Christina Grimmie, known for her performances on The Voice and on YouTube, is our cover story for the Spring 2016 issue titled “Brave Hearts”. Read her interview below:

How did you gain the confidence to become such a young, powerful female?
My strength comes from the Lord; my fans, my family and friends who truly care about me; that and I’ve for the most part grown out of most insecurity that I used to deal with because of being in this business for the amount of time that I have.

So many young girls these days feel so pressured by social media to look or act a certain way. How do you battle this problem?
Sometimes seeing yourself for who you are isn’t very beautiful, because you are too familiar with yourself. Familiarity causes you to get bored. You start wanting what other people have. That’s simply the wrong way of thinking. Start finding things about yourself that the others DON’T have.

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Do you have any advice for young girls struggling with the bravery to be themselves?
One of my favorite quotes in the world is actually one from a popular anime: “All the disadvantages in this world are due to the insecurities of the person himself’s ability.” Which basically is a fancy way of saying, you won’t achieve great things, things that you strive for, if you are constantly held back by things that scare you. If you take action on your goals, you will achieve them.

What inspires you to speak up in such a competitive industry?
Simply because I don’t care what people label me. I have a greater message to send out to people anyway.

You do very well in channeling your confidence in your music. Have any artists been a role model for you in this aspect?
Getting to know Rachel Platten on her tour was very reassuring. She shed some light on things that I never understood, and really encouraged me through her story.

Do you have a certain mental process you go through when songwriting? If so, please try to explain.
I write about feelings and emotions of real people; people I know, people I don’t; I write about a main character’s perspective in movies and TV shows, even a random side character maybe; I write about what a person’s thoughts are across the room; a quote somebody says; so many random things can spark the craziest song.

Where do you pull a lot of inspiration for your songs?
Just constantly listening to different music, different speakers or quotes. Listening to my favorite singers as well.

What inspires you to speak up in such a competitive industry?
Simply because I don’t care what people label me. I have a greater message to send out to people anyway.

Obviously, with any path of life, mistakes are going to be made. How do you bounce back after those?
You remember the repercussions and you evaluate whatever comes next. You can only get smarter after your mistakes! Of course, if you choose to learn something from them!

What’s one thing you can’t go a day without?
Listening to music.

If you ever have to do something to cheer up, what do you do?
I like to cuddle up with my dog, she’s my favorite thing on this planet and always makes me happy.

If you could only listen to one band or artist for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
Christina Aguilera; she’s changed up her style so many times that I feel like there’s always something new to learn from her as a vocalist!

What’s one thing you remind yourself when times get tough?
The Grimmie motto, “Make the best of it.” My dad has literally been saying that my entire life and I would always roll my eyes and laugh but now it’s actually something I need to remember to get through difficult times.

What kinds of lessons has YouTube and The Voice taught you?
YouTube has taught me to be personable; The Voice has taught me to be professional.

How do you apply those lessons to your music career now?
Just a genuine combination of the two!

This issue of the magazine is titled “Brave Hearts”. Do you think you have a brave heart?
Sometimes, sometimes no. At the end of the day, it’s not always about how brave YOU are, you’re only so strong and cannot carry everything on yourself, it’s about who and what is helping you up when you’re down.

What defines having a brave heart?
Telling yourself you can pull through just the same, every time life smacks you in the face, haha.

How do you get over any nerves you experience when performing to large audiences?
I just pretend I’m singing in my room again like old times. It helps me center and helps me remember why I sing in the first place, because it’s what I love to do.

Any pre­show rituals to prep yourself?
Honestly, not really. If anything, I just don’t care for being social before a show.

What is one last piece of advice for fellow brave hearts blazing their path in life?
Never forget where you came from. Aspire to do better and be better, even change a little if you have to; just never lose your morals. Keep going!

Words by Elizabeth Stafford
Photos by Anna Zhang
Hair and makeup by Grace O’Neill

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