Jack Gray Interview
Interviewer: Jeanine Woody (Station Manager)
Interviewee: Jack Gray
We spoke with Australian artist Jack Gray about his journey in the music industry thus far. His music is inspirational and personal. The singer, writer, and producer was born in North Queensland, Australia and had recently moved to Los Angeles, California. During the phone call, Jack informed us that he was in the midst of recording his first album in Sydney, Australia-- we were super hyped to learn more about his writing process and his love of music.
Music is my one true love
Jack has been enthralled with music ever since he was young. His father was a drummer and would perform at different pubs while he was growing up. He cites his father as an influence for his musical growth. Since he was exposed to the art of music at an early age, his love of music has only grown since then. It might seem corny, but music is a universal language that shares so much emotion and experience in many different forms.
Everyone in Jack’s family learned how to play an instrument so we asked him if he had a favorite. According to Jack, he goes through phases. There was a time when the bass guitar was his first choice because “there’s just something about a groovy bass-line that gets the body moving.” On the other hand, there is the piano, which is the perfect instrument to write [songs] on. And he could not forget the drums, since his dad is a drummer and there is something special about letting out ones frustration through the instrument. At the end of the day, Jack claims that the guitar would have to be his favorite. It is the first instrument he learned how to play. It’s “his baby girl.”
When asked what types of guitars he owns, he told us about how he recently acquired before he moved to Los Angeles. The acoustic guitar is from the Australian company Maton; it is a EBG808L, also known as The Australian. The reason he chose this specific guitar is because it was fitting that he owned something to remind him of home.
I have the luxury of time
Jack’s first EP was actually created in his bedroom and is personal to him since it was a super hands on experience with a small studio set-up. His writing process would change depending on what came to him first. Sometimes he would create a drum loop or a guitar riff first and other times it could be a bass line or a synth sound. When creating the melody Jack says he would either humm the rhythm or have an idea of the hook that would work around the beats previously created. One thing that remains the same throughout his process is that he needs to feel something.
Now I’ve got no friends, how did this happen again,
I need you to stop f---ing with them
When he was living in Sydney [Australia] he was with a girl who ultimately ended up being toxic for him. Jack was blinded by a lot of what was happening and he started to put her before his friends. Looking back, he says his friends saw something he originally didn’t. The above lyric resonates with him because of the experience and growth he had.
Inspiration comes from everywhere. When we asked Jack about what artists inspire him to be a better artists he cited Dominic Fike and Jack Garratt. In high school he listened to a lot of Australian bands like, Ballpark Music, and Sticky Fingers. The realm he gravitated towards was indie-rock pop. Jack also spent a year in college pursuing a degree in music. His friends introduced him to Drake, Khalid, and Frank Ocean.
A question we tend to ask artists we interview is used to start a conversation about the music industry. When asked if an artists’ unreleased music should be released after they’ve passed away, Jack brought up that he recently spoke to one of his good friends about this in regards to XXTentaction. He states that someone who is close to the artist should be the one who puts out the songs since they would know what the artist wants. In the end it shouldn’t be up to the industry or the record label to decide what the artist puts out.
As a younger artist in the industry, Jack expressed the struggles he had and the support he has received. Jack says, “there are a lot of people in the industry that don’t have your best interests at heart, so surround yourself with a good network of people around you.”
He spoke a little bit about the new album he plans on releasing when we discussed the importance of living in the moment. The song, “One Step Back,” is about being constantly stuck in your own ways and need to take a step back to see what is real and what is important. Jack wants to try to find the time to take a moment to live life.
The new album is more minimalistic; the first record Jack released was about finding himself as a musician and getting his footing in the industry. This first release was an important chapter in Jack’s life. The new release will focus on his experiences growing up and finding himself.
We are so hyped to see what Jack does in 2020 and the journey his musical career he will go on in the future. Jack’s music is timeless and deserves more recognition so be sure to check out his music and social media!