Behind the Music: Grace Hayes

Grace Hayes, wearing a face mask, makes peace signs with her hands in front of a keyboard and microphone.

Grace Hayes is a multifaceted performance artist from Reno, Nevada. We interviewed this comedic songwriter, producer, poet, musician, model, actress, American Idol alumni, TEDx speaker, and internationally viral content creator to find out what makes her tick (and how her tiktok makes us laugh so much)!

Grace Hayes on TikTok

Ava: What drives you to make music?

Grace: I love songwriting/melody making. Whether it’s somber, serious, wacky or delirious, once I have an idea I have to set music to it. It’s a need. Although sharing this music is optional, it certainly feels good to make tunes that others can enjoy.

A: What has your music journey up to this point looked like? Where do you see yourself going?

G: My musical journey has been turbulent and beautiful! A lot of learning, losing, growing… Hard work, shameless self-promotion in the social media era, and fulfillment through genuine connections made along the way. I see myself continuing to create content for platforms like TikTok that make others laugh, and hopefully they can learn something new.

Whether [the song is] somber, serious, wacky or delirious, once I have an idea I have to set music to it. It’s a need.”

A: What is your biggest inspiration? Are their any musicians you want to share?

G: I enjoy artists that have positive platforms and also a sense of community surrounding them. I am/was inspired by quite a few artists growing up–Ingrid Michaelson, Natasha Bedingfield, Reggie Watts, Regina Spektor, Ben Folds, Rhett & Link, Bo Burnham, & Parry Gripp to name a few stylists/musical comedians. I aspire to be an inspiration to the younger generation, now.

A: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through making music?

G: I believe that although art and music have general rules, they don’t need to be followed closely, or even at all. It is pretty freeing to make some absurd nonsense in such a scheduled, structured world.

A: What’s an accomplishment you’ve made in music that are you’re proud of?

G: My following on TikTok, and managing to get over 16 million views on there. Still hard to wrap my mind around, and very grateful.

A: How do you see the internet and technology impacting your experience as a musician? What was the last piece of technology or product that changed your music practice?

G: I record and edit all of my videos on my phone, and make most of my music either on my phone, laptop, or a combination of both. New apps and algorithms that favor artists are really changing the game, especially on visual mediums. A teleprompter for videos is especially helpful for me, especially for making new videos/songs daily, multiple times a day.

A: You wrote ’Strawberry’ during the pandemic. How were you able to focus and collaborate during these times to finish the song?

G: I had an idea and needed to get it out, thankfully I was able to exchange drafts via email with the gentleman who produced the instrumental track, Allen Lewis. That was all virtual. I wanted to make something lighthearted for a 2020 summer, which has been my weirdest summer to date!

“I aspire to be an inspiration to the younger generation, now.”

You can follow Grace Hayes on

and on her website.

By Ava Z

Ava is a UX Designer and writer for Tonic Audio.