Few artists deserve the title of “prodigy” more than 19-year-old Just A Gent. After teaching himself to produce when he was still in primary school, in 2014 – at age 16 – Just A Gent scored a set at national festival Listen Out after winning a triple j Unearthed competition. That kicked off a star-making two years that saw him remix artists like Alison Wonderland, Peking Duk and ZHU, clock up millions of SoundCloud plays on his 2015 single Limelight, get noticed by Skrillex and sell out shows around the country – all before he could legally step foot in a club.

Now comes Stories To Tell, out August 26, an EP Just A Gent wrote, produced, mixed and mastered himself from his bedroom in Maitland. At eight tracks deep, Stories To Tell is no throwaway release – it’s the product of two years of relentless creating and the drive to a make something that would stand the test of time. Sharing the EP is a milestone moment for producer Jacob Grant. “I’ve wanted to release something this big for a really long time and now it’s finally happening,” Grant says. “I make so much music – I have hundreds of songs sitting on my laptop – so it’s really satisfying to be sharing it with people.” Two singles from Stories To Tell – the supersized Heavy As A Heartbreak featuring LANKS and fan favourite Loaded – have already done big things, the former hitting the #1 spot on blog aggregator Hype Machine and spending five months on high rotation on triple j.

Jacob’s influences for the EP were “drawn from so many places,” from the music of Odesza and Point Point to sci-fi movie soundtracks and video games. At the core the tracks are electronic, but they aren’t wed to a particular genre, running the gamut from bangers to experimental tracks featuring his own pitched-up vocals and chilledout headphones music. As he says, it was “meant to be a mix”.
Just A Gent also drew inspiration from the vocalists he worked with on Stories To Tell. Despite already being a star in North America, Grant chose to tap into Australian singers for his EP, from Melbourne’s LANKS to triple j unearthed darling Melissa Ramsay. Just A Gent says it’s about paying it forward to the local scene that he thinks, “Keeps getting bigger and better”. Many of the songs on the EP were sent back and forth between him and the vocalists; a workshopping process that Jacob says helped him see his beats in a new light.

Leading the EP is the emotive new single Rolling Dice, which saw Just A Gent collaborate with vocalists Ella Voss and Joey Chavez. “They sing in a duet almost and they work so well together. It almost sounds like an Angus & Julia Stone type of vibe,” Grant says. “It’s pretty amazing. They killed it on the vocal.” The Stories To Tell EP is the latest in a year of big moments for Just A Gent. He’s
just signed to Lokal Legend in the U.S., the label responsible for breaking Kiesza, and in July he premiered his first live show in a packed set at Splendour in the Grass.

First of all for those now familiar with the your sound and background can you tell us where your from exactly in Australia and how the music industry is around your home town and surrounding areas? The local shows you play and what makes them really special for you? Also love to know how you come up with your stage name – Just a Gent.

I’m from Newcastle, New South Wales; the music scene in Newcastle is pretty good. Newcastle is only 2 hours out of Sydney too, so if someone isn’t coming here its an easy trip into the city. The local shows are always so much fun, what makes them special to me is just having all my friends and family in the crowd and just vibing out with old school friends, there just isn’t anything like it. The name originates from my schoolmates and I, we used to call ourselves the gents and get dressed up fancy for house parties and such.

Is there any other producers that come from your same town we can check out have a listen to or anything from close by that you really like to listen to when not ducking in and out of airports over the weekend?

I’m really loving WILDYF at the moment, he is from the Central Coast (an hour out of Newcastle) and he is making some fire stuff: https://soundcloud.com/ wildlyfmusic/bethere

How about playing around Australian in all the obvious capital cities compared to some of the more smaller regional towns and shows? What is the thing that really makes them both as exciting to visit and how do the crowds compare?

Most of the time the regional towns go pretty hard, the obvious difference is most of the time the shows in the cities have larger crowds but that doesn’t stop the fun.

What was the first time you released and with which record label? Do you still play it now?

First track I released with a label was my track Dusty with Perth label Die High Records https://soundcloud. com/diehighrec/just-a-gent- dusty. I still put the track in mixes etc sometimes but its a very slow and chilled out track so it’s hard to put it in my sets.


The first and most clearest memory you have of when your career went from bedroom producer to international recording artist.
What was that one defining moment and why?

I think it was when I played my first show as Just A Gent at Courtyard party in Sydney. That was definitely the career changing moment when I realised it was all about to kick off.

Do you play mostly your own productions in your set? Can you tell us 5 tunes we should be keeping a ear out ahead of your upcoming set at Bali’s favourite Beach Club – Finns?

Yeah most of it is my own tracks and my own remixes/edits of my other favourites. Definitely get onto my Stories To Tell EP that I put out last year, I play edits and most the tracks from that almost every set.

Please tell us more about your home set up. What software do you use? is there one synthesizer that you just cant live without and can hear in most of your productions? Any great new plugins that you recently discovered that you can share with us? How about a picture of your studio or a little teaser video of something your currently working on?

I am a computer geek and always have been. My setup is completely software based, I don’t own any hardware synthesizers or effect modules, and all I have is my midi keyboard and a Launchpad. I run FL Studio 12 and I produce, mix and master it all in there. My favourite soft synth is Sylenth1 and I just recently got the free plugin dexed a soft synth version of the Yamaha Dx7 and its super cool. Also here is a pic of the setup:

Now to overseas. Where have you travelled to so far with your music career? Whats been your favourite overseas shows both clubs and outdoor / festival set up?

So far I have only been through Aus/NZ and North America but I have played some super incredible shows over the years, my favourite festival was Hard Day of The Dead back in 2014, such a crazy honour to play at that festival especially seeing that its no longer a thing.

The Australian sound right now is such a popular sound in the festivals globally, how do you describe the genre that you and a handful of guys coming thru the ranks right now to the Bali audience? what are some things and sounds in particular that make it ‘Australian’ compared to other countries and why is it becoming so popular? Is it the sunshine? The clean air or maybe something learnt at school we dont know about?

Hahaha, yes maybe it is the sunshine, I think its the melodies, the chords and I guess the texture of the music, there’s something that a lot of the aussie guys making the future bass/electronic stuff here that gives it more of a depth and more original sound than a lot of the same of repetitive beats that are out there at the moment.

This is your first time performing in Bali correct? What have you heard about the events over here and how do you picture it?
Also while your here any plans to visit and iconic places that you seen on the internet or try some food you have heard about?

It sure is, and I’m very excited, I’ve heard Bali knows how to party so I can’t wait to see my music goes over there. I am just excited to see the Island, the culture and people seem really peaceful and I can’t wait to experience all that I can.

Next up for Just a Gent is?

A lot of new music 😉


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