After honing his set on US audiences, Australia’s JUST A GENT is landing his airy electro tunes and sparkly production in Canberra this month, as he tours his latest LP Stories to Tell.
The supremely talented man behind the moustache, Jacob Grant, says it’ll be nice to be in familiar territory. “I've been making trips [to Canberra] for years,” he said from a chilly New Jersey. “My favourite time was the first show I played there at Trinity Bar.” This time around, the 19-year-old is promising fresh tracks off his LP when he takes over Mr Wolf as part of his aptly named ‘Just A Tour’ circuit. Standout tracks to keep your ears peeled for include the emotive ‘Heavy As A Heartbreak’, industrial-esque ‘Rolling Dice’ and more relaxed ‘Loaded’. He’s also masterminded a pretty amazing cover of Kid Cudi’s ‘Day N Nite’ – if you haven’t heard the strings and totally new take on this track, do yourself a favour and google that shit now!
With a title inspired by a childhood TV staple, ‘Stories to Tell’ is sure to have toes tapping and heads bobbing. “I actually snatched the name from Play School!” he laughed. “A few years back I heard the theme randomly and thought it would be a cool idea for an album … I also tried to make the LP feel like it told its own story from start to finish, starting soft and ending on a bang,” Grant said. Widely acclaimed track ‘Heavy As A Heartbreak’ was created in collaboration with Melbourne songwriter Lanks, but interestingly the pair have only met in person a couple of times. “I heard his stuff on Triple J Unearthed and had my manager reach out to his manager about potentially singing on a track and they were keen as a bean,” Grant recalled fondly. “The internet is a wonderful thing and honestly it’s just as easy collaborating with someone on the other side of the world as it is if you are in the same room.”
Inspired by artists such as Rustie, Arty, Seven Lions as well as Canberra’s own prodigies Peking Duk and The Aston Shuffle, Just A Gent said he simply rolls with beats that appeal to him. “My sound is now a mix of all my favourite electronic elements. It’s the result of a lot of experimentation and pushing my boundaries on what I have previously done.” Just A Gent certainly lives up to his moniker, rarely seen without a top hat, suit and bow tie, he presents as a gentleman, indeed. “I have kind of always been like that, generally overdressing for parties, etc. I really loved the look and feel of the early 1900’s but I also love technology, science-fiction and electronic music – and they all mix together pretty well!” Agreed, good sir, agreed! Ladies and gentleman, prepare to be wooed by this dapper young gun.