For someone who frequently attends shows, it’s hard for me to say an artist “killed his set” these days. Watching Just a Gent play at U Street Music Hall on his first American tour was honestly the exception. Dropping hard tracks like Aero Chord’s “Surface,” along with tracks from his upcoming EP ‘Stories to Tell,’ the crowd was dancing and cheering the whole time. And this will blow your mind, the kid is only 17…
JAG has already created his own style of music, “lovetrap,” which is a product of influences from Trap, Melodic Dubstep, and liquid Drum and Bass. His music has received support from the likes of Skrillex, Diplo, Dillon Francis, What So Not, and has received airplay on BBC’s 1Xtra, Triple J, and Pete Tong’s Evolution Radio. With a serious of achievements in 2014 including his remix of American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” charting at #1 on Hype Machine, earning the title of Red Bull X Stoney Roads’ Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and an upcoming EP set to be released by the end of the year, were excited to see what’s in store in 2015 for JAG.
I had the pleasure of catching up with JAG at George’s King of Falafel & Cheesesteak in Georgetown, after an hour-long journey to find the best cheesesteak in town. Talking about everything from musical influences to his hometown of Newcastle, Australia to the American fast food restaurant he’s most eager to visit, it was easy to see how excited he was to be on his first North American tour and to be turning his dreams into a reality. After all, leaving your friends and family at age 17 to tour the world is no small feat. Stay tuned after the jump to read the full interview!
How did the name Just a Gent originate?
Jacob: Me and my friends used to call ourselves the gents. We would go to parties and dress up as gentleman, and eventually I thought this was a sick idea. I’ll make it my own.
Which artists have been your biggest inspirations?
Jacob: From the start, I was honestly inspired by a lot of pop and hip-hop. I was into Flo Rida,Timbaland, and a lot of hip hop beats. I actually first made hip-hop beats. Then I went on to make House music. Artists like Arty and Deadmau5 were big influences. Then I heard Seven Lions. He pushed me towards melodic dubstep. And then I heard Rustie and Flume. That kind of made me combine everything together. That’s how I’m here now.
What is a memorable experience that drew you to Electronic Music?
Jacob: Ministry of Sound CD’s. They were a huge thing. My mom actually bought me one for fun!
How long did it take for you to develop your signature string-synth sound?
Jacob: Pretty long time. I first started making music when I was 9. I was like 13 when I first started making proper music. So it’s been about 3 or 4 years. And I haven’t fully grasped it yet. I’m still developing my sound…
We start joking around about how long that’ll actually take:
Jacob: I’ll give it 10 more years. If I haven’t gotten it by then, I’m just going to be a pop producer!
Dream festival you’d love to play at?
Jacob: The first festival I ever attended was Groovin’ the Moo, right across from my house. That would be my dream festival to play at, just to prove to everyone back at home that I’m real because my friends don’t really understand what I do. And, it’s hard for them to. They’re 17, so they’ve never been to a club. They don’t think it’s real…
Crazy because there’s a lot of great musical talent coming out of Australia at the moment…Is electronic music big at all in your hometown?
Jacob: Not really. Electronic music from Australia is bigger outside of Australia…
Is there a kind of electronic music that’s more popular than others though?
Jacob: Yeah, a lot Uk bass. Artists like Oliver Heldens and Tchami.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming EP Stories to Tell?
Jacob: For the first time I’ve got vocals on all my tracks. I have a lot of female vocals. I’ve gone all out. One of the tracks is all me. Everything I’ve wanted to experiment with. The rest are tracks that represent my sound my well.
Time for some fun questions! If you could collaborate with any producer right now, who would it be?
Jacob: Skrillex or Myon and Shane 54. I would like to collaborate with someone who’s nothing like my style.
Jacob: Silverchair and Powderfinger in Newcastle. I was 7.
Jacob: Jack Johnson, In between dreams
Which fast food restaurant are you most looking forward to trying?
Jacob: Taco Bell!!
Look out Taco Bell! Looks like we’ve got another potential endorsement coming your way soon 😉