Jack Garratt is the epitome of musical artistry. Each time you listen to one of his songs you will find something you haven't heard before. His unique production, meaningful lyrics, vocal range, an array of instruments and raw talent makes listening to one of his songs an experience in itself.
We, as humans, quite often associate music with memorable life experiences or intense feelings -- like a first dance, a breakup, a graduation or a first kiss. Garratt’s songs capture those intense feelings and life experiences to an almost unbelievable perfection. I am an unapologetic fanatic for this man’s music, so I was honored to be able to get to know the man behind the music.
The 24-year-old singer, songwriter and producer from across the pond is just as genuine and open as his lyrics. We started at the beginning of it all, as he told me about how lucky he was to be surrounded by music as a kid.
“There are so many favorite memories and there are so many first memories of music as well," Garratt said. "I actually remember learning to play the trombone as a kid, and my grandma took me to see this very famous trombonist, who I really really liked. This is such a really really nerdy thing to start off talking about,” he added jokingly. "He [the trombonist] would play this amazing piece of music called Flight of the Bumblebee. As a kid, you don’t really understand how things work, so you just kind of assume it’s magic. I think that my favorite memory is just me being blown away by him as a musical magician.”
He beautifully compared music with the childlike wonder of figuring out the world.
“I still feel like today when I watch all of that in the music world," Garratt says. "My brain can’t understand the magic.”
Having seen Garratt perform last summer, I can tell you that he is magical. Garratt stands alone on the stage with instruments and equipment surrounding him and he does it all himself -- the beat, the singing and the instruments. When Garratt is performing, it's like he is in his own world of pure talent, love and passion.
There is no time to question how he does it all until after the show, because during his set, you are so wrapped up in the music he is creating.
Still curious about how he has become the artist he is, Garratt explained that he draws inspiration from music that he can’t fathom.
“I love music that makes me instinctively scream passion for," Garratt said . "It’s when you’re at a live show and the bassist does some cool thing on the bass and my face just scrunches up in appreciate. That is the moment that I search for. For someone, not everyone, to just instinctively enjoy themselves without control.”
Garratt explained that David Bowie, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Stevie Wonder and Prince did that for him as a kid. People like Taylor Mcferrin, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper do that for him now.
“If it makes you feel like a kid, then it’s good music,” Garratt said.
What is something that Garratt isn't afraid to try when it comes to music?
“Absolutely everything and anything,” Garratt said. “I’m actually a very socially anxious person, but music is the one place I’m safe. Especially when I’m alone. I just recently starting to collaborate with other artists and it’s a very new thing for me.”
Of course, I had to throw in a hypothetical to figure out who his dream collaboration would be and where he would want to debut the collab.
“There’s so many, but the first one that came to my head simply because I believe he is changing the world and it is the most positive thing I’ve felt in a long time, so If I could choose any person to perform with, in any place in the world, it would have to be Chance the Rapper in Chicago.”
He shared more praises for Chance and explains that Chicago would be perfect because he once lived there and Chance grew up there. “It’s as easy as that. He’s going to change the world and if I can do anything to help, I will.”
Wrapping up the interview, I hit him with my hardest question and he answers in the best way possible: good old sarcasm. (By the way that’s not sarcasm.) Let me give you a play by play:
Q: If you have the power to decide what your legacy could be in 25 years from now, what would you want people to remember you for?
JG: *laughs* “What pressure! *more laughter* I would want my legacy to be for a yet undecided and undesigned but very well patented new kind of door structure. That’s it. Nothing about the music I’ve made, just remembers me by one crazy idea I had this one time about architecture.”
A true genius and icon.
Well, Jack Garratt, I’d just like to take a moment to thank future you for our improved doors because who knows what the future would be like without them. His artistry is authentic, simple and revealing. He is candid, humorous and humble.
Garratt is the kind of artist we need more of. He makes quality music that reflects a quality person.
If you haven’t yet, check out Garratt’s debut album, Phase, and his new song, "Far Cry." Both will surprise you, and you might just surprise yourself with how much you love an artist who's real goal is to improve door structure.