INTERVIEW: Five Minutes With … Grandtheft

Grandtheft is a Canadian producer and DJ who probably needs no introduction. With a string of remixes and releases under his belt, his debut EP “Quit This City” was released on Mad Decent in October 2015 to critical acclaim.

His music is varied beyond categorisation, and is spun nightly in club and radio sets worldwide. He has garnered wide-reaching support from artists such as Pretty Lights, Hardwell, Skrillex and Annie Mac.

His recent track, “Grandtheft & Delaney Jane – Easy Go (Acoustic)” has already racked up over a quarter of a million YouTube plays, and he is currently in the midst of a rigorous touring schedule.

We caught up with him for a quick chat…

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Romantic rave, melodic bass music, weird heavy pop

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
The first five I can think of off the top of my head:
Daft Punk – Homework
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
DJ shadow – Endtroducing
Justice – Cross
Michael Jackson – Thriller

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
I always listen to a wide variety of stuff. The Cashmere Cat album is so rad – he always is though. Lots of U.K grime stuff, and Francis and the Lights.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
I have always used my Jupiter 6 vintage analog synthesizer a lot. Pianos too.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
There is so much music being released because it’s easier now to make and drop your music on the internet, so it’s hard to cut through the clutter and have people actually hear your music or even want to check for it.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
From everywhere. Life, love, dreams, travel and the energy at my shows.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting your music together?
Lately I have been starting back with my original instrument – the piano. I use a lot of piano in my music because and I recently got pianos for my house and studio. This isn’t changing my sound, but it’s changing my songwriting process. I have been starting by writing chords and melodies on there. Sometimes even recording an idea or working with other songwriters on lyrics and melodies with the raw piano chords, then going into Ableton with synths and drums.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
Best ever? I feel like that’s asking someone their favorite song, too many to count! Every week I leave a show and say to my tour manager “that was the best gig ever!”. Lollapalooza last year was amazing.

And the worst?
So many bad ones too over the years. Not so many these days, but I recently played some corporate thing in a mall for a store opening and it was not lit. Like 2 babies dancing with their moms while people shopped. I guess it was funny though.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Probably working in TV and film, or maybe a chef.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?
The Beatles? Or David Bowie, Michael Jackson or Prince. Or maybe Daft Punk.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Glastonbury. A festival in Japan would be cool too. I’m half Japanese and love going there, but have only done club shows so far.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I have two crazy new singles pretty much ready to go that I’m really excited about. I have been writing tons of new material while on the road. I wrote 4 new songs this week with artists in Europe on my travels. Look out for an EP full of fresh sounds later this year on Mad Decent!

Grandtheft LIVE! For more details click here:
June 28 – Volt Festival – Sopron, Hungary
June 30 – Woo Hah! Festival – Tilburg, Netherlands
July 4 – Summerfest – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
July 7 – Drai’s Beachclub – Las Vegas, Nevada
July 21 – Global Dance Festival – Denver, Colorado
Aug 9 – Ushuaia – Ibiza, Spain
Aug 10 – Plaza – Zurich, Switzerland
Aug 11 – Prince Charles – Berlin, Germany
Aug 12 – Utopia Island Festival – Moosburg, Germany
Aug 17 – Frequency Festival – St. Polten, Austria
Aug 25 – Bootshaus – Cologne, Germany
Aug 26 – Creamfields – Daresbury, United Kingdom
Aug 27 – Mysteryland – Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands

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