Jack Grace Interview - One Line At A Time
Meet Jack Grace, Sydney born, Paris based songwriter, producer, and all round legend! We had a chat to Jack about his production, IF I TREMBLE EP, and his upcoming shows throughout June.
Futuremag Music: Hey Jack, could you please talk us through your history and relationship with music over the years?
Jack Grace: I grew up with gospel music and despite the fact I’m not part of that culture anymore its a part of me. I always studied piano because I had an auntie who played and I just liked it but I think because I grew up in regional Australia I didn’t have an understanding of music or art beyond that. I left school in year 10 cause I couldn’t deal with it and did a trade for a year and then I decided I couldn’t deal with that either and that I wanted to study jazz so I did an audition for a uni and got in. I couldn’t write an essay and failed a lot of the classes but I learnt so much and most importantly just met other musicians for the first time. I always had written music but never really focused on it. I thought before I started studying jazz that the focus would be on creating but after persisting a lot I realised that the genre and format had become restrictive and while it was really useful as a vessel to acquire skills I didn’t really want to participate in it. So I stopped uni and just focused on recording music in my bedroom with friends and different projects and then after about 6 years of that finally got the courage to sing on a few of my own demos and that’s more or less where I’m at now.
Futuremag Music: How did you move into production?
Jack Grace: When I was in early high school, one of my friend's dad had a relatively new Mac and for some reason had a midi interface and the first copy of garage band, I used to go to her house after school, drink chocolate milk and just scroll through sounds and play along to loops. I clearly remember the first time I used reverb on a sound, it was the same feeling as the first time I played a chord on the piano. I didn’t forget that and as soon as I could afford it bought a laptop and just started experimenting.
Futuremag Music: Your recent EP IF I TREMBLE is a textured masterpiece, filled to the brim with samples, and luxurious production. Can you talk us through your writing process?
Jack Grace: Thank you, I appreciate it. Most of it begins on a piano/keyboard instrument and then I just build things around that till it feels finished. The finishing part of that statement sounds as abstract as it is for me, sometimes I feel like this EP is over finished but my opinion changes daily on that and that's what I’m trying to get better at, I find it harder doing that part of the process when I’m the singer then I do when someone else is.
Futuremag Music: In particular, how do you pick out samples, workshop lyrics, and implement authentic and relatable emotions into your tracks?
Jack Grace: That part of the process changes a lot, I'm just always trying to be open to ideas and sounds. I try not to be a hater or be afraid of things. I haven’t really found my rhythm with writing lyrics yet I find I need like a long stretch of time by myself and I need to let go of trying to get things done, that's the hardest part, I then just try and let what I actually want to say float to the surface without trying to force it. That's how I often get a line that I’m happy with. At the moment I’m just working one line at a time.
Futuremag Music: What are your favourite aspects of the EP?
Jack Grace: There’s certain lines that I like in songs, I find it hard to write lyrics so when I get a line I like I value it. I like it when the song means more the production that's something I value more and more.
Futuremag Music: What would you like listeners to take away from listening to IF I TREMBLE?
Jack Grace: I’m trying to see the value in being more open whilst balancing it with attempting to pull up short of a long confession. Honestly, though, I'm just happy if you are listening.
Futuremag Music: What can fans expect at your upcoming performances throughout June?
Jack Grace: I try and make the live stuff live. You’ll recognise the songs but they will probably sound bit different.
Futuremag Music: If 'Jack Grace' was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?
Jack Grace: Something labour intensive with cheap ingredients… I don’t really know many cocktails… Maybe a whisky sour?