Bands to Watch: Chasing Grace

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Grace Ackerman, Phil Plested, Phil Leigh and Matt Holmes make up Chasing Grace – an indie-pop group who formed at Rickmansworth School in Hertfordshire. The four friends got their big break after performing at a “Battle of the Bands” competition at the school, where they impressed none other than Shahid Khan, better known as Naughty Boy.

With Naughty Boy’s guidance, Chasing Grace released the “Dinner Will Be Served” EP in 2013, with tracks from the record receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1Xtra. On the back of the EP, the band had writing/mixing sessions with Emeli Sandé and supported the likes of Sam Smith, John Newman and Ellie Goulding – who said that the group had “guts and soul”. It was only a matter of time before Chasing Grace signed to Naughty Boy’s label Island Universal, a deal which was completed in 2012.

The newly-signed Chasing Grace joined Devlin on his UK tour and also provided some of the vocals on “A Gift & A Curse” – one of the tracks off the London-born rapper’s second studio album, “A Moving Picture”. The group have also collaborated with the likes of “X Factor” winner James Arthur (on “Certain Things”), singer-songwriter Angel (on “Sober”) and Naughty Boy (on “So Strong”).

In January 2015, Chasing Grace released their debut album “Nowhere Near Old Enough“. The album, which was produced by Naughty Boy and his associates, includes five tracks co-written with Emeli Sandé and one with Jimmy Napes – who recently won four Grammy awards for his contribution to Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”. Despite being an upbeat album, Nowhere Near Old Enough explores themes of childhood, nostalgia, loathing and regret.

With an ever-growing fanbase that includes strong backing from some of pop’s biggest names and a solid debut album under their belt, the future is certainly looking bright for Chasing Grace.