Grace Semler Baldrige: “Try to create something everyday”

Try to create something everyday. Creativity for me works like a muscle and if I don’t work it out, I don’t get better. Set deadlines for yourself. They shouldn’t be unreasonable, but they should be enough to hold yourself accountable. Be consistent. Not everything you will create will be a “hit.” Learn how to take […]

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Try to create something everyday. Creativity for me works like a muscle and if I don’t work it out, I don’t get better. Set deadlines for yourself. They shouldn’t be unreasonable, but they should be enough to hold yourself accountable. Be consistent. Not everything you will create will be a “hit.” Learn how to take time for yourself but also get back up and keep plugging away at your craft. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. I have a bad habit of talking myself out of things and getting in my head. Fortunately, I have an amazing support group of friends and family who are always there to encourage me when I’m down. Have fun! Creating should be bliss, fun, and exciting. Listen to your intuition if things get too heavy and take care of yourself. Songwriting is a way for me to process trauma — but creating a song is also fun, and that’s important.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Grace Semler Baldrige.

Grace Semler Baldridge, or Semler, is a queer singer/songwriter currently holding the #1 spot on the iTunes Christian Music Charts. Their latest project Preacher’s Kid was written and recorded entirely at home on a USB mic. During quarantine Semler began to reflect and unpack their experience as a queer Christian raised in the Church. The unprecedented success of Preacher’s Kid is largely due to support from TikTok where Semler has been vocal and viral about their mission for LGBTQ+ inclusion. Aside from music, Grace has been nominated for a GLAAD Award in 2020 for Outstanding Digital Journalism for this episode of their documentary series, State Of Grace. The episode dives into the exclusionary practices of the Christian Music Industry and served as a launching point for Semler creatively.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born in the United States, but I spent my formative years in Waterloo, Belgium. My Dad is an Episcopal priest, so I grew up in the rectory and generally being a source of chaos around the church.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been writing music as early as I can remember, but I started writing about my religious upbringing and deconstruction during quarantine after finding a community of like-minded people with similar backgrounds on TikTok.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Probably charting #1 on iTunes Christian Music as an openly queer singer/songwriter.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’ve made so many mistakes throughout my career. Lyrics that I thought worked that just don’t. Style choices! Oh my gosh! I think what I’ve learned from it all is that you have to keep going and keep creating to get to a point where you feel seen and understood as an artist.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right, it is definitely this EP, ‘Preacher’s Kid’ and seeing how long we can keep this project on the Christian charts.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Simply put: You can’t be what you can’t see. Diversity in representation is the most empowering thing that a piece of art can offer to someone else. To show someone that their perspective and experience is valuable and reflect that back to them.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Try to create something everyday. Creativity for me works like a muscle and if I don’t work it out, I don’t get better. Set deadlines for yourself. They shouldn’t be unreasonable, but they should be enough to hold yourself accountable. Be consistent. Not everything you will create will be a “hit.” Learn how to take time for yourself but also get back up and keep plugging away at your craft. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. I have a bad habit of talking myself out of things and getting in my head. Fortunately, I have an amazing support group of friends and family who are always there to encourage me when I’m down. Have fun! Creating should be bliss, fun, and exciting. Listen to your intuition if things get too heavy and take care of yourself. Songwriting is a way for me to process trauma — but creating a song is also fun, and that’s important.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Rest as much as you need and reach out to a friend if you need encouragement. Not every song needs to be “the song” or something super serious. Most of the time it’s fun to write just for the sake of writing.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I definitely don’t have enormous influence and I don’t seek to inspire a movement — I just want people who have ever experienced exclusion from the church or Christianity to feel like there is a place of belonging available to them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife has been incredibly supportive throughout the entire process of creating this record and encouraging me to follow my dreams of becoming a Christian artist.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My Mom always says, “In the end, it will all be fine. And if it’s not fine, it’s not the end.”

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to talk to Matt Thiessen from Relient K. He had a big influence on me as a songwriter and it’d be cool to talk to him now.

How can our readers follow you online?

I’m on Instagram and Twitter @gracebaldridge and my artist name is Semler. My EP ‘Preacher’s Kid’ is available everywhere now.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!


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