Demi Grace is a multi-faceted, world renowned afrobeat artist born in London. A first generation Nigerian, she moved to the US at a young age, and spent most of her younger years in California before relocating to NYC. She’s performed with Beyonce, Solange, Akon, Taio Cruz, and a host of other artists. In addition to performing, she is also a model, and has appeared in over 20 major brand campaigns from Digicel to Sephora. In 2017, she made history as the first model to star in a Pantene ad campaign with locs. The same year, she became the first artist to sign to Universal Music Group Nigeria.
Despite her lengthy and impressive resume, Grace is humble and sweet, with a very pleasant, warm demeanor. She’s dedicated to empowering young women and promoting positivity. Her music, dripping in melanin and Yoruba roots, not only makes you move, but makes you feel.
Like a lot of us, Demi Grace had big plans for 2020. She was scheduled to perform at Essence Fest (for the second year in a row), SXSW, and other gigs. Despite Corona’s attempt at stopping her bag, she still walks in power and grace, feeding her soul with affirmations daily and revelling in the powers of rest and recharge.
Read our interview below:
What is your definition of “living unapologetically”?
“Living unapologetically”, to me, means owning who you are at every stage without feeling the need to apologize, shrink or explain.
Giving the times we’re in, what is the most important thing black women can do right now?
Given the times we’re in, the most important thing black women can do is absolutely nothing. Rest. Do the things for yourself that you’ve always wanted to do.
What self care tips do you live by?
There are levels of self care. It’s not just a typical massage or manicure. There is spiritual self care and physical self care. To me, spiritual self care (cleansing toxic relationships, forgiving yourself, decluttering your mind) takes precedence because if you are healthy spiritually you will always take care of yourself physically. Some of my favorite physical self-care activities are painting my nails or cleaning my place. I am brand new when I get those things done.
What’re your go to affirmations?
“I am enough” is my go to affirmation. I often re-write my affirmations after a few months and some of my recurring affirmations include:
I am love.
I am free.
I am confident.
In regards to black womanhood, how has art become an escape for you?
Art has been an escape for me since my early pre-teen years. As the youngest of three girls, I haven’t always been the most vocal or communicative. I have learned to communicate a little better but it still serves as my communication tool. Whether I am trying to communicate how a real life situation felt or the type of woman I aspire to be I am always communicating through my art; my music.
How do you prioritize rest?
I prioritize rest by saying no to activities I really don’t want to do. It’s really tough at first because if you’re a recovering people pleaser like me, saying no means everyone will hate you. But when you realize absolutely everyone on this earth is doing what’s best for them whether it’s best for them physically, financially or mentally, you start taking your needs into a much greater account. You need to rest, you can not pour from an empty cup, you can’t enjoy your success if you are sick.
What advice would you give any artist that’s experiencing a creative block?
Creative blocks happen to every artist, I don’t care if they admit it or not. The best thing you can do is take a break. Go and do something else for a moment. Don’t force art because it will come off as forced. Art comes from the soul and the people can always tell when it’s not genuine. Take a break, don’t force it.
Artists are known for their empathetic nature. How do you balance the two?
Being an artist and being an empath are synonymous. The most challenging thing for me in this pandemic is that so much of my writing is inspired by the people around me and feeling what I believe they’re feeling. Sometimes it gets too heavy to handle in the moment and in those moments I get alone and recharge so that I can take on these beautiful people with beautiful real stories once again.