When Grady told a woman he was dating that he loved her, she responded, matter-of-factly: “I think you love the idea of me.” Perhaps unintentionally, it’s a sick burn, and it “punched me harder than Logan Paul when she said it,” says Grady.
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He pours that feeling, mixing in love’s first rush, right into his new song “The Idea of You,” a collaboration with pop trio lovelytheband. The first night Grady met the young woman in question, he built out the song’s barebones instrumental. “We were having a party at my house, and I saw her smoking a cigarette with one of my friends, so naturally I put my finger in her nose and we sort of just clicked,” he tells American Songwriter. “Somehow we ended up in the studio that I had in the garage.”
Months later, someone from his team suggested he “should finish” the song, “then boom,” he recalls. “One night, Mitchy was over and I was playing part of my new album, and he said he wanted to do this song together.” Mitchy Collins, lead vocalist of lovelytheband, chimes in about the collaboration, “Grady is a good friend and talented songwriter. He played me the song as it was in the works and I connected with the hook lyric instantly.”
Take my life and make it yellow / Even if I’m scared to settle / Love to kiss you on the face, swoons Grady with the wonderfully lovesick second verse. I’m in love with all your freckles / Maybe I’m not like the guys / That you pick most of the time.
Having been friends with Collins for roughly a year, Grady didn’t meet the other band members, Sam Price and Jordan Greenwald, until tracking live drums and the other instruments in the studio. “Jordan’s terrible at taking group photos, but they’re both really great guys,” quips Grady. “I’d put Sam in the top three funniest people that have a mustache and glasses that I’ve ever met.”
Originally from Santa Barbara, Grady credits his parents’ “good taste in music” and “general teen angst” as the catalysts driving him into music-making. In his work to date, the bedroom-pop mastermind frequently pulls from Beck’s playbook into his own unique perspective. In between his solo release, beginning with a string of singles in 2018, he has amassed quite a writing and producing resume, including cuts with Noah Cyrus (“All Three”), The Chainsmokers & Kygo (“Family”), and Ant Saunders (“Spoiled”), among countless others.
Both endeavors (writing for himself and producing for others) satiates a vastly different creative hunger. “Producing and writing for yourself is being the captain of the ship while doing this for others is like being the first mate. You’re throwing all of your identity into a project versus trying to find out how much of yours to throw in to compliment theirs,” he reflects. “I think it’s important to remember that people want you to produce for them for the parts of you that only you can bring to the table. That’s why I always feel so blessed when I get to make songs with or for other artists, letting me help paint their world feels really sacred to me, and I always let them speak first then guide the vessel.”