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Grace Bolyard: Something Beautiful

Grace Bolyard interview, Grace Bolyard

Music really is so simple. Someone makes noise with an instrument and their voice, and if the noise is beautiful, someone else hears and swears it was written for them.

This formula is executed in the most natural fashion by Grace Bolyard, a singer and songwriter from Tempe who, even in the early stages of her career, is already creating something beautiful.

Bolyard started singing at age 12, and has been writing music ever since.

This spring she signed with local record company Aggregate Records, after meeting president Alex Bunch in a coffee shop where she worked.

“They used to come in and have meetings there,” Bolyard said, and is now in the process of planning an album with the label.

“I think we have a really grand scope for it and that’s why it’s not happening presently,” she said. “Because I don’t just want an acoustic album of me playing my guitar and singing.”

Bolyard said she hopes to include keyboard and strings, among other instruments, on a future studio album.

Bolyard has been performing since she was 16 in one way or another, and she continues to develop her stage presence with shows around the valley.

“I’ve always considered myself more of a songwriter,” she said. “But I finally got to the point where I realized if don’t figure out how to be less awkward in front of people, if I don’t get rid of my stage fright, then there’s no point in being a songwriter, I guess, if I can’t put my music out there.”


Onstage, Bolyard stands with her guitar and her voice, creating a rather intimate setting between singer and crowd. Her voice is a delight to hear live. Clear, and thick with emotion, the first time I saw her live I could hear every word and was an instant fan.

Bolyard said most of her music applies directly to her life and relationships.

“If I’m really happy I can write about that and if I’m really heartbroken I can write about that,” she said. “I write a lot about relationships … because I feel like I’m a really passionate person in regards to love and music.”

She sometimes mixes other themes in her music, writing new song “Lose My Mind” about a trip to visit friends in New York.

“It’s inspired by the fact that … I have lived here my whole life and I feel really tied down and I want to go see the world. Every once in a while other stuff seeps in there,” she said.

Although Bolyard confesses she prefers smaller crowds made up of friends, it may be difficult to contain her shows to such dense settings in the future. The Spec predicts it won’t be long until we find ourselves at larger venues as word of her sound continues to spread.

Bolyard will be performing with other members of the Aggregate Records’ family at Open Source Project in Tempe on Friday.

We recently met with Bolyard to record an acoustic session and discuss her music, the videos for which are below. Her cat was also in attendance, but declined to comment.

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