Grace VanderWaal Explains How She Went From Ukelele Covers to Opening for Imagine Dragons

Hear the young singer's origin story

March 27, 2019

With just one album release under her belt, Grace Vanderwaal is already building up a resume that crushes the job-hunting dilemma of needing experience to gain experience. “It was my first time opening for anyone,” Grace explains of her massive opening slot on Imagine Dragons’ Evolve tour.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: 15-Year-Old Vocal Powerhouse Grace VanderWaal Tells the Story of Growing up in “Stray”

How did she get to a spot where she could open for one of the biggest bands in the world? By learning ukulele covers on YouTube and recording herself singing their song “Demons,” of course.

“That video’s probably out there, and I would never ever want it to resurface,” Grace jokes of her fourth grade self trying to learn the song. Along with practicing her singing and getting over fears stoked by the judgmental nature of young teens, Grace also challenged herself by learning to play ukulele almost exclusively through YouTube covers.

The 15-year-old America’s Got Talent winner practiced by taking on Twenty One Pilots and Jason Mraz covers, although she admits her reason for choosing those artists may not have exactly been because of fandom.

Hear from the “Stray” singer on how she went from strumming along in her bedroom to playing in front of thousands in the video above!

In our previous interview with Grace, she gave a look into how her latest single tells the story of growing up. Get the story behind the emotional lyrics in “Stray” and how the stunning music video came together below.