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This article was published 24/2/2021 (456 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Feb. 26 will be a day Goody Grace will be marking on his calendar for years to come.
The 24-year-old’s sophomore album, Don’t Forget Where You Came From, is being released Friday.
And Friday marks exactly one year after the rocker and rapper who grew up in Selkirk took a giant career step, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and performing his single Scumbag with members of Blink-182 backing him up.
"It’s such an incredible full-circle moment, Goody says. "It was a great milestone moment for me.
"That thing was incredible because it was such a last-minute situation. I was actually up in Canada when I got booked for it, I was in Selkirk, and Blink was going to perform with me as a band. (We) had never played that song together before. It was a dream come true to be on TV with one of my favourite bands of all time."
Branson Gudmundson — Goody’s been his nickname since he was a kid — moved to Los Angeles in 2014 when he was 16, armed with musical talent and a dream, and both found traction in 2020.
A deal with powerhouse label Atlantic Records led to the release of five singles and videos during the past year, resulting in more than 180 million listens on streaming services and more than 66,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, where the official video for Scumbag has surpassed 4.6 million views.
But when the finishing touches on Don’t Forget Where You Came From needed to be done last fall, Goody didn’t head to a famous L.A. studio to work with famous producers and record executives. He went to Selkirk, following the adage from which his album gets its name.
"I started making music because my mother gave me a laptop when I was nine or 10 years old and I was producing songs on GarageBand, and that technique is still how I work today.... It’s still the same process (as) when I was 10 or 11 years old," he says.
"A lot of those vocals are recorded in the closet in my grandma’s guest room that I stay when I go home. A lot of the production, aside from a few songs, is just in my laptop. I work very kind of guerrilla and on the spot."
His video for the single Grape Swisher shows the stark autumn landscape of rural Manitoba, where Goody sings among leafless trees and long-discarded cars left to rust in a farmer’s field.
"It was shot in Beausejour. I have some family out there. We went out there, me and a couple of friends and that’s where we shot it," he says. "(It was) October and a bit of November, almost two months, which was the longest I’ve been home since 2014 and 2015. I go back frequently but I’ve never really been there for a good amount of time."
Goody collaborates with Blink-182 and its drummer, Travis Barker, on the new record, as well as rappers G-Eazy and Juicy J. The combo of pop-punk and hip-hop rarely cross paths as they do on the album, which he calls a "genre-less" sound.
"I started playing guitar because I was a fan of Blink-182, who are obviously on the project, when I was four years old. And then I started producing music because I was such a big fan of Three 6 Mafia, which Juicy J was a member of. And you flash-forward and they’re both on the project and I think that’s the coolest thing," Goody says.
He began making connections with others in the L.A. music scene shortly after moving to the City of Angeles in 2014 and landing a deal with Bananabeat Records. Just don’t call it networking.
"Even now, after all this time I don’t even love the word networking because I feel like there’s some type of opportunistic value to it," he says. "What’s really got me where I am is I’ve never looked at something I could use as an opportunity. I’ve never really looked to people like that."
Goody made headlines away from the studio as well in 2020. His sudden rise caught the attention of paparazzi in Los Angeles last spring when he was seen holding hands with Kate Beckinsale, the star of films such as Van Helsing and the Underworld franchise. Tabloids and celebrity magazines reported they were dating and remarked about their ages — Beckinsale is 47 and Goody is 24 — but they’ve since split up, according to Us Weekly.
Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.