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I Don't Know My Name (Original)

Type: Official
Writers: Grace VanderWaal
Times Performed: 154
Play Official Video

Notes

I Don’t Know My Name is about finding yourself, ‘cause I’ve been through every phase possible, I am probably still going to be. I do these crazy phases! That’s what it was about, trying to find out who you are and what you want to do. I want to be like an artist, a photographer, a director a businesswoman, I went through [all those phases]. (Interview with Blythe Thomas, uploaded Dec. 17 ,2016 – see the brief behind the song clip below)

“… I’ve gone through so many different phases and styles and friendships, and it’s about how now, I think that this is who I want to be, and this is what I want my life path to be.’” (Interview with Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, June 9, 2016) “I had realized that I now know that this (music) is something that I want my life to be.” (David Sikorski for the Daily Beast, Jun. 10, 2016)

“I wrote down ‘I don’t know my name’ while I was doing math homework. And I just came up with the tune, and then I put words to it. And then I came up with the plot of it and then that made it easier for lines, and then it was just born!” (Andrew Gelwicks for Teen Vogue Aug. 22, 2016)

“It started out when I was just playing the ukulele and I was actually – if you went through the chords, it’s the same chords as ‘House of Gold’ by Twenty-One Pilots, ‘cause I was actually playing that song, and then I came up with that ‘I don’t know my name’, and I was like ‘what is that? That makes no sense. And then it started to like make itself and get its own topic. … I remember I was super self-conscious about it when I first played it for my sister and my mom, ‘cause they were like ‘you’ve got to change the words Grace, that makes no sense. Why don’t you know your name?’ And I remember I ran upstairs, and I was like [sobbing], ‘I worked so hard on that song’”. (Interview with Mario Lopez at ON With Mario Lopez Sep. 20, 2016)

“I Don’t Know My Name took like 20 minutes [to write], and then to perfect it, it took like 2 hours, because I was really, really stuck on the second line. My sister helped me on the second line.” (Interview on KiddNation April 18, 2017). From the interview it is not quite clear if she actually means the second line, she says that it may have been “I am lost, trying to get found” which is the first line of the bridge.

She almost auditioned with something else entirely. In the mix of considerations were Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s,” Vance Joy’s “Riptide,” and the top contender, Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” (Andrew Gelwicks for Teen Vogue Aug. 22, 2016)

The Original title of the song was ”Lost Girl” (Mike Kertok Timeline page).

Grace has been asked if she still likes the song several times since then. She has said that the song is a part of her and her story and that she is fine with it. But she has felt that she had to sing it to satisfy her audience. In a TikTok live in April 2021, she put it like this: "I used to like pressure myself to, for example, always sing I Don’t Know My Name for like every concert that I did - I do like that song by the way. That’s actually, I’d say it’s my most liked songs out of all the old ones, which is funny. But I would always feel like everyone would be disappointed if I don’t sing that. I would always think everyone is only there for that, for like that moment. I even felt during the concert that everyone was just waiting for it."



Performances

2015.07.13 Studio Two Open Mic (Bean Runner Cafe) Open Mic Possibly first performance, but info uncertain
2016.02.05 At home
2016.06.07 AGT First audition (Pasadena Civic Auditorium) AGT
2016.06.11 Strawberry Festival (Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church) .
2016.07.01 At her grandparents
2016.07.08 Ramapo Summer Concert (Palisades Credit Union Park )
2016.07.20 At home  
2016.07.20 At home
2016.07.30 Free Concert (Lafayette Theatre)
2016.08.07 At home Part of (33s) composed of two YouNow clips
2016.09.14 AGT Finals (Dolby Theatre) AGT
2016.09.15 Access Hollywood Live (Terrace Studios) The song is at 13:03 in the "Full video" above
2016.09.15 Interview with Mario Lopez, at "Extra", Live on Facebook (Unversal Studios)
2016.09.17 Celebrity Fan Festival Pre-Emmys party (Hollywood American Legion Post)
2016.09.21 The Ellen Show (Warner Bros. Studios)
2016.10.27 AGT Live Concert (The PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) AGT
2016.10.28 AGT Live Concert (The PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) AGT
2016.10.29 AGT Live Concert (The PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) AGT
2016.10.30 AGT Live Concert (The PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) AGT
2016.11.24 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (The GoldieBlox float Macy's Thanksgiving parade)
2016.11.28 The Today Show (NBC Studios) Song at 1:30
2016.11.29 South Street Seaport Christmas tree lighting (South Street Seaport)
2016.12.02 The Wendy Williams Show (Chelsea Television Studios)
2016.12.03 Cyndi Lauper & friends Home for the Holidays. (Beacon Theatre) Performed in the middle of the concert - no media
2016.12.08 CBS's The Talk (Studio City) Performance documented by video that has since been taken private
2016.12.09 Z100 Jingle Ball (IHeartRadio) (Madison Square Garden)
2016.12.14 Horizon Media Holiday Party (Hammerstein Ballroom) Part of (1:15m) Video is a strange splitscreen format
2017.01.16 Live with Kelly (ABC Studios)
2017.01.23 Paste Magazine Live (Paste Magazine)
2017.01.24 Elvis Duran Show (Z 100 studios)
2017.02.07 iHeartRadio Live Sessions (Honda Stage, Brooklyn Art Library )
2017.02.13 Lighting tower and singing for 13 engaged couples (Empire State Building) at 2:31 (A Facebook Video that does not accept timestamps) 
2017.02.28 US99 Contry Station Today Show (US99 Chicago)
2017.02.28 Leo Burnett Artist-in-Residence programme (Leo Burnett Building) Part of (45s) 
2017.03.01 WE Day (Allstate Arena)  
2017.03.22 Duke of Uke
2017.03.24 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 Closing ceremony (Stadium Graz)
2017.04.18 Kidd Kraddick Morning Show (Studios at Las Colinas Blvd)
2017.04.20 Amazon Music, private performance (Amazon HQ) Part of (1m) 
2017.04.21 WE Day (Key Arena ) The "official" recording
2017.04.29 Radio Disney Music Awards (Microsoft Theatre)
2017.05.10 Astronauts Wanted And Rumble Yard Joint 2017 NewFront Presentation (Sony Square) Fragment (24s) 
2017.05.21 Valley Hospital Benefit Concert (Ramapo High School)
2017.06.15 Sony Music Labels 2017 Newcomer Convention (Private event) (Zepp Hall) Fragment (13a) 
2017.06.15 Sony Music Labels 2017 Newcomer Convention (Private event) (Zepp Hall) Part of (52s) 
2017.06.17 Spotify "Kimono" Event (Spotify offices)
2017.06.17 Perfectly Imperfect release event (Tower Records) Fragment (14s)
2017.06.19 Sukkiri TV Show (Nippon TV)
2017.06.21 YouTube Vidcon (Anaheim Convention Centre)
2017.07.06 Shops At Nanuet Concert Series (Shops At Nanuet ) Almost complete (1:20 min)
2017.07.20 Moonlight video release Party (Sony Square)
2017.08.25 AMP Radio's Switch Party (AMP Radio Detroit) Fragment (15s) 
2017.08.29 Interview & Performance Q102 Philly (Q102 Philly)
2017.09.20 WE Day (The Theatre at Madison Square Garden) Taken from front and center
2017.09.22 107.5 The River (107.5 The River WRVW-FM)
2017.10.07 Austin City Limits (Week 1) (Zilker Park) Official recording
2017.10.14 Austin City Limits (week 2) (Zilker Park)
2017.11.05 The Troubadour Just the Beginning Tour
2017.11.08 Mall of America
2017.11.13 Irving Plaza Just the Beginning Tour
2017.11.15 Park West Just the Beginning Tour
2017.11.26 HMW and Books Miniconcert (HMV and Books)
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)
2017.12.09 K104’s Not So Silent Night (The Chance Theatre) At 16:58 in this Facebook video (so no timestamps) 
2018.01.20 Private Acoustic Concert (Bean Runner Cafe)
2018.02.05 The Sinclair Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.05 Honda Stage, Brooklyn Art Library
2018.02.07 9:30 Club Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.09 Cannery Ballroom Just the Beginning Tour Fragment (25s) 
2018.02.10 Terminal West Just the Beginning Tour Beginning is missing
2018.02.12 Warehouse Live Just the Beginning Tour Part of (45s)
2018.02.13 Trees Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.15 Interview & Performance Children's Hospital (Childrens Hospital Colorado, Seacrest Studios)
2018.02.16 Bluebird Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.20 Slim's Just the Beginning Tour Two short posts on Instagram
2018.02.22 Hawthorn Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.23 Neumos Just the Beginning Tour
2018.04.21 MVCC Cultural Series (Mohawk Valley Community College) Just the Beginning Tour
2018.06.05 Xfinity Theatre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.06 Xfinity Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.08 Darling's Waterfront Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (55s)
2018.06.09 PNC Bank Arts Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (55s)
2018.06.11 St. Josephs's Health Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.13 Budwesier Stage Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.14 Budwesier Stage Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (10s) 
2018.06.16 Hershey Park Stadium Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.17 Blossom Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.06.19 Madison Square Garden Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.21 DT Energy Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.06.22 Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.24 Century Link Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.26 Denny Sanford Premier Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.27 Summerfest (American Family Insurrance Amphitheater) Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.29 Saratoga Performing Arts Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (1m11s)
2018.07.02 Jiffy Lube Live Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) 360 degree view from far away, you can hear but not see Grace 
2018.07.03 Veterans United Home Loan Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)  
2018.07.05 Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creck Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.07 Colonial Life Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (9s) 
2018.07.08 Brandon Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.10 Bridgestone Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.07.11 Hollywood Casino Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (22s) 
2018.07.13 Hollywood Casino Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (20s) 
2018.07.14 Sprint Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.16 Red Rocks Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.18 Isleta Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (29s) 
2018.07.21 The Forum Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.22 The Forum Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.24 Concord Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (19s) 
2018.07.26 Bobcat Stadium Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.28 Loveloud - Concert (Rice-Eccles Stadium) Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.30 INTRUST Bank Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (57s) 
2018.08.01 BOK Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.08.02 Austin 360 Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.08.04 Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (38s) 
2018.08.05 Smoothie King Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.08.07 The Wharf Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (25s) 
2018.08.09 Coral Sky Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (51s) 
2018.08.10 MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2019.02.21 Stray Release Event (The Slipper Room)
2019.05.02 YouTube Brandcast (Radio City Music Hall)  
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)  
2019.06.08 Amway Centre High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine) Part of 2m9s) 
2019.06.09 American Airlines Arena High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)
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 Fragment (51s) 
2019.08.14 Variety Playhouse Ur so Beautiful Tour Fragment (34s) 
2019.08.16 Granada Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.17 Emo's Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.18 Warehouse Live Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (42s) 
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
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 (1m) 
2019.09.02 Washington's Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (55s) 
2019.09.03 Bluebird Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour Fragment (13s) 
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 Part of (1m) 
2019.09.14 College Street Music Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.16 Theatre of Living Arts Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (1 min) from 5:32 in video (Facebook so no timestamps) 
2019.09.17 Webster Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.19 The National Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (1:14min) 
2019.09.20 9:30 Club Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.21 Rams Head Live! Ur so Beautiful Tour

Reviews, Reactions etc.

Type Comment Link
Behind the songA brief clip of Grace providing some background to the song
Reaction to songIamsymphony Reacts to AGT first audition
Song related contentGrace heras IDKMN on the radio for the first time
Song related contentCovers of IDKMN on Kids tallent shows (+ one cover of Clay)

Singles & Albums

Release Date Record Type Track
2016-11-18I Don't Know My NameSingle1
2016-12-02Perfectly ImperfectEP1
2016-12-02Perfectly Imperfect (Walmart Version)EP1
2017-05-24Perfectly Imperfect (Japanese version)EP1
2017-11-10Just the Beginning (Japanese version)LP14

Lyrics

I don't know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say I'm just trying, just trying

So I heard you are my sister's friend
You get along quite nicely
You ask me why I cut my hair
And changed myself completely

I don't know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say I'm just trying, just trying

I went from bland and popular
To joining the marching band
I made the closest friends
I'll ever have in my lifetime

I am lost, trying to get found
In an ocean of people
Please don't ask me any questions
There won't be a valid answer
I'll just say

That I don't know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say I'm just trying, just trying

I now know my name
I don't play by the rules of the game
So you say I'm not trying
But I'm trying to find my way

Covers and Remixes

Type Comment Link