Crystal McGrath is more than your average country singer. Hailing from Alberta, Canada, McGrath remembers belting songs in her bedroom while imagining a crowd of thousands singing along with every word. McGrath, now we’ll on her way to achieving this childhood dream is looking to leave a legacy that lasts beyond her music. McGrath’s debut single, “About A Boy” is rich with a message of female empowerment, a cause near and dear to McGrath’s heart. McGrath states that her life mission is to “inspire” others to be their best selves whether they be through music or any other available avenue.
Recently. We had the chance to chat with McGrath about her musical journey, “About A Boy”, and making an impact beyond music
Who would you describe as your biggest musical influences?
There are so many!!! From so many different genres!!! I have always been a Shania Twain fan! Celine Dion’s vocals and performance always lit me up I used to make my own music videos singing along to her songs as a kid! I loved performing jazz music when I first got into performing artists like Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan! The first song I really remember feeling alive performing was I’m a woman at 16 yrs old! Dolly Parton is a beautiful songwriter and performer, and then I just love a good pop song was always influenced by Christina Aguilara and Lady Gaga! My favourite country singers are Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert and Reba Macintire. I would also have to shout out Missy Higgins as when I lived in Australia with my guitar I listened to her album the sound of white on repeat!!!!
When did you know that music was something that you wanted to pursue with your life?
Probably goes back to my bedroom singing days imagining I was performing for thousands of people. My dad got me a guitar when I was about 15 that I learned a few chords and started teaching myself how to write music. It was the one thing that took me out of the day and into a space of inspiration where I would lose track of time. It was my teenage years of getting lost in music that I knew I could not live a life with out pursuing music!
Once you knew, what was your first step towards making it a reality?
The most pivotal moment for me was when I was going to school for marketing and I would always catch myself writing music in class. One day I realized I was not paying attention to anything and always in my own musical world so I got up and left class and on my way grabbed the community paper the “Georgia Straight” in the classified section. The first thing I saw was “Do you want to make a demo?” I immediately replied to the ad and over the next few days I was in the studio making a demo of “Walking Away” ironic that I had walked away from school to pursue music full time. It was from that moment that I made my first album and have not stopped!
You do a lot of work outside of music as well, what can you tell us about the “Live With Love” platform which you founded?
I have been doing yoga since I can remember, I would always be the first to sign up for the 30 day and sometimes even 60 day hot yoga challenges. Something about the accountability of showing up for yourself and staying committed to your goals inspired me on and off my mat in life!
I started teaching barre classes because I was going daily and I thought how great would it be to be paid for performance training! I got to wear a microphone and run around doing cardio and connecting with participants, creating playlists that made people feel alive and inspired everyone in the room to feel better than they did when they came in! This then inspired me to take my yoga teacher training which honestly was the biggest personal development experience I have ever had! Yoga teacher training is not just about movement, it is about digging deeper emotionally to discover your blocks and belief systems then working through them, letting them go and becoming more mindful with yourself to live to your full potential! Having this training opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and learning to love myself.
I founded Live with love to share all the tools I have learned over the years through movement and mindset. It is an online platform offering classes and coaching in movement and mindset! There are daily zoom classes and an on demand library with hundreds of classes in Yoga, HIIT, Barre, Meditation, Sound Bowl Healing and Spin! Members also receive a monthly workbook with prompting questions to expand their mindset and encourage positive living! We have recently launched the Artist Wellness program as well that is a hybrid of music, movement and mindset tools for artists to live a balanced life!
Why is it important for you to make an impact with more than just your music?
My personal mission statement is to inspire individuals to be the best version of themselves. To be able to do that through music, movement and mindset lights me up! It’s important to do what lights you up!
How would you describe your musical style for those that haven’t heard your music?
In the country music spectrum, my music falls in the realm of country-pop. It’s a niche that gives me the creative liberties to experiment with my sound and push the boundaries of my genre, without compromising the message I want to share with the world!
My voice is also my main instrument, so you can expect powerhouse vocal performances that are often described as being a blend between Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini and Christina Aguilara on each of my songs and at my live shows!
What’s the story behind your new song, “About A Boy”?
“About a Boy” was written by 3 talented songstresses, Emma-Lee, Karen Kosowski and Robyn Dell’Unto. The first time I heard it, the song really stood out for me! From the get-go, the song does a great job of painting the picture of a confident woman who can stand on her own two feet, but still is in touch with her feminine side and emotions. This point is really driven home in the part where she’s watching the romantic film, and wishes she was the female lead being swooned by the male lead— it shows that even in a fleeting moment, deep down we all crave that natural human connection. And this is what makes the song so relatable to many women! Ask any girl, and they all have stories about how at one point in their lives, there was a boy they just couldn’t get out of their head!!
I also love how the song clearly states “WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ABOUT A BOY?” I’m a huge advocate for female empowerment, inspiring women to be the best versions of themselves and go after what they want in life!!
We are in a time where being a woman in a position of power is becoming more common. I feel like this song in a way represents that emotion for me posing the question “why?” and really reminding ourselves/listeners that women are equally valid and can play on the same field!
What’s next for you?
I’m grateful that I can wake up every day, doing what I love! That’s a win in itself ! However, I do have a list of goals that I want to achieve by the end of this year and I have already been fortunate enough to check some of them off the list! One of those goals would be to have a song charting in the top 20 charts in Australia and Canada. However my success as an artist doesn’t hinge on that:) But I look forward to working towards that goal and releasing new music later this year!