Producer Grant Talks College, Working with Jessi Mason and Balancing Homework with Music [INTERVIEW]
For most of us, college is a time to find yourself and your purpose in life. Ok, it may be a good place to party, too. Regardless, most college students don’t expect to achieve a certain level of success in their field while they’re still in college. For this reason alone, Grant stands out among the rest. The California based producer has done quite a bit in his young career.
The Monstercat veteran began releasing tracks under the moniker “Grant Bowtie” but has since shortened it to just “Grant.” Regardless of the name, his style is recognizable to fans all over the world. To celebrate the release of his new track, “Are We Still Young (Ft. Jessi Mason)” we sat down with Grant to talk about his life as a college student and how he balances producing with his studies.
EDM.com:Many fans may not know this but you are a student at the University of Southern California. Are you going to school for anything music related?
Grant: Yup! I’m majoring in Music Production.
Has your routine as a producer changed since you've started college? Do you have a set schedule for working on music?
My school work has become much more time-intensive so it’s now a lot harder to always find time to produce. Honestly, keeping my grades up is a slightly higher priority for me, but sometimes it feels like everyday I’m having some mini-crisis trying to decide whether production or school is most important. Ultimately, both have to take a back seat from time to time, but at least I’m making it work!
Has anybody recognized you as "Grant" on campus?
So far it’s happened only a few times, but I’m totally ok with that. This whole music career still feels very much like an “internet” thing. Very little of it seems real. I try to only keep my closest friends up to date with everything I’m doing, so I’m always very surprised whenever someone new comes up to me about it.
Many fans will recognize your work when you produced under the moniker, "Grant Bowtie". What was the reasoning behind the name change?
I posted the in-depth explanation on my old Grant Bowtie Facebook page (facebook.com/grantbowtiemusic). The name change to just “Grant” is meant to mark the next step in my growth and maturity as an artist. Grant Bowtie was something that I actually started back when I was 13, just playing around trying to make Timbaland beats on my computer. I will always cherish the music I made back then, but I want to present my new music in a way that feels much more serious and personal.
What DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) do you use? Have you used different DAW's over the course of your career as a producer?
I’ve always used FL Studio for creating music. I grew up using it and now it feels very natural to me. I’m always learning about the pros and cons of different DAWS, but at the end of the day, I think you should use whatever piece of software you feel most comfortable writing in.
What's one plug-in that you can't live without?
Absynth for sure.
Your new track, "Are We Still Young" will be the 3rd time that you've collaborated with Jessi Mason. How did you first get involved with her and how did creative process work for this track compared to "Wake Up"?
We first met when we were both freshmen at USC. I knew she was a talented songwriter and we were both fairly new to collaborating so we decided to hang out and try to write some stuff. “Wake Up” was much more of a collaborative process actually. We spent a lot of time together trying to finagle lyrics and melodies. I’d had the “Are We Still Young” instrumental on my computer for a while and Jessi said she’d love to write for it, so we talked about concepts and she came back with a killer topline in no time.
I love the synth sound that you used in the drop. Did you layer that synth? If so, did you pan the layers?
I did layer the synth quite a bit underneath the vocal chops. I didn’t pan them but I did everything I could to make sure they were wide to begin with.
What's one style of music that you've never produced but have always been wanting to try?
I want to try more melancholy singer-songwriter stuff that gradually evolves into electronic music. I’m also hoping to eventually do my own vocals, topline writing, and incorporating as many real instruments as I can in the future.