a lot of things in perspective. His fans are incredibly passionate, and completely embraced my music. At every show, they took the time to learn (and sing very loudly) the 2 songs I had out at the time, they’d try to pick up the words of the other tracks and there was one song that I played acoustically - they’d all get their phone lights out and go completely silent. It was a really special moment for me. I loved every second of it.
I’ve also recently come back from supporting Jack Gray, which was really fun. He is so talented. I’d highly recommend seeing him live if you get a chance.
Earlier in the year, I had a collab with KILTER and joined him at some really great festivals. I’d never played at a festival before, and it was a big goal for me. I loved getting to dance around on stage and connect with the crowd. Ability Fest was a particular highlight for me.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
VERY difficult question. On a writing front, I’d love to get in a session with Julia Michaels or Sarah Aarons. They are incredible writers.
There are so many other artists I’d love to collaborate with… we’ll be here all day.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists and songwriters?
Be patient and keep honing your skills. Get in as many sessions as possible and listen to advice from those around you. But also, trust your instincts. Find studios with studio dogs because they’re guaranteed to make your day 278% better.
Could you drop a couple of hints for fans about your upcoming plans?
Well, I’ve got my first headline shows coming up… and new music on the horizon as well.
Shoutout to Yorke! It has been a pleasure interviewing such a passionate and genuine songwriter.
Check out Yorke's music video below! “there was this moment during one of the sunset takes where the wind was going crazy, the sky was this beautiful shade of orange and every emotion of the song came up at once. It felt frantic and so peaceful at the same time.”
Yorke's 'Thought I Could' Tour
Thursday 8th August
Oaf Gallery, Sydney
Thursday 15th August
The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne