GrandAce takes the good with the bad while soaking up some sun for his new video, “No Beaches in Ohio.” With co-director Ciara Cruder, the Cincinnati MC traveled to the beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park in Michigan for the visual, which also features shots of the song’s Australia-based producer, Inigo Magno.
“He sent the beat to me and I did what I always do: I added my own touches,” GrandAce tells Audiofemme. “It really was an active collaboration because we were talking about different ideas, switching out baselines, and doing stuff like that.”
“No Beaches in Ohio” was GrandAce’s first time working with Magno, and since the single was such a collaborative effort, it was important for him to include the producer in the song’s visual.
“It’s not something I could have made on my own because one, I don’t play guitar, and two, that type of sound isn’t where my head is at,” he adds. “I love working with people who bring their own complete sound like that, and then I was able to come in and add some sparkle. It’s literally our song, because I would’ve approached it completely differently on my own and it wouldn’t have happened without him on there.”
The sing-song-y track, underscored by synths and guitar, finds GrandAce reflecting on his Ohio dwellings, fighting against the comforts of nostalgia, and holding onto his passions.
“There was a lot of reflection on what it’s like living in the Midwest, and Ohio specifically. Depending on how you’re doing in life, Ohio can be a very bleak place,” he explains. “The winters are hard, the skies are grey. It’s a very melancholy state, which is why everybody likes to rag on it. But because everybody likes to rag on it, it’s actually becoming one of the more popular states to mention.”
GrandAce is quick to point out that there are “certain beauties” to living in Ohio, too. “Things are not as expensive as they could be, which means you can stretch your dollar to more experiences. Partially growing up in Ohio, I have a lot of really fond memories here – hanging out with friends, throwing art shows, going to malls, typical stuff,” he says. But with the simple pleasures comes a caveat: “Nostalgia is the enemy,” GrandAce sings on the track.
“There are beautiful things in the midst of such a bland place, but it’s very easy to get stuck here. It’s very easy to be complacent when you’re in a place like Ohio,” he elaborates. “I’ve met a lot of very cool, talented people who, when I met them, had very big dreams. But life can kind of beat you down, and years later they haven’t thought about what they love or their passions. Some people forget. That’s kind of what I’m trying to avoid because it’s so easy to slip into that mode, and that’s really what the song is about.”
Living by example, GrandAce has had a productive year, releasing a collaborative two-pack with Gladwell, Pad Thai. He also put out his French Vanilla EP and loosies “Granite Countertops” and “Sufficiency,” and has another single, video, and two full projects coming out early next year. “The projects are finished now, but I keep adding to them and tweaking them,” he says. “What they are now might not be what they are later.”
For now, “No Beaches in Ohio” is a great reminder to keep at it, no matter where you are in life. “The song is appreciating the good with the bad and reflecting,” GrandAce says, “but also being aware that reflecting too much can be a bad thing.”
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