On January 9th 2012, I posted a piece on my blog titled, “Passion, Writing and Taylor Swift” (it’s in the archives on the lower right). It was still early in Taylor Swift’s career given her prolific history since, but I was already a big fan then even though I am waaaaaay outside her primary demographic target.
What I like about Taylor Swift is that she isn’t one of those one-phrase song writers, you know, where there’s usually a short phrase like “baby oh baby oh baby” repeated a gazillion times between maybe one or two other lyrics. No, Taylor is a full-lyric song writer who has honed her skills since being a young unknown bed-top guitar strummer with dreams of being a rock star. Well, her dreams came true and she continues to be a wise and savvy artist who keeps up with the times, changes with them and usually marches a step or two ahead. The release of her latest album, Reputation, is just another case in point.
Now if you don’t care for Taylor Swift or her music, at least give her some credit for being one of the better showbiz people representing our country. For years, Taylor Swift has given away thousands (probably millions by now) to individuals in need, victims of natural disasters and endless others suffering some fate or another. Her generosity is unquestionable.
So now, being the risk-taker that I am, I will make note of another new artist I’ve been keeping up with for a year or two now. Again, she is even more so out of the audience my age assigns me to, but music can change your seat faster than a Broadway bribe. She is, in fact, an even younger singer than Taylor was when popularity hit. The every-singer’s judge, Simon Cowel, has crowned this newbie, quote, “the next Taylor Swift.” I agree.
Grace Vanderwaal is the young lady’s name. She just celebrated her 14th birthday. At 12 she was America’s Got Talent winner where she dazzled both the audience and judges with a self-authored song called I Don’t Know my Name, accompanied by her rudimentary strumming on a ukulele of all instruments. Well, if you go to youtube.com you can’t help but know her name now as you can watch how fast and furious this young walk-on has turned pro with all the poise and style of a seasoned hit-maker…which she will no doubt will be.
Yes, her voice is a bit crackly at times and her “can’t-help-myself” bouncing around to the music will eventfully live up to her name…but this girl has it all. I just hope all hasn’t come too quickly for her to handle it. But whether it’s a good painting, a compelling love story or a dramatic movie, don’t you just love good art when it’s so much in your face you simply have to stop everything , watch and enjoy the moment. Grace Vanderwaal knows how to make you do that.