Artist Spotlight: Grace Petrie
Following in the footsteps of artists such as Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell, Grace Petrie is a self-proclaimed “radically feminist and radically leftwing” musician and political activist. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over an army of loyal fans across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes. Petrie cites the election results in 2010 (which saw a Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government take power) as a turning point for her work, after which she began to consciously craft protest songs. Petrie sees the music she made before this change as “abstractly political”. She was writing what she thought of at the time as pop songs about her love life. However, because of her sexual orientation, she came to see these formative songs as political in their own way – providing visibility of, and representation for, queer musicians.
Her current album, ‘Queer As Folk’, was released in Sept ’18 and was a Mojo magazine top 10 Folk Album of the Year. In Petrie’s own words, “Queer As Folk is a collection of songs that celebrates both sides of the artist that I am: passionate about and deeply inspired by the magnificent tradition of folk music, but seeking and striving always for it to become again the vehicle for radical politics that it once was. Mixing the personal with the political, these songs mean to offer a hand on the shoulder of those whose struggles in this world chime with my own, whether that be with identity, with love or with the faith to fight for a more equal tomorrow. This album is both a celebration of and a step beyond protest singer, offering some of the most urgent and honest song writing I have ever put into the world.”