Monstercat's Grant Talks The Balance Of Being Both A College Student & Producer

03 June 2017 - - The DJ List


It's one thing being a college student and it's another thing being a break-out producer in the dance music scene- but to live these two roles simultaneously? Talk about a double life! And for Cali producer GRANT, this is the life he lives.

USC student by day and industry trailblazer by night- the young producer is a fresh export out of the up-and-coming generation of West Coast talent, but there is something obvious about Grant that allows him to stand out from all the rest. The kid is as authentic as it gets, really embracing himself as his own inspiration and curating his own unique aesthetic as an artist- which is refreshing to see at a time where many young producers just try to mimic a sound or style that already exists in order to fit in.

Following his previous Monstercat releases such as "Starship" and his massive remix of SAN HOLO's "Light" released on Holo's own bitbird imprint, Grant now presents his latest cut "Are We Still Young" in collaboration with Jessi Mason. When it comes to Grant's distinct musical stylings, his sound embodies something along the lines of a euphoric, melodic future-bass/synthpop hybrid. This game-changer of a producer is not just another artist, but instead is the artist-to-watch:

Tell me about how you got started and some insight behind your background- as both an artist as well as a USC student.

Many moons ago, I got exposed to producing by my neighbor who used to babysit me. I would go over to his house and he would always be cooking up something new in Fruity Loops. When I was 11, I decided to get FL and start noodling around.

As a student, I just finished up Sophomore year of college majoring in Music Production. Starting college has honestly been eye-opening. Before, I had been the quintessential bedroom producer and only really listened to electronic music. Now that I’m studying music with songwriters and professors from so many different backgrounds, I feel like I’m always being thrown out of my comfort zone and having to learn at a much faster pace.

The first thing that really stood out to me about you was that you’re balancing college and the dance music world, which I can also relate to being in college myself while working in the industry. How do you personally stay grounded and driven in both worlds? It’s easy for one to overshadow the other at times, I've definitely been there!

You’re absolutely right. Sometimes I have to put music on the back burner to get school work done. I really don’t have much of a strategy honestly. I usually put school first, but I pretty much start working on music the minute I’m done.

Your entire aesthetic and sound as an artist is super authentic and unique, which really sets you apart in this generation of young, up-and-coming talent. Is there anything you look to inspiration for?

I rely heavily on artwork and visuals to keep me feeling creative. I pretty regularly update my Tumblr page with cool gifs and images I find inspiring, and almost always have it open while I’m working. It’s kinda brutal to be constantly glaring at bleak audio software for hours. Other than that, I grab a lot of inspiration from other people’s music and random sound design miracles that sometimes happen while I’m working.

What do you want people to feel when listening to your music?

Most importantly, I want people to feel separation from their surroundings. I will always be happy if my music can take listeners out of their present lives and give them an experience all to themselves. It definitely depends on the song, but I also want my music to inspire introspection and reflection. Not to say that I don’t want groups of people to enjoy it as well, it’s just that, to me, making music is a very personal experience and I want to convey that with my songs.

Are you just looking to put out singles right now or maybe even an album/EP down the line?

I’m mostly focusing on singles right now. I’m a fairly slow (judgemental) worker and I also view making an EP or album as the opportunity to make a huge artistic statement that is the pinnacle of my work. I currently have one song that I view as my best work so far that I’m reserving for an EP, but I want to wait until I have the right music and a clear vision for what the EP should be.

Your latest tune ‘Are We Still Young’ has over 50K streams on SoundCloud in just 3 days- that’s pretty incredible! I’m sure it feels super surreal, talk to me about the making of the track.

I actually started “Are We Still Young” in its prehistoric form two years ago for my high school’s senior project. Around that time I started to notice that I was becoming an adult and was feeling really unsure about what I wanted to pursue and where I would end up.

I actually wrote a whole lyric song and decided to extract only the lyric “are we still young” which then got added to the version of the song you hear today. It wasn’t until I started college that I met Jessi Mason and she wrote her amazing vocal line over the rest of the song.

Name 5 fun facts people might not know about you.

1) I have a pug named Biscuit.
2) I’ve played piano for most of my life.
3) I’m a huge fan of anime.
4) My favorite movie is Requiem for a Dream.
5) I once could do calculus but now struggle adding up Monopoly dice.

Dream b2b you would wanna do? Or dream collab?

I would love to work with PORTER ROBINSON.

Which track never fails to give you absolute chills and you’ll never get sick of, no matter how many times you hear it?

“Wait” by M83 is one of my absolute favorite songs.

Anything else in the works for the year?

Yup! I’ll be starting to play shows and releasing as many singles as I can.

Stay Connected To Grant:
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

About the Author

Stephanie Kazhiloti

Stephanie Kazhiloti

Editorial Contributor

New York, United States United States

grant m83 porter robinson san holo

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