Grace Chatto of Clean Bandit has a Grammy in her toilet at home

Grace Chatto, a four-time member of the Spotify billion-play plaque club and the cellist for Clean Bandit, has ample experience in displaying numerous trophies and accolades throughout her Crouch End home. Surprisingly, when GQ Zoomed with her, the first notable sight was not a Grammy or Ivor Novella but rather a large poster of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin next to a bear reading the Communist Manifesto. Grace emphasized that it’s the only piece of art she’s ever bought, and it features a real bear.

If you’re familiar with Clean Bandit’s chart-topping hits like “Rather Be,” “Symphony,” and “Don’t Leave Me Lonely,” you’ll recognize how the group’s inherent contradictions contribute to their irresistibly catchy music. In a conversation following their recent Amex Afters gig at The O2 arena and anticipating the release of new Clean Bandit music next year, Chatto discussed her journey from her hometown to studying in Moscow and returning home, this time with a sauna in her garden and a trophy cabinet in the bathroom.

So where are you in the world?

I currently reside in Crouch End, London, where I’ve been living for approximately four years. Prior to that, I resided in Shoreditch, but my roots trace back to this area as I grew up here.

So you’ve lived in London almost all your life?

Aside from the few years when I attended the Moscow Conservatory and lived in the hostel with fellow students, it was quite an extraordinary experience. The environment was lively with music playing 24 hours a day, as everyone shared rooms and dedicated eight or nine hours daily to practice. Initially, it had a romantic touch, with the soothing sounds of Tchaikovsky accompanying my sleep. However, as time passed, it became quite intense, especially with a trumpet player residing above me.

That sounds a bit much…

The experience at the Moscow Conservatory involved a considerable amount of humiliation and shame if one fell short of expectations. My cello teacher managed a sizable class of approximately 20 or 30 cellists, forming a queue outside his room. Each student would go in one by one. If you couldn’t perform the piece to the required standard, he would bluntly instruct, “Come back when you can play it.” Subsequently, you had to leave and walk past the entire queue, adding a public dimension to the challenge.

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of “Rather Be.” How did a song of that magnitude impact your home life?

Winning a Grammy for “Rather Be” was a significant milestone, and now I keep the Grammy in my toilet. Before that success, we were living in modest conditions, sharing a single room and improvising a bed made of scaffolding that could be adjusted up and down, with our synthesizers stored underneath. The living situation involved sharing the flat with about six other people.

Interestingly, Jack composed that song on a QWERTY keyboard while we were on the tube. I often reflect that if he had written it on a piano, the outcome might have been different.

Were you interested in fashion before you had to dress for events like the Grammys?

Yes, I’ve always had an interest in clothing as a form of self-expression. My style preference leans towards comfortable yet alluring pieces. I’ve collaborated with the same stylist, Aimee Croysdill, for a decade, and she introduces me to very chic brands that I might not have discovered otherwise. I particularly enjoy wearing designs from Ganni, Jacquemus, and I have a fondness for The Frankie Shop.

While I don’t own the Ganni puffer jacket, I do have a striking white and gold double-denim item. My puffer jacket is from Saks Potts, featuring marshmallow tones in blue and pink. Additionally, I have a strong affinity for Marni in my wardrobe.

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