Young Star Mckenna Grace Transcends Heartbreak with Raw and Honest Debut EP

Mckenna Grace Works Through Her 'Heartbreak Era' on Debut EP

The Emmy-nominated adolescent actor says, “It’s much different from hiding behind a storyline or character,” of producing the soundtrack for Bittersweet 16. “Every one of my songs is really personal and authentic to me,”

Mckenna Grace says of adding singing and songwriting to her already wide CV, “I play so many characters, but I feel like music is just more of a personal thing for me.

After making her acting debut in 2013, the Grapevine, Texas, native has already accrued more than 60 credits on both the big and small screens. With the publication of her debut EP, the Ghostbusters: Afterlife actress is now prepared to reveal a new side of herself. The eight-track album, titled Bittersweet 16, explores the various anxieties and annoyances that teenagers experience, especially those who have spent the previous three years dealing with the impacts of a pandemic.

Mckenna Grace Works Through Her 'Heartbreak Era' on Debut EP

Grace tells PEOPLE that she has “always been a tremendously musical person,” but that being isolated in her bedroom with COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020 inspired her to take writing seriously.

She remembers playing the Conan Gray album Child Crow on her record player and listening to it often. “I used to sit with my ukulele and simply compose small songs because I didn’t know how to play the guitar at the time. I still have two notebooks full of mementos from that period.”

Grace immediately realized that her “therapy is songwriting” and started utilizing music as a way to express all of her emotions, both positive and negative. “I didn’t really have a lot of life experiences at the time and I was just writing about how I felt,” she says of starting to compose the angry pop-rock compositions. “I created all these breakup songs that were basically about relationships in my life or scenarios that I went through, even though I had never even been on a date or anything.”

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With age, she finds she can relate to the songs more and sees the EP as a “little time capsule,” saying, “I’ll write something that corresponds to how I’m feeling so long ago and then all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh my god, this makes so much more sense to my life now!”

Grace describes herself as a very “non-confrontational person,” and she has found ways to “express feelings, be furious, or say things that I would never say to anyone” through music. Since “they’re fantastic storytellers,” she names Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift as big influences. She also wants to concentrate on using her lyrics to create relevant pictures.

The actress, who received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2021 for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale, says, “It’s completely different from hiding behind a storyline or character. “I don’t want to create and sing a song if it didn’t happen,” the singer said. “All of my songs are really particular and authentic to me.”

Grace notes that although most of her songs depict the end of youthful love, the inspiration for her songs came from a variety of events in her life. As she put it, “It’s simple things that happened that I’ve kind of shaped into breakup songs because I feel that not all breakups have to be a relationship,” she added that she wouldn’t use the word “first love” to describe the subject matter. “I’ve written about people I’ve liked, but I’ve also written about experiences I had with family and friends. Because I enjoy creating breakup songs, I just altered them to sound more like one.”

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She jokingly refers to her love of heartache songs as “I have a problem,” indicating that she could be moving in a different path. My mother says, “Well, we’re finally over the heartbreak age,” as I’ve grown a little more assured in my work.

Grace is still getting used to sharing the songs she has written about them with others, something she has done herself. She says through an uncomfortable fit of laughing, “I’m like, ‘Hey, I wrote a song about you today, do you want to hear it? If the music is good, I think I may feel that way.

Since the songs were composed so long ago, there is a fear that people would hear them and assume they are about them. She says, “I’m always so afraid, and I hope that this person doesn’t believe that this is about them. This seems like it’s about something that’s occurring right now. “What if people hate me? Luckily, I’ve never really experienced that kind of thing.”


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That’s not to say that Grace didn’t rework any tracks as she worked on this EP. She admits, “I’ve totally modified the lyrics in my songs because I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t release that because that is the sort of thing that people would know… people are detectives. Nevertheless, when I’m writing songs, I’ll think, “Wow, I don’t know I’ve never like expressed this thing before and I don’t know if I’m wanting to release this,” but it always means a lot to put them out there.

There are boundaries that Grace says she “probably won’t cross” when it comes to being truthful in her songwriting, but she is aware that as she gets older, her opinions may change. It’s always evolving, as I could be more honest about my sentiments in a year.

Grace isn’t giving up on acting, which she considers being her “greatest love,” despite continuing to compose music. In fact, she will soon begin filming the most recent Ghostbusters sequel. She claims she balances the two by doing music on days when she isn’t working on an acting project. “Oh my Goodness, you’re in the studio like every single day,” my pals exclaim, “and I’m like, “I know. I just have no chill because I love both music and acting so much that every day I’m probably doing one or the other.”

Parag Nanda
Parag Nanda is a Content Writer, who specializes in covering the latest gossip and news about celebrities. With a keen interest in the entertainment industry, he keeps his finger on the pulse of the latest happenings in the world of celebrities. In addition to his passion for entertainment, he is also a sports enthusiast and enjoys listening to music in his free time. With a unique perspective and a knack for uncovering the juiciest details, Parag's writing is a must-read for anyone interested in the lives of celebrities.