By Richard Provost
We have seen many great singer-songwriters come through Provo. We hear them at Muse, Velour, house concerts, and on college campuses. So how is it that Cherish DeGraaf is a breath of fresh air in a music scene supersaturated with acoustic guitar-towing folk rockers?
The answer is simple: no smoke and mirrors, electro beats, autotune, or tricks. Cherish just writes excellent, powerful songs. We sat down with her last week to talk influences, Teton Guitars, and Lady Gaga Halftime Shows.
“It’s weird to not listen to my friends’ music, so a lot of my influences are actually Provo based,” the 18 year old Pleasant Grove native said. “Like The Moth & the Flame, Quiet House…then again I listen to First Aid Kit but they’re not from Provo.”
In her latest release, Giver, Cherish tips her hat to her influences and plows forward with a masterfully written batch of new songs. And these somber new tunes came to life at the album release show at Velour on February 2nd. After three great opening acts (Ashley Taylor, Cole, and Emilee Holgate of Kitfox), Cherish took the stage to play a packed house. I was captivated as Cherish played through her repertoire of brilliantly crafted originals and even pulled off a cover of “Something” that was charmingly original yet retained a humble fidelity to the original Beatles classic.
Such nights do not come without work. And Cherish has made relatively quick work considering she has been performing for only a year. She began gaining traction in the Utah scene with her 2016 EP, Find. Since then she has been honing her craft and winning over fans one at a time.
One of her biggest accomplishments this past year was getting endorsed by Teton Guitars. “It’s kind of a funny story,” Cherish explained. “It was actually though a hashtag. I just got senior pictures done and I posted them on Instagram with #tetonguitars. And then they emailed me and were like ‘Hey we want you to come down to Idaho to film on Teton TV.’ And then a few months after that they called me to tell me they were endorsing me. They just promote my music and stuff. They’re really cool people.”
So what’s next? Cherish has a few shows coming up. You can catch her at the Pig Pen in Pleasant Grove on March 4th. With an ever growing following and a Teton Guitars endorsement under her belt, the future looks bright for Cherish DeGraaf.
Support Cherish DeGraaf on Spotify and Bandcamp! You can check out her charming ukulele song “Find” below.