For most people, their 20s is a decade devoted to figuring out what lies ahead, and narrowing down which career path is most viable.
However, 26-year-old Clyde Lawrence and his 22-year-old sister, Gracie, don’t necessarily fit this mold. The siblings are the heart of the soul-pop band, Lawrence, (hence their last name), and work alongside six talented musicians.
Their energetic, funky sound stands out in today’s music scene. There’s no denying the two deviate from mainstream pop, with an organic approach that’s altering the genre as we know it.
The siblings have been interested in music their whole lives. Originally from New York, Clyde and Gracie grew up in an artistic family and established a fondness for the entertainment industry at a young age.
Their father is Marc Lawrence, the writer and producer known for movies such as Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, and The Rewrite.
Gracie said Clyde has been writing music since “he was like three years old.” When Clyde was only six, his song “Miss United States” was featured in his father’s film, Miss Congeniality.
“For [Clyde], it’s always been this sort of like second language,” said Gracie. “I’ve always gravitated towards performing.”
Gracie has acted in various movies and TV shows, including The Sitter, The Goodwife, and Did You Hear About the Morgans?
“It was kind of a natural collaboration that someone who wanted to perform and someone who wanted to write songs that grew up in the same living room would kind of work together.”
The band released their first LP, Breakfast, in 2016. Since then, they’ve headlined various tours, released their sophomore album, Living Room (2018), opened for artist and producer Jon Bellion on his 2019 Glory Sound Prep Tour, and became the first band to sign with Bellion’s label, Beautiful Minds.
Most recently, Lawrence released the soundtrack they produced for the Disney+ original, Noelle. They also came out with “It’s Not All About You” on Nov. 19 – the second single off their next album, which Clyde said is still in the works.
It’s clear the two have compiled quite the list of achievements and it just keeps growing. Yet, their success didn’t happen overnight.
Clyde said it was their friendship which brought the band together.
“Our drummer is someone that I’ve been in school with since middle school, and our saxophone player is one of my best friends from early childhood,” he said. “Seven out of the eight of us went to the same college, and that’s sort of where we all kind of really connected and started playing together.
“The rest…of us went to the same college, and that’s sort of where we all kind of really connected and started playing together.”
Both Clyde and Gracie attended Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Clyde graduated, but Gracie said she didn’t make it that far.
“I went for a year and a week, and then I left,” she laughed. “A crucial week. I learned a lot about myself.”
Gracie said she didn’t get to the point where she would have established her major, but spent most of her time in play writing and music production classes.
Clyde on the other hand, majored in psychology. He said it was an area he was interested in, but didn’t plan to pursue.
“From the get-go, there was really no doubt in my mind that I was going to be pursuing music,” he explained. “I went to school knowing that it was the time that I really wanted use to meet really interesting people. But at the same time really focused on…furthering myself as a musician and starting to build a following.”
The band used their time in college to create a platform for themselves.
After performing at countless frat parties and school events at Brown and other schools “around the northeast” almost every weekend, Clyde said Lawrence developed a sizable fan base before they even graduated.
“College is a time when you like to create lasting memories…So, we managed to kind of weasel our way into people’s like, you know, nostalgic feelings of their college time,” he reminisced. “I think that if you play the kind of music that people in college are going to enjoy hearing at parties, college is actually a massive opportunity to take advantage of while you have it and while you have a captive audience that’s there.”
Clyde said making the jump from no fans to a couple hundred is the hardest obstacle to overcome. Since they began their musical career in school, they didn’t have to start from scratch after graduation.
They also established a recognizable sound during college. This gave them a bit of a head start.
After graduation, Gracie said music producer Eric Krasno teamed up with the band and helped create their first album.
“[He] believed in us enough to kind of be the producer of a band that had a following from college, but was fairly new. It kind of took off from there,” she said.
“Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me?” was the first single they released as a band. Gracie said it was the song that served as a “band manifesto.
“It’s also a song that [Clyde] had written in college. So, we played it at college parties and the fans that had come to see our shows knew that song,” Gracie said.
Clyde added, “I think that it’s important for bands starting out to have a song or have a way to really get…their personality really clearly into it.”
The siblings acknowledged how difficult this lifestyle can be. Clyde was quick to admit the lack of money in the industry and the hard work needed to create a name for yourself nowadays.
“We grew up in a family of artists. So, there was never any doubt or question surrounding the idea that it was a totally viable, typical life to approach…I think that people who have done well might be too quick to advise other people to [do it] because it really is just a different road for everyone,” Clyde expressed.
“So much of this industry is just about drive. Just about how you choose to present yourself to the world and how you choose to approach each day with enthusiasm,” Gracie added. “I think that if you’re a person who has that sort of drive alongside, most importantly, talent to some degree, I think it can be a really amazing journey to go on.”
Lawrence is currently on their New Season Tour and will be performing in Toronto on April 9, 2020.