By Evie Fowler
Get ready, Memphis. 901 based singer/songwriter, Grace Askew is coming in hot with her new, self-produced album, “Denim and Diesel.”
Photo by Robert W. Dean
With the voice of an angel and songs that pack a punch, Grace Askew has already left her mark on Memphis’ music scene at just 31 years old. Askew started out playing chapel services at St. George’s High School and at 19, began pursuing music professionally. When reflecting on her time making music in Memphis, she said, “There definitely is an authenticity to the music [being made in Memphis]. There always has been. There isn’t this stifling sense of an industry breathing down our necks here which is a good thing, I think, because it allows us to create whatever we want … .” This creative environment has been the workplace of Askew for the last 12 years, a time in which she has written and released multiple singles and albums.
Her next album, though, was made differently from all the rest. Over the past two years, Askew has been experimenting with a songwriting challenge; everyday, she posts a prompt on Instagram and her followers post a word describing it. She then puts at least ten of those words into a song that same day. As of today, Aug. 22, she is on song 599. For her album, she chose to highlight 12 of these songs, which she described as having a “lived-in” sound, from days one through ninety to record and release.
In addition to writing the songs and recording them in her own studio, both impressive acts in themselves because most artists choose to only focus on the writing and performing aspects of their craft, Askew also produced this entire album. While many could have caved under the pressure of wearing all those hats, she has, no pun intended, handled it with “grace.” She said, “I got my buddy to engineer it and be there for all of the recording sessions, but it was in my own house … I produced it myself, and I don’t think we see a lot of women doing that in the industry these days, so it’s nice to carry that torch.” For all of the young women out there carrying torches of their own, she added, “Never doubt your vision for yourself, because that’s what is meant to happen for sure … every time … go with your gut.”
Askew’s album, “Denim and Diesel,” which she says focuses on storytelling, will come out on all digital media platforms on Aug. 30.
Updated August 28th, 2019 at 8:50pm.
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