Rachel Grae Recalls the Argument with Her Mom That Turned into the Song 'Daughter': Listen

"I knew I had really messed up this time," the rising pop singer tells PEOPLE. "I knew I wanted to tell her I was sorry and that she was right, and I was wrong"


Rising star Rachel Grae and her mom got into a "dumb" argument with her mom. The next day, they didn't talk. And the day after that, they cried.

"I knew I had really messed up this time," Grae recalls to PEOPLE in an emotional new interview. "I knew I wanted to tell her I was sorry and that she was right, and I was wrong. I needed to tell her that she didn't deserve to be treated the way I had treated her. But I still felt like I needed to do something more."

So, the New York-based pop artist wrote a heart-wrenching song called "Daughter." The song materialized in Los Angeles earlier this year shortly after that particular argument as Grae was finishing up some writing sessions for a new project.


"It's the most vulnerable song I've ever written in my life," she says. "It was the first time ever that I cried in a session while writing a song. It was insane. I felt like I needed to come home with something to say to [my mom], and I'm better at writing than I am at speaking sometimes. So, that was my way of actually putting into words what I wanted to say to her without knowing how to say it."

Mere hours after landing in her home state of New York, Grae ended up playing the heartfelt song to her mom, capturing her reaction in a video that Grae shared with her one million TikTok fans. "I got off the six-hour flight and I was trying to go to bed but I knew I needed to show her," she recalls.

Grae also eventually ended up playing "Daughter" for her dad too.

"My dad has always been the middle man," chuckles Grae, who has begun to make a career out of a series of ripped-from-her-diary songs such as "Colorblind" and "How Dare You." "I think it broke him when I said I haven't been a good daughter because that's not true. When the cameras turned off, he looked at me and he was like, 'So many people need to hear this song.'"

Indeed, much like so many others, Grae says she often finds herself wondering if she could have played a better part in the often-complicated puzzle that is the mother/daughter relationship.

"They are all dumb little arguments," admits Grae about the oh so normal back and forth between mother and daughter. "But then there are some arguments where you just know you have some stuff to unpack. I mean, when you think about it, it's her first time being a mom and my first time being a daughter. It's not meant to be easy."

Grae Family Rachel Grae and her mom
Grae Family Rachel Grae and her mom

It's a realization that changed everything for Grae.

"(My mom) is trying to figure it out like everybody else is trying to figure it out," Grae says. "And when that hit me, I was like, okay, I'm being too hard on her and she's being too hard on me and we're just not really allowing ourselves to make mistakes and just heal from them."

The song has even gone on to play a role in improving her relationship with her mom. "Ever since I wrote the song, the communication has been 50 times better because I never knew how to communicate the way I felt," she says. "Once I gave the song to her and told her, 'Here's a three-minute version of everything I never said,' everything changed in our relationship."

Other relationships now look to be changing also, as mother and daughters from across the country have now found their way into the music video for "Daughter."

"It doesn't make sense to do a music video and act out what it's supposed to be and what the story is because everybody has a different version of it," she says. "But it still works for everybody. I just wanted to allow everybody to show appreciation for their mom."

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