MTV

Grace VanderWaal Tells Us How Scrolling Instagram Led To Her Song 'So Much More Than This'

The 13-year-old singer-songwriter is MTV's Push: Artist to Watch for December

Grace VanderWaal is 13 years old (almost 14, to be fair) and she's already seen two records crack the Billboard 200. Her Perfectly Imperfect EP and debut album, Just the Beginning, both charted, and her big Golden Buzzer win on America's Got Talent in 2016 helped elevate her profile even further. She even got a bouquet of flowers from Taylor Swift out of it.

Now, VanderWaal is taking a leap forward for "So Much More Than This," which she stopped by to perform as MTV's Push: Artist to Watch for the month of December.

"I was in the car going to the producing session, and the radio was on," VanderWaal said while breaking down the song's genesis. "It's all about love and hatred and people who are mean to you — just seems like all songs on the radio are like that."

That frustration led VanderWaal to the studio, where she started working on what she wanted to communicate through the chorus hook. One of the song's co-writers spent the time scrolling through Instagram, leading VanderWaal to include the lyric "close your phone and breathe in the air" in the chorus.

"Everyone thinks that it's about technology," she said, "and that was a split decision to put that in just because I saw the producer on their phone."

It evolved into its final version, VanderWaal said, with an extremely positive message in mind: "You just gotta find what makes you happy."

The liberating new music video for "So Much More Than This" is out now, too, and you can watch it below.