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"If competition is keeping you from playing music I think you need to re- evaluate how you are thinking of things." - Grace Bowers

Posted: August 31, 2023
Having just turned 17, Grace Bowers has already lived a lifetime of musical dreams. From an endorsement deal with Gibson, to appearances with with Devon Allman, Wynonna Judd, Audley Freed, Lzzy Hale, and Jared James Nichols and accumulating upwards of 100k fans on Instagram, Bowers has checked off career highlight boxes that most players would spend years in the trenches trying to achieve.

Who would think that women in the music industry wouldn’t be excited to promote other artists of the same gender? After all, female artists have struggled over the years to prove that they should be treated like any male artist. In fact, many female artists are better than their male counterparts.

However, there seems to be a bias within the same gender. Women hate other women because of their achievements. Unfortunately, females that hate on other female artists devalue all that has been accomplished for women in the music industry.

If you have un-bias criticisms, then that is ok. They are often opinions whether they have merit or not. A problem exists when you belittle or discount the achievements made by female artists. This shouldn’t even be a topic for conversation. An argument for or against genders in the music industry shouldn’t exist. Male and Female, Women and Men all have different skill-sets that make them equal or superior to their counterparts. However, it has nothing to do with their gender.

I would agree that not all talented women are the same. Some are better than others. Even when it comes to stage presence, some have it, and some don’t. But the same also applies to males. However, this shouldn’t create divisions between women. It should bring them closer together, right? This is not a political statement. It isn’t even a topic of morality. I guess it comes down to common courtesy. Respect and allow others to dignify themselves. There is no reason for gender bias, regardless of the level of competition. Why, who, and when did it all start? More importantly when will it all end?

Well, that brings us into our interview with Grace Bowers. If you are not quite sure who she is, you will when this interview is over with. Let’s highlight some things about Grace Bowers.

Guitar Thrills Magazine interviewed Grace Bowers this year. We addressed the following topic with her:

Competition without self-doubt or fear. Purpose triumphs over doubt.

We knew that we had to be direct with Grace because she is too bright not to be challenged.

My question to her was:

With all the talent that are trying to accomplish the same thing, how do you feel about competing artists? Are you intimidated?

Confidently, yet humble she responded:

Living in Nashville I don’t feel as if I’m competing against anyone. We’re all in the same boat and just trying to help each other out whether that be sharing a bill, sitting in, or promotion. Being around so much talent on the other hand can be intimidating for sure, but you just must remember to do your own thing. People value authenticity over anything else.

Grace Bowers said, “you just have to remember to do your own thing”. That is exactly what she has continued to do. This is why she received a follow up interview with Guitar Thrills Magazine.

ABOUT GRACE BOWERS

Having just turned 17, Grace Bowers has already lived a lifetime of musical dreams. From an endorsement deal with Gibson, to appearances with with Devon Allman, Wynonna Judd, Audley Freed, Lzzy Hale, and Jared James Nichols and accumulating upwards of 100k fans on Instagram, Bowers has checked off career highlight boxes that most players would spend years in the trenches trying to achieve. It’s the stuff of dreams, of a kid locked in their bedroom woodshedding for hours a day to the music of their heroes, imagining stepping onto the stage alongside the greats. And for most young dreamers, it begins and ends within the confines of those bedroom walls.

But cue a window into that private world via livestreams of those hours of a young girl’s imaginative and inspired practice… and the real world quickly took notice.

Having received her first guitar on her ninth birthday, Grace focused on the music of her original guitar hero, Slash. From there she notes, “I got into blues and classic rock and started listening to artists like Marc Bolan, Leslie West, Santana, and T. Bone Walker” The pandemic fast-tracked Grace’s affinity for the guitar into a full-blown obsession.

Her family’s move from San Francisco to Nashville opened the door for Grace to make the jump from behind the camera to the front of the stage. Grace quickly found herself standing on some of Nashville’s biggest stages, including the iconic Ryman Auditorium alongside Devon Allman as part of the Allman Family Revival. “The Nashville community is so supportive. People are so welcoming and ready to share their music; the opportunities to perform live are endless. I feel so lucky to be around this energy 24/7. It’s absolutely thrilling.

When a recent interviewer inquired about Grace missing out on “normal childhood activities” asking “Do you ever think, ‘Huh. I wonder what that’s like, going to the mall instead of having to play at the Ryman?’” her response was immediate.

No. No. Not for a second.” Anyone who hears her play will agree, Grace Bowers is exactly where she needs to be.

Bio by Annie Clements

INTERVIEW WITH GRACE BOWERS AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills: Hello Grace. It is nice to speak with you again.Which we greatly appreciate. First off, congratulations on your career thus far. You have a promising career in the music industry without a doubt. So, what do you think of the topic? Have you seen signs of gender bias in the music industry?

Grace: Definitely. I think we get downplayed big time. Numerous times I’ve had people come up to me before shows and try to tell me things they think I don’t know. Whether or not they have good intentions, I am often underestimated. I remember last year when I played Americana Fest I was setting up my stuff and the sound guy comes up and tells me how to plug my cable into my guitar haha.

GT: Many would conclude that the level of competition is just too high to get involved in the music industry. What has prevented you from overcoming negativity and self-doubt?

Grace: I’m not playing music for anyone else, if someone doesn’t like what I’m doing I could care less. I do it because I love it. If competition is keeping you from playing music I think you need to re- evaluate how you are thinking of things.

Guitar Thrills: I believe it helps when you are extremely talented. It helps bolster your confidence in your own ability. I believe if you focus on yourself, then success will come to you. There is no room in the music industry for gender bias. Especially when you must factor in your male counterpart. You must compete against them as well. What gives you the strength to endure the challenges faced as a young artist?

Grace: I’m determined, I know what I want to do, and nothing will ever get in the way of that. You have to keep a strong mindset and keep your vision straight ahead. I think that sort of philosophy can apply to more than just music as well.

Guitar Thrills: For those young artists considering entering the music industry, what advice would you give them?

Grace: Be yourself, find that your “thing” that will set you apart from others. Most importantly do what makes you happy.

Guitar Thrills: So, now is the fun part of the interview. ☺ Do you have any releases or performances that you have coming up?

Grace: Yes! I am playing Eric Claptons crossroads in Los Angeles this September as well as playing Austin City Limits in Texas with Myron Elkins in October.

Guitar Thrills: Very nice. Where can your fans come and see you perform live?

Grace: I’m playing almost every night in Nashville!

Guitar Thrills: Undoubtedly, there are many brands that are willing to support your efforts and skill set as a guitarist. Is there any specific brand that sticks out to you? If so, please explain.

Grace: I’ve been working closely with Gibson since I was 14. They’ve helped me tremendously and offer so much support. Alongside their awesome guitars!!

Guitar Thrills: We mentioned that you have a large following on social media. What do you believe is the reason for it?

Grace: Luck. I’ve never tried to gain followers, one day I just posted a video that went off in views and it was only up from there. I’m super thankful for that as it’s provided me with so many opportunities.

Guitar Thrills: As a talented guitarist, do you have specific goals that you would like to accomplish? Is there a time frame for accomplishing those goals?

Grace: I’m working on getting some original music out there, I’ve been writing lots which isn’t something you see on my Instagram but things are in the works.

Guitar Thrills: You are very talented. The type of guitarist that could achieve anything. Have you experienced challenges or limitations as a guitarist?

Grace: Yes, my age gets in the way a lot especially trying to get into bars. I am however very lucky that most venues and artists welcome me with open arms.

Guitar Thrills: We would like for you to interview again soon. With the demand it most likely will get increasingly difficult to have these chats. We will make sure that we keep you at the forefront of our guest lists.

Grace: Awesome!

Guitar Thrills: I know you will inspire other artists that want to enter the music industry as both a guitarist. Thank you for your time today.

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