TS Graye turns angst into cathartic love songs

100%: The Wiltshire-raised musician has come a long way since her mum booked her studio time with Tesco vouchers.

It’s Monday morning and TS Graye is recovering from a bit of a shocker. At the weekend, the 24-year-old musician found herself showering at 3am to get her mate’s sick out of her hair, after helping them home from a drunken night out. It was horrible,” she says, laughing, but I’m just about over it.”

She’s on to better things now, anyway. Graye is hot off the heels of releasing her single Mother’s Genes – a touching, synth-laden ode to her mum, who, when Graye was 11, cashed in a mass of Tesco vouchers to book her daughter a studio session. I’d recorded a voice memo on her phone and she was like, This is amazing! Let’s try and get you booked in for something.’” Definitely worth a tribute song, then – especially given that, over the last few years, Graye’s made that studio session count.

Born and raised in the small town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, she moved to Parsons Green in Southwest London aged 17 to pursue music properly – first as part of a potential girl band, then as a solo musician. It’s been almost two years since the release of her debut EP Graye Area. Now, it’s time for the more evolved sound of All For Love, which is due to drop next month.

I kind of feel like a different person since I wrote those songs, but I’m ready for my baby to be released into the world,” she says. I’m the mother now!” The EP is an introspective, vulnerable break-up project, whose five tracks see Graye come to terms with young womanhood, via sonic hints of Caroline Polachek and Rosalía. I wanted to use my frustrations and turn them into something beautiful.

I’d also like for there to be a sense of nostalgia when people listen to All For Love,” Graye continues. But they can interpret the songs however they want. Someone said to me the other day: Above all, thank you for making me feel anything.” That’s so personal. I love it.”


What emotions and experiences influence your work?

It’s so cliché, but being heartbroken. And being heartbroken in many ways – as soon as something bad happens, it makes me rethink my entire life. I’m always like, what do I need to change in order for this to never happen to me again? I always build up this hard shell that I have to work to crack open. Love in general influences me.


How do you overcome writer’s block?

I usually try to come up with a melody and, when I listen to it back, my brain subconsciously picks up words that I can slot in. It’s like my brain magically telling me what I need to speak about.


If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?

Spicy vodka pasta is my go-to. But to impress someone, I’d probably cook them steak. You can never go wrong with steak, with salty potatoes and a few asparagus tips. A bit of mushroom sauce to top things off. Medium rare.


What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?

Smoking. I don’t want to smoke cigarettes anymore! But I just bloody love it. I’ve always told myself that I’d quit at 25 – I’ve read that your body can kind of heal itself at that point. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.


If you ruled the world for a day, what would go down?

Smoking wouldn’t be bad for you. In fact, nothing fun would be bad for you. I’d want certain world leaders to simply vanish. Everything would be free. A day of peace would be nice, wouldn’t it?


When’s the last time you fell over?

This weekend. My spatial awareness is so bad. I always forget about the width of my body and trip over stuff. I fell up the stairs and grazed my knee – while I was out, which makes it even more embarrassing. I was alone, as well.


Would you rather people noticed you’d fallen over and rush to help, or leave you alone?

I don’t know. It’s such a British thing to pretend you didn’t see someone fall. When I was in primary school, I always wore trousers because I refused to wear a skirt. But the one day I did, I was on the monkey bars and I saw someone do a really cool backflip. I attempted it and fell so badly. I cut my knee and my pants were showing. What a combination. I wish I’d been left alone in that case!


Love, like, hate?

I love my cat Daisy. I like the smell of summer when it first comes around – freshly cut grass, cow shit, at least where I grew up. I hate lasagne.


What’s your favourite song of all time?

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
by Al Green. I think it’s a Bee Gees cover. Also The House Of Bamboo by Andy Williams.


What can artists do to help save the world?

Bring joy to people with music and use their platforms to talk about difficult things. Just speak your truth, basically.

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