As part of the series ‘Another World is Possible’, Northern Visions recently sat down with musician Grace Petrie.
Grace grew up as the youngest child of public sector workers from Leicester and she had an interest in music from a young age. In 2010, Grace was working in Sheffield when the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government was formed. She saw the reaction of students when promises over tuition fees were broken and her music started to turn to politics.
Much of what drives Grace’s music is a desire to give a voice to the voiceless, whether it be young people who feel excluded from political life; disabled people, immigrants and welfare recipients who are often scapegoated for economic problems; or the gay community at a time of rising homophobia.
“When I was younger, I always had this idea that if I ever made it in any way as a musician, I wouldn’t want anyone to see me as a gay musician. I just wanted my music to speak for itself, I didn’t want that to be a badge that I was going to wear.
“Then as I got a little bit older, I met a few more people and came out of my comfort zone a little bit, and I experienced some hardcore homophobia at different times. I started to realise that, actually, if you can help people who are feeling like they’re alone by being that little bit more visible and being happy to stand up and say, “I am a gay musician”, you be willing to wear that badge.”
Grace also performed three of her songs, ‘Farewell to Welfare’, ‘They Shall Not Pass’ and ‘I Climbed a Mountain’.