Grace Mitchell Is Making History With “Kids (Ain’t All Right)”

Photo: Will Nixon
Grace Mitchell is a force to be reckoned with. It's not merely that the 19-year-old singer has the voice of a '90s grunge goddess or the fact that her easy, charismatic presence on stage suggests she's been doing this for far longer than her years would allow. She's a budding rock star, she's loud, and, most importantly, she has something to say. Her new single "Kids (Ain't All Right)," which just dropped a live video, doesn't suggest she has all the answers — instead, Mitchell tells Refinery29 the song is really about pursuing them. "I went to a session one day with some of my friends, and we were kind of discussing how we would all like to be more involved in the socio-political climate of our community... We were commiserating about how we want to know what's going on, but don't have a good platform to [learn] what's going on," says Mitchell of the inspiration behind the song. "We felt like the people who came before us [expect] us to clean up the mess in the ecosystem and the economy, and yet we don't feel like we have the tools to do that." As for Mitchell's musical inspirations, she tells Refinery29 it's all about '90s songwriters, including Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, and Alanis Morissette. It makes sense: Mitchell feels like a natural successor to these icons, both in sound and lyrical substance. However, Mitchell told Refinery29 that being a woman in the music industry comes with its own set of challenges: "What's really interesting is that when I come to the table and contribute something, half the time it's questioned, and the other half of the time people are very surprised... People are like 'Wow, you had that thought from your brain? Shocking, because you have a vagina.' Then the other half of the time people question whether what I said was legitimate or valid or useful. It's ridiculous." Mitchell, who will perform at Coachella in April, hopes "Kids (Ain't All Right)" will be a gift to her audience — one that can help them cope with whatever they are struggling with that day: "When I perform it live I always tell the audience that this is their moment to feel any frustration that they've felt and just rock out with their bodies, with their voices." Check out the new live video for "Kids (Ain't All Right), directed by Theo Buckwald, below.

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