South London born Zoe and Grace of ZoeGrace are the coolest thing since sliced bread! Having gained a substantial following on YouTube, and with the release of their Extended Play: ‘I Will Stay’, featuring the promising ‘Jesus’ track with the cool hashtag ‘#shotstothedevil, these two are burgeoning into mainstream gospel music. Emphatic Dynamo caught up with twin gospel duo on set in a tunnel echoing their sonorous sounds a few metres from Waterloo tube station in London. With a myriad of graffiti sprayed over the tunnel’s walls, it laid the prefect scene for this South American inspired jam. Zoe Grace and their team welcomed me with open arms and showed me the love that Christ embodies. We had a lovely chat and I found out so much about them.
1. You ladies make amazing music. Please describe your background in music and name your musical influences.
Zoe: Well, we’ve been singing from a very young age. Nothing serious, just singing along to songs. Our musical influences are French gospel artistes like Lifoko du ciel and Michael Ambai.We’ve been influenced by these kinds of artistes.
Grace: It’s mostly our surroundings as well. We hear different kinds of music, and when we make our own music it comes all out.
2. What is the fun part of being gospel artistes at your age?
Zoe: A lot of people consider being a gospel artiste boring. But because of our age, there are so many different things you can do with music, so we try to make our gospel music as bubbly, fun and appealing as possible to young people because we are young. Doing gospel music at our age is quite fun and enjoyable.
For example, our song, ‘Jesus’ is a fun song that gets people moving. Of course there’s gonna be worship in there, but we made it upbeat to attract young people.
3. What is the most inspiring message you have received about your music?
Grace: I remember somebody commented on one of our videos that they had moved away from God lately and listening to our song made them want to come back to church and it really made us happy. Because we didn’t realise how much effect our singing does to people. We now realise that it is a ministry.
Zoe: Yes, we were really happy when that happened. When we read that, we were like, ‘oh my gosh’. It made us realise that this is actually a gift
4. What is your vocal regimen on a daily basis?
Zoe: We don’t do that many exercises. We literally pick a song, go through it and sing it together. Grace sings soprano and I sing alto, and then we switch it up, so I would then sing soprano and she’ll sing alto. We also do vocal exercises that we find on youtube, as well as breathing exercises
5. What would you say was the biggest lesson that recording covers of famous gospel artistes has taught you?
Zoe: It’s taught us that you have to change things up a bit when you’re doing covers, and we want to please God with how we change them but also want to make it appealing to others. Because people don’t see gospel as something that could be very enjoyable, we try to make it as attractive as possible. With songs like ‘Unstoppable Love’ and ‘Oceans’, you can really see the difference between them.
Grace: The way we made ‘At The Cross’, it was more upbeat and showed different styles that you can do with it. Also, ‘Oceans’ is a calm song, so we switched it up a bit.
6. How did you ladies feel opening for Ty Tribett last year?
Grace: When I first heard, I was thinking ‘Wow, Ty Tribett…from America. When I went on stage, it was so scary.
Zoe: it was really nice. I loved it. It was the first time I’ve been in a concert like that with other artistes
7. Could you give a low down on the inspiration for the amazing song ‘Shots To The Devil’ and the inspiration for its upcoming video?
Zoe: The message of the song is really just to express our love for Jesus, and because it’s on our EP, we wanted to make it appealing to young people. That song is more targeted at more people because it is upbeat.Zoe: The song says not to worry because God is always there for you, because He’s in love with you. It’s just a praise song. The inspiration for the video is to suit the mood of the song. It’s more like an urban kind of song, so the video has a lot of graffiti and street art. It’s a flashy song, so we wanted to make a flashy video, with people happy and smiling.
Grace: It’s just to express how much you love him and at the end, it just says #shotstothedevil and that message is literally telling the devil ‘I cast you out’. For the video, we wanted to get as many people as possible involved to make it flashy and fun as well.
8. Do you ladies find it challenging combining music and academics? And if so, how so?
Zoe: Well, right now, we’re moving on to college, but when we were in secondary school, it was quite hard because we needed to do recordings but then school would really be in the way because of our studies . We were in year eleven as well so exams, revision, everything. It was a bit overwhelming but we managed to juggle it around and just make it balance all out equally. it was a bit tricky at first but I feel when we get into college, it would be a bit easier.
9. Is there anything you ladies miss about not having a childhood out of the spotlight?
Grace: It really depends on how you balance the music and the work at the same time, but there isn’t anything particular that I miss but there will be things like events, birthday parties that we miss out on, of course.
Zoe: but it’s become a focus for us and we have to miss out on a lot of things like birthdays and going out more. We love music, so it’s all worth it, and we’re doing it all for God.
10. So it doesn’t affect your privacy and all? You don’t feel overwhelmed by a lot of people wanting to be in your business?
Zoe: not really, no.
11. What are your hobbies and passions asides music?
Zoe: I like to draw. I watch series a lot. I like to tuck up in bed watching movies, you know, having a snack. Also I like being around my family a lot, in the comfort of my home
Grace: I also like drawing, because I done art GCSE and I did a lot of drawing so I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty much the same as Zoe. We do most of our things together. I like going out as well , with all my friends. Just going out to chill, really
12. Where do you ladies see yourselves in music in 10 years?
Zoe: In 10 years, I reckon we’ll probably blow more. We’ll probably be more known. We’re doing a few upcoming events, so I feel like it’ll make us more known. Also I still see myself doing gospel music.
13. What is your least favourite genre of music?
Grace: I’d say heavy metal. It’s so all over the place. I don’t like it
Zoe: You can’t even hear what they are saying. Rock metal, it just sounds messy
14. What about country music?
Grace: Oh, I find it so depressing. How can somebody be talking about how their dad died and how they left him
Zoe: And how they had to stay in the kitchen and things like that. It’s just depressing. There are some songs that make you want to move a bit, but uh-uh.
15. Name something from the city of London that gives your music credibility like no other artiste.
Grace: I don’t feel like our accents come out in our songs but I think maybe the way we speak. But it would definitely come out in the #shotstothedevil piece. I feel like our personality is shown a lot through our music.
16. Where in London are you ladies from?
Grace: South London, but by origin from the Democratic Republic of Congo
17. Please give a shout out to your fans
Grace: Thank you guys for supporting us. We love you guys so much. We love you. God bless you all
Zoe: We wouldn’t have made it without you
Check out their Jesus #shotstothedevil video here!