Last fall, Grace VanderWaal added another impressive milestone to her already-stacked resume at just 13 years old, becoming the youngest artist to ever work with guitar behemoth Fender. And almost a year later, the now 14-year-old is seeing the collaboration come to life: The Grace VanderWaal signature collection is here.
So far, the teen star's line consists of two ukuleles, the navy blue-colored Moonlight and the earthy dark walnut Signature. The former is more of a beginner model, and the latter is an electric that is performance-ready (and what VanderWaal herself plays).
When it came to designing the two ukuleles, VanderWaal -- who won America's Got Talent in 2016 thanks to her endearing ukulele playing and introspective tunes -- had a vision from the second she teamed with Fender.
"I love colors, but I also love rich sounds. And I feel like when it comes to colored ukuleles people assume they’re cheap, or that they’ll have a tinny sound. And I feel like it would be really beautiful to have a rich color but also to have a rich sound," VanderWaal told Billboard at the unveiling of her ukuleles in New York City.
Grace VanderWaal has been riding a bicycle blindfolded, figuratively, she says.
In the music video for the 15-year-old singer/songwriter's first single of 2019, "Stray," out Friday, the former "America's Got Talent" champ shows of her terrifically raspy voice while barefoot on a bike and wearing a black scarf over her eyes near Joshua Tree National Park in California.
She says her "super scary" stunt is meant to be symbolic and embody "that personality of taking risks and not knowing what I'm gonna do," she says. In reality, "if you zoom into my face, I was low-key petrified. I saw a very little slit of road in front of me, a terribly, bumpy desert road."
VanderWaal is used to taking risks, however. It was frightening to play her ukele for a televised talent show ("AGT") in 2016 when she was only 12, it was a leap for her to put out a full-length album and go on tour in 2017 at age 13, and it was way outside of her comfort zone to take on the title role of "Stargirl," her first movie that's slated to arrive on Disney's streaming platform later this year.