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Stray (Original)

Type: Official
Writers: Grace Vanderwaal
Times Performed: 39
Play on Apple Music
Play Official Video


"The song, out Feb. 22, is about "finding your way through that unsure ground as you grow up, and allowing your personality to mature with you," Vanderwaal explains.

The artist adds that the track is "special" to her because of how it was made. "I wrote the intro, chorus, and the second line, and then I stopped and gave up on it for a few days," she says. "Usually, if I'm going to write a song, I have to finish it then or I'll never be able to revisit it because I'm out of that moment and that momentum is lost. I thought I was leaving 'Stray' behind, and then the rest just popped in my mind later." ( MARISSA DESANTIS Feb. 22, 2019)

“So, I was on tour, I filmed the movie and came back home and it was just weird, being in that world and like separate personality of myself for so long and then having to like really quickly go back to like high school normal stuff, and I feel like everyone, at that point of going up and going to school and stuff, it’s like everyone has a point where they feel like they almost like labelled their personality, you know. I found myself almost like wondering, what IS my personality? Who am I? I wrote Stray, kind of about that, and trying to sort of reconnect with myself, I guess. I hadn’t released anything for about a year, so it was a long time. My fans are really considerate for me, I feel it’s like different from other fans, because we are kind of like growing up together, so I feel like we are very close because we go through kind of the same things. But, everything that’s happened to me kind of perfectly let into Stray, and I think that’s why it’s so close to me, cause it’s kind of like about not anything specific, but about how I have been feeling for a while. Not just like a memory.” (Grace Vanderwaal Finds Herself in "Stray" Music Choice Feb. 25, 2019)

“Stray is kind of just about sort of finding yourself as you are growing up. Because obviously everyone evolves and changes and its just about staying in touch with yourself as you change and you know, not getting distracted. Most of the inspiration for this song wasn’t really about growing up in the industry but more about growing up in my personal life and balancing those two, ‘cause I think it was confusing for me, you know, with kind of like my “work”-personality and my “normal” personality, going back to school and kind of wondering where I fit in, you know? That sound like so cliché, but it’s how I felt. I am happy that it happened though, because I wrote Stray and it’s probably one of the closest songs to me that I have written in a while, which feels good.” (Grace Vanderwaal opens up about her struggles growing up on "Stray", Interview with Entercom, released Feb. 22, 2019)

VanderVault member Dennis Peloquin has tracked the production of the song: "Grace records in studio on or about August 25, 2018 ( ). The song is finished mixing and mastering on or about December 23, 2018 ( ). The song is released on February 22, 2019 ( ). In this case the turn around time from studio recording to song release was six months." (Post by Dennis Peloquin on the Vandervault sep 22 2020)


2019.02.21 Stray Release Event (The Slipper Room) This first performance of Stray was marred by technical problems. The performance the day after at Billboard Live is the first with no technical problems
2019.02.22 Billboard Livestream (Billboard Studios)
2019.03.20 Rolling Stone Women Shaping the Future Brunch (The Altman Building) Fragment (11s) 
2019.05.31 CAL Polytech "Spring Fever" Sunset Concert (California Polytech University, University Union Plaza)
2019.06.05 Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creck High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)  
2019.06.06 Ameris Bank (formerly Verizon) Amphitheater High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine) Fragment (12s) 
2019.06.08 Amway Centre High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)  
2019.06.09 American Airlines Arena High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)
2019.06.26 World of McIntosh X Farfetch's Sunset Sessions (World of McIntosh)
2019.08.07 Wasting Time – A Performance with Grace VanderWaal (YouTube Space at Chelsea Market)
2019.08.10 Railbird Festival (The grounds of Keeneland Racetrack) Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.11 Orange Peel Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.13 Cannery Ballroom Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.14 Variety Playhouse Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.16 Granada Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (1m12s)
2019.08.17 Emo's Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.18 Warehouse Live Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.21 The van Buren Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.22 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.25 The Observatory Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.27 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (36s)
2019.08.28 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.29 The Fillmore Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.01 The Depot Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (39s) strung together of several clips) at 0:58 
2019.09.02 Washington's Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.03 Bluebird Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.06 Varsity Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.07 Park West Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.09 Saint Andrews Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.11 The Opera House Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.13 Royale Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.14 College Street Music Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.16 Theatre of Living Arts Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.17 Webster Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.19 The National Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.20 9:30 Club Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of song (1m14s)
2019.09.21 Rams Head Live! Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.11.24 Wonderfront Festival (Uncle Ed's D*mn Good Vodka Stage)
2022.07.26 PACSUN Denim & Music (Soho PACSUN) Complete (but Facebook - so not accesible to all) 

Reviews, Reactions etc.

Type Comment Link
Behind the songGrace Vanderwaal finds herself in "Stray"
Behind the songGrace sends handwritten letter to Fans ahead of Stray release
Behind the songGrace VanderWaal opens up about her struggles growing up on "Stray"
Behind the scenes - videoOfficial behind the Scenes - Stray Video
Behind the scenes - videoGrace breaks down the music video for "Stray"
Song reviewAn impressive and mature pop song
Song reviewEclectic and Intriguing, Grace VanderWaal Returns with New Music!
Reaction to songiamsymphony Reacting to Stray (The music-video version)
Reaction to songSaWD - Rock Musicians Reaction to the "Live From the Slipper Room" version
Reaction to songBreakdown of Grace's performance of the song
Song related contentGrace VanderWaal's New Song "Stray" Powerfully Captures The Pain Of Growing Up
Song related contentTeen sensation Grace VanderWaal opens up about songwriting struggles in new single 'Stray'


Release Date Record Type Track
2019-12-23Letters Vol 1 (Japanese version)EP7


Covers and Remixes

Type Comment Link