Meet Nashville-Recording Pop Duo, Cecilia Grace

Nashville-recording pop duo, Cecilia Grace, began making their mark 4 years ago at open mics, leaving audiences stunned by their breathtaking harmonies.

Sisters Cecilia (22) and Tessa (18) were introduced to show tunes, Church hymns, and their parents’ favorite classics from the 70s and 80s at a young age.


At Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Credits to Ben Fulton Photography

The Cecilia Grace brand has much greater significance than lead vocalist Cecilia’s name. “St. Cecilia” is the patron saint of music and “Grace” is the gift of musical talent that the sisters feel called to share.

The girls make a great songwriting team. Cecilia writes lyrics about love and heartbreak and specializes in unique arrangement, while Tessa always brings bluesy melodies and takes creative liberties in her guitar composition that continue to amaze even the most experienced guitar players.

When and why did you start singing and performing?

Tessa and I were raised in a very musical family, so we have always sung around our house and performed in choirs and musicals. When I was 12, my older brother inspired me to start playing guitar and write songs, which quickly became my passion.

I started a YouTube channel, which gained a fair following, and performed whenever I could. When Tessa was 12, she also picked up guitar and song writing and developed a passion for it. Eventually we decided to pursue a music career together, and we have been performing professionally for the past 3 years.

Where did you get your influence from or what made you pursue your style of music?

Growing up, we loved to listen to the pop music of the time and the classic rock hits of the 70s and 80s that our parents would listen to. We would draw influence for our harmonies from bands like the Bee Gees, Wilson Phillips, Aly & AJ, and the Jonas Brothers. Our music tastes have since grown, as have we, but we still love pop music and so the music that we play has translated best into that genre.

How do you get people to take you seriously as a musician?

We were both home schooled for our whole lives so we were able to constantly work on our music because it was all around us with no limitations. When I went to college, I felt very limited in my ability to create and work as hard as I needed to on my music career and I eventually realized that going to college was not necessary for this job.

When I chose to leave school and pursue music full time, I think some of my family and friends were taken aback by it and didn’t quite understand how I could make a living for myself (and Tessa) without having a degree.

Since then, we have both worked very hard and proven to everyone that with the right amount of passion and dedication, being artists can still be profitable. I think a lot of people probably still don’t realize how much work it takes to do this, but we love what we do and by being the best we can be and working as hard as we possibly can, we get people to take us seriously.


At Brandy Pete’s in Boston, MA. Photography by Cynthia Staats

What is the importance of the connections you make? How can you utilize them?

Good connections can be gold mines, but only if you know how to utilize them. There is a saying I’ve heard: “It takes years to become an overnight sensation.” We’ve always taken this saying to heart because many artists probably think that with the right connections, they can “get discovered” or have their “big break.”

We, on the other hand, see good connections as opportunities to reflect on the work that we have done (or not done) and see if we would be ready to take the next step if we were to be given the chance. There have been times when we met the owners of record labels and A&R people who could’ve handed us a deal if they wanted to, but we weren’t ready. It’s important to make those connections, though, so that they can keep an eye on you and watch you grow and maybe something will happen when you’re ready.

That being said, we have made many, many great connections both big and small that have helped us greatly and that we were also able to help. In a career like this, you need all the help and friends you can get!

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

I would say, work your tail off! Write, write, write, and practice, practice, practice. If you’ve been given a special gift of talent, you want to hone that talent and make it as amazing as it can be. You might be “good,” but only the special, dedicated, passionate, and hardworking ones will be “great.”

It’s all about the mind set and the courage to take on something that not everyone can do. As Taylor Swift says, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.”


Photography by Inchi Sugarman

If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career? Would you do anything differently?

I would definitely still choose this career if I had to do it all over again. It’s been so much fun and so easy going, while still looking promising for a future. But if I could go back to when I was 17 or so, I would tell myself not to be lazy and to just stay motivated to do the main thing I’ve always been good at.

Tessa and I are lucky that at our young ages, unlike many people, we already know what we want to do and are doing it.

Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?

We have performed in public almost every weekend for the almost 3 years. We’ve played on big and small stages for audiences of literally one person to thousands of people. We’ve played on college radio, been on local television, opened for nationally touring bands, and won singing contests at local radio stations.

One of our favorite things to do is perform the Star Spangled Banner (our National Anthem) at sporting events like the Color Run. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to honor our country while making connections with fans through our music at the same time!

Do you get nervous before a performance?

In general, no! But there have been occasions where the stakes were high, such as during an audition, where the butterflies came a little bit. However, they are always good butterflies!

Have any of your songs been published? (If so, by whom?)

We have not had anything of ours published on a larger scale, but we have written and been featured on songs that were used privately and corporately.

Are you looking for an independent label deal or a major label deal? (Why?)

We are currently not in the pursuit of a record deal at all! Right now our main goals are to keep writing, performing, and making as many fans as we can. We know that as small town artists, it’s important to “kick ass” in our own city before we move onto something bigger. We love our Baltimore fans!

What live performance experience have you had? (Any industry showcases?)

We’ve had the opportunity to perform at several music conferences over the past couple years and had our songs critiqued by some well-known industry folks. It’s always humbling to show our music to people who’ve had so much experience in the industry and yet are willing to lend their ears and advice to young, independent musicians like us.

What is next for you?

For the rest of the year, we will be doing holiday performances around our area, Baltimore, MD, as well as into New Jersey. We’ve also been learning a lot about music licensing and are hoping to go into that area of music as well as writing music for a (not too distant) future album.

Connect with Cecilia Grace

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