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A Better Life (Original)

Type: Official
Writers: Grace Vanderwaal
Times Performed: 21
Play Official Video


“I don’t talk about the meaning of that song much. I have a brother! Some people don’t know that. I forgot to say I had a brother on America’s Got Talent! He never lets me forget that. Yes, I have a brother. He wasn’t home much, and I wrote that song for him, because he did struggle with drug-addiction and addiction in general. And he is like old Jacob now, he came over for the super-bowl, and like, that’s the best, he is really the best.” (Grace on stage at The Sinclair Feb. 5, 2018, after singing “Better life”)

“With “better Life” I remember, I walked into the studio and we were looking for some kind of instrument, and then I saw like this weird looking ukulelelish instrument, and I was like – “what is that?” and Gregg [her producer and co-writer for the song] is like, “that’s a mandolin”, and I’m like, “well, let’s try to use that”, and it sounded beautiful,. I feel like the mandolin now is such a statement to that song. I feel like it makes it sound, just like a boat going down France, like a nice little mandolin and a girl with a pretty umbrella”. (Behind the song video, released Dec. 18, 2017)

REVIEW: On “A Better Life.” Vanderwaal’s voice continues to sound mature behind its years, particularly with those signature cracks and nuances. This is a simplistic, singer-songwriter-oriented song that lures the listener in from the start. (Review, The Musical Hype Nov. 8, 2017)


2017.10.07 Austin City Limits (Week 1) (Zilker Park)
2017.10.14 Austin City Limits (week 2) (Zilker Park)
2017.10.25 Hope for Change in Ramapo political party (Lafayette Theatre) Part of (1:01m) 
2017.11.05 The Troubadour Just the Beginning Tour Beginning is missing
2017.11.13 Irving Plaza Just the Beginning Tour
2017.11.15 Park West Just the Beginning Tour Part of (52s) Good video but sound a bit distorted
2017.12.05 FLY 92.3 Not So Silent Night (Palace Theatre)
2017.12.07 98.5 KRZ Let it Show 2017 (F.M. Kirby Centre for the Performing Arts)
2018.01.06 The Art of Elysium - John Legends Heaven 2018 (Barker Hangar )
2018.01.20 Private Acoustic Concert (Bean Runner Cafe)
2018.02.05 The Sinclair Just the Beginning Tour With an explanation afterwards about how she wrote it to/about her Brother Jacob who had struggled with addiction
2018.02.07 9:30 Club Just the Beginning Tour Almost complete (last few seconds missing)
2018.02.09 Cannery Ballroom Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.10 Terminal West Just the Beginning Tour Part of (1m10s)
2018.02.12 Warehouse Live Just the Beginning Tour Part of (1m21s)
2018.02.13 Trees Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.16 Bluebird Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.20 Slim's Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.22 Hawthorn Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.23 Neumos Just the Beginning Tour No media available but confirmed by video now deleted
2018.04.21 MVCC Cultural Series (Mohawk Valley Community College) Just the Beginning Tour

Reviews, Reactions etc.

Type Comment Link
Behind the songGrace explains the song
Reaction to songSinger and music coach Nina Schofield


Release Date Record Type Track
2017-11-03Just the BeginningLP10
2017-11-03Just the Beginning (Target version)LP10
2017-11-10Just the Beginning (Japanese version)LP10


Covers and Remixes

Type Comment Link