After releasing her outstanding debut single, “Haunted House” in November, 15-year-old multi-talent Mckenna Grace is back with a highly anticipated second track, “do all my friends hate me?”. Mckenna premiered the official video via her YouTube channel. The impressively cinematic video was conceived and co-directed by Mckenna Grace in collaboration with Gus Black. The song is available on DSPs.
Revealing her gift for capturing our most intimate feelings and insecurities, “do all my friends hate me?” arrives as a stark piano ballad with luminous strings and a particularly striking vocal performance. “I have really bad anxiety when it comes to my friends, and I’m always worried they secretly hate me or are annoyed with me,” she says. “I wrote that song while I was stuck in a two-week quarantine before a shoot in Canada. None of my friends were calling or texting me back, and it was all I had to focus on. I just felt so insecure, isolated and sad.”
Mckenna was inspired to use the song’s music video to spotlight the work of The Jed Foundation – an organization dedicated to preventing suicide in young adults and teenagers. “It is very hard sometimes to turn negative thoughts into helpful ones, but I have found a lot of helpful tools from the JED Foundation for me and my friends when we are feeling down,” she says. Mckenna will be a guest on an upcoming episode of Jenna Andrews’ mental health chat show, The Green Room. Jenna – whose co-writing credits include BTS, Drake and Ed Sheeran – co-wrote the song with Mckenna along with Rachel Kanner (Katy Perry, R3HAB, Maggie Lindemann), and producer Cody Tarpley (Lennon Stella, Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Cyrus). In bringing the track to life, Mckenna and Cody worked on layering in the idiosyncratic details such as the lonely sound of a phone ringing with no answer. “I love to write songs that you can cry to but also totally jam out, like with ‘Haunted House,’” she notes, “but with ‘do all my friends hate me?’ I really just wanted to focus on making it as sad and dramatic as possible.”
Mckenna released her acclaimed debut single – described by NPR’s Bob Boilen as “a stunning debut” – in November. Since then, “Haunted House” has garnered over 5.6 million streams across DSPs and has sailed high in the Shazam charts around the globe. The song was used as the end credit theme in Jason Reitman’s lauded Ghostbusters: Afterlife, in which Mckenna stars as a whip-smart young ghostbuster in what critics called a “revelatory, star-making performance.”
Mckenna Grace’s star has been ascending for some time with a string of impressive performances in film and television roles, including an Emmy nomination for her work in The Handmaid’s Tale earlier this year, as well as the lead role in Gifted with Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer, a young Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, and the thirteen-year-old Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. Behind the scenes, Mckenna has been nurturing her passion for songwriting. Since teaching herself ukulele at the age of 11, she has spent much of her time on set and off, writing music. During the pandemic, Mckenna immersed herself in songwriting to cope with the isolation of lockdown, teasing out songs on piano and guitar. As she generated more material, Mckenna also began collaborating with co-writers, constantly sharpening her process to create songs both intensely specific and undeniably resonant. Once the world opened back up and her acting resumed, she used every moment of free time on set to work on her music, eventually inking a deal with Photo Finish Records in 2020. She recently finished filming the sequel to The Bad Seed which she produced and wrote the screenplay for during the pandemic.
About the Jed Foundation: JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. They’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. They’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. They’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health. Learn more and access resources at www.jedfoundation.org.