A former X Factor contestant from Lancashire has spoken out about the last few “whirlwind” weeks after achieving charting success with her new single, ‘roots’.

Grace Davies, from Langho, released ‘roots’ on Friday 8 October. Since then, it has climbed to number 22 in Capital’s Big Top 40 and has even made it onto the Official Charts top 100 songs (number 89 at the time of writing).

In an interview with the Lancashire Telegraph, Grace opened up about finding musical fame as an independent artist and also the importance of her own Lancashire musical ‘roots’.

Lancashire Telegraph: Grace Davies from Langho (Photo: Emma-Jane Lewis)Grace Davies from Langho (Photo: Emma-Jane Lewis)

Speaking about the “unexpected” popularity of the single, 24-year-old Grace said: “I wrote ‘roots’ as an independent artist and now four years later I can release it on my own -  that's all I ever wanted.

“I knew the fans were waiting for this song but the overwhelming response has been very unexpected.

“It’s been good – but I’m flapping behind the scenes!”

After living in London for several years, Grace decided to move back to her home town in December.

The former Feniscowles Primary pupil explained: “I’d lived in London completely by myself for three years – which I loved. But I think those 10 months in the Covid era were horrendous.

“London became like a ghost town and I just ended up writing my songs over Zoom so there was just no need for me to be there, spending a ridiculous amount of money on rent and just being lonely.”

She planned to go back to London in April and “just never moved back”.

“I’m just gonna stay here for as long as I can rinse mum and dad really,” she joked.

“I’m just enjoying being around my family and my friends – I didn’t realise how much I missed them”.

She said she was “nurtured” as an artist in the county and said Blackburn and the surrounding areas “got behind her” throughout her musical journey.

She explained: “The reason I love doing things around here so much is because [the town] nurtured me as a start-up years and years ago when I was singing at old pubs and stuff.

“I love coming back here and I always want my home crowd.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Grace Davie's new song has achieved charting success (Photo: Emma-Jane Lewis)Grace Davie's new song has achieved charting success (Photo: Emma-Jane Lewis)

Grace often returns to perform locally and most recently performed at Darwen Live.

Grace, who was a finalist on the X Factor in 2017, said she will never forget about the level of support she received from the locals and the council during her homecoming performance.

She said: “[The people of East Lancashire] really did give me a platform. They just got behind me so much when I was on that show.

“I remember driving through Blackburn town centre and my face was just on every bus stop.

“Blackburn Council paid for that whole homecoming event and it felt like the whole town was supporting me.”

Years on, she still speaks to owners and locals who frequent the pubs she used to work at.

She used to work at the Feildens Arms in Feniscowles and said she went back there on Sunday night after her song climbed Capital’s charts for the second week.

Lancashire Telegraph: Grace Davies pulling a pint at the Feildens Arms in Feniscowles back in 2017Grace Davies pulling a pint at the Feildens Arms in Feniscowles back in 2017

“Back then I was supposed to be pulling pints but I was flogging my CDs,” Grace joked.

She explained: “I was there last night (17 October) and I’ve not seen my old boss in like four years.

“To go back in there and see all the locals who hadn’t seen me in like four or five years was just so sweet.

“They’re my number one supporters.”

She added: “Some of them were saying last night ‘I’ve still got your CD that I bought for a fiver behind the till’.

“I told them ‘bin it – they’re not good songs anymore,’” she laughed.

Grace also added that she is no stranger to Clitheroe and Whalley and is always up for a night out there.

She added: “Rios in Whalley – I think I managed to stay away from that place until I was about 21.

"I went in once and now I’ve been in about six times in the last few months.”

Grace added that it is “mind-blowing” to have her song sitting alongside the biggest names in the music industry, such as Little Mix and Ed Sheeran – but the biggest difference is that Grace did this all as an independent artist.



She said: “It’s really a testament to the fans

“I'm relying on them completely to do my promo and to do everything that I don't have a label to do and to spread [the song] far and wide.

“I literally went 'here you’ve been asking for this one, stream it' – and they really really have.”

Grace added that she found out she was being featured in the Capital’s top 40 while “rotting in bed” with a hangover.

She explained: “I went out on the Saturday night and then I was so hungover on the Sunday and I was just rotting in bed.

“I got a message from capital saying 'just to let you know you're a new entry in the big top 40 this week'.

“I literally ran into the garden my parents are outside now like screaming crying.

“I was so overdramatic – but it was the best thing that’s ever happened.”

‘roots’ isn’t the last we will hear from Grace as her second EP is coming out next month

‘i wonder if you wonder’ comes out on November 12, the same day as her new song called ‘somebody’.

Grace explained: “I was performing ‘somebody’ on tour in September  and it went down really well.

“It’s really similar to ‘roots’ - it's very like piano ballad, strings, beautiful.

“I feel like it's the perfect follow up single, especially considering what has just happened to roots.”

You can buy and stream ‘roots’ on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Grace’s official website.

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