Cincinnati’s Genre-Bending Rapper GrandAce Releases New Single

His next single, “Satellites,” drops on Wednesday, March 4.

Photograph by Chris Pasion

GrandAce sits at his computer-turned-home studio and nods along to the entrancing cadence dripping from his speakers. He quietly adlibs vocal inflections to a beat that, moments ago, was a skeleton. After tinkering with synth chords, GrandAce—who is Jody Jones by day—fills out the soundscape with an off kilter high-hat and snare, driving bass line, and uplifting keyboard countermelody in a matter of a few minutes. Suddenly he has a track that’s only missing vocals before it’s ready to drop onto music streaming services everywhere.

Photograph by Chris Pasion

GrandAce has been self-producing music for more than six years. He’s in charge of every step of the music-making process, from early ideation through writing, recording, mixing, and mastering. This do-it-yourself approach to music, made even more immediate with a home studio, is one he puts to use every time he creates. “It’s really rewarding,” he says, “because it’s like, I don’t know how I made this, and I don’t know where its coming from, but we got it.”

He recalls his earliest memories with music as being “in the crib listening to Sade.” He spent a number of foundational years living in Los Angeles as a toddler, where his mother was pursuing a career in music. “It shaped who I am 100 percent,” he says, “from personality, to what I’m listening to, to my experiences.” California can be heard baked into his music; it’s the sound of cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down and the sunroof wide open.

Music streaming services have allowed listeners to individualize their experiences; the entire history of music is at their fingertips, ready to be listened to, which can make it even more difficult for young artists to cut through the noise and make a name for themselves. That’s why GrandAce has, until this point, dropped shorter projects such as EPs to bookmark his progression. They’re more digestible in the streaming soundscape, as people’s attention spans grow shorter by the day. “I haven’t earned the album yet,” he says, describing it as a rite of passage. “I want to be able to work and progress to the point where the album is on my heart and I’m ready.”

Photograph by Chris Pasion

Last year, GrandAce released his fifth major EP project, Also Codachrome, which saw him going through changes both in style and in real life. He’s been letting his newest song, “Free Space,” marinate for nearly a year, making small tweaks and adjustments until it was ready to be heard. The track is a musical puzzle of complex, layered parts that all fit together to make a coherent, forward-thinking song. “I look at it like a challenge song,” he says about its constantly morphing structure. “I’m just freestyling my way through it.”

GrandAce drops his next single, “Satellites,” on March 4, the next step in his musical self-discovery that’s undoubtedly leading to another major project. “The goal is to not stop motion and not stop progression,” he says. “I’m so grateful. I have desires and dreams, but the cool thing is that I’m just happy every step of the way.”

Find all of GrandAce’s music, including his new single, at theegrandace.com.

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