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2016 has been a massive year for Sydney’s latest singer/songwriter/producer triple threat, Jack Grace. Collaborating with the likes of BUOY, Ngaiire, and Paul Mac, he seems to be turning all the right heads in all the right places.
Influenced by 90s trip hop, early gospel, and house, Jack Grace creates captivating stories through bold and unconventional styles of production.
His intimate connection to meaning in music grew in his family home in regional NSW. While he has always known that he wanted to play the piano, Grace admits having a slow start breaking into the music scene.
“I knew I just wanted to play but had no idea how to connect the dots. So I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to link my love for music with a career. It’s frustrating looking back sometimes but yeah I definitely wouldn’t be making the music I make if I didn’t have that experience.”
Although it took Grace some time to piece the puzzles together, he’s now on the way to release his first EP, River.
In 2015, Grace released his truly exceptional debut single, Hills featuring BUOY. This left-field electronic gem takes listeners on a journey of discovery where every turn presents its own unique surprise.
Pulsating percussions and mellow keys, this song starts off seemingly as a minimalist ballad, but soon evolves into a mesmerising time loop of vocals and glitch samples that sends listeners into a trance. Every element that Grace includes into production is full of attention and meaning.
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Grace credits this attention to detail, intention, and meaning to his piano mentor who was completely obsessed with harmony.
“I had a piano teacher who would make me explain why I had played every note I had played… If I couldn’t explain why I had played a note, he would say, “Why are you playing it!” and I would have to omit it from the chord even if it sounded ridiculous.”
“Ultimately this approach filtered through everything I did. He taught me how to be intentional and that really affected me.”
While he may have started out as a traditional pianist, Grace immediately became fascinated with keyboards and the different sounds he could create with more portable instruments during his early teens.
Soon after listening to Kid A and Portishead, the up-and-comer knew that he wanted to be in the electronic scene. It was the beginning of the end.
Grace has given us a glimpse into his EP through singles Hills and All Lost. Both songs are fascinating in their own right, and briskly allow listeners to understand Grace as an artist. As for what we could expect in his upcoming EP, Jack has this to say:
“This EP is personal for me. I left a lot of first take vocals and there’s stuff on there in hindsight I’m a bit uncomfortable with. It’s not going to be for everyone.”
“I decided it’s a good time to drop people into my narrative and although it starts with loss, I hope that if there are people who are going through stuff that’s difficult they can cut themselves some slack and move forward through it with me.”
With River seeing a release on October 28th, it’s a damn exciting time for Grace. Despite being busy with the launch, you can bet he’s already got one eye on 2017.
“I’ve got stuff to release next year that I’m really excited about- not sure what the format will be but there’s more music and I’m making plans.”