Just a little over three years ago, Grant Bowtie shook the earth with his monumental Monstercat debut “Reach.” He may not have known at the time, but “Reach” would inspire an ongoing trend of future bass releases on the label. To this day, that wave is still riding out, with Grant at the forefront of the genre’s most innovative incarnations.
To nobody’s surprise, Grant’s newest single is unparalleled yet again. “Are We Still Young” is similar to “Wake Up” by means of it having very poppy vocals – thanks again to Jessi Mason – and radically unique production techniques, but musically the song is very different from anything else in Grant’s discography.
In addition to the song’s release, Grant sat down with us to answer a few pressing questions. You can find the full interview below:
Mr. Boutin, thank you for joining us today.
It’s an honor, Dr. Fleury.
. . . You made “Starship” in just 1 day, right? How was the process behind “Are We Still Young” different?
Yup, “Starship” was made in a day. “Are We Still Young” is maybe the complete opposite. I started that song in an entirely different form over two years ago back when I was in high school. The only thing that still remains from then is the vocal chop melody in the drop. Over time I’ve continually tweaked it. The last addition to the track was Jessi’s topline!
What was the biggest sonic change in your approach moving on from the Grant Bowtie project?
My whole approach to the music I made as Grant Bowtie was, “let’s see how many tricks and little sounds I can cram into these tiny spaces to impress people.” While I still like to do this from time to time, as “Grant” I try to place a lot more importance on songwriting and different emotional/visual themes. By studying music in college, I’ve been inspired by the many talented student songwriters who don’t need all of those nifty noises to convey a message. Things can be simple but still leave a huge impact.
I think it’s fair to say you have an astronomically unique sound. Even with that said, are there any particular producers you draw inspiration from?
Porter [Robinson] is a pretty massive inspiration for my music. His whole message that electronic music can be art instead of just entertainment really changed my approach. Other than that I take a lot of inspiration from Timbaland and M83 just to name a couple.
“Are We Still Young” is your third song with Jessi Mason. To this day, she’s the only artist you’ve collaborated with under either alias. What’s the story behind that? How did you two meet?
We’re actually really good friends and hang out a lot even when we’re not writing music. We originally met at the start of college a while back. I knew that I wanted to start getting more vocals for my music and that Jessi was an insanely talented songwriter. As corny as it sounds, we really vibed the first time we tried to write anything together and the rest is history.
Can you see yourself collaborating with anyone else in the future?
Yes! There’s a bunch of other stuff in the works.
Your remix of San Holo’s “Light” recently blew up on Spotify. How does it feel to be gaining so much steam so quickly?
It’s been a pleasure to watch everything growing so steadily despite the sudden name change. Both the listeners who followed Grant Bowtie and the people who are just now finding me have been giving such positive feedback. I feel a lot more confident when writing new music and trying new styles.
What advice would you give young producers like yourself who are trying to balance music with their studies?
When you’re starting out, the artists and people you hold as your role models (and your standard for excellence) can play a huge role in where you end up in your growth. It’s important to stay inspired at all times, but if you end up choosing to emulate an artist who isn’t breaking new ground, your art may not end up reaching its full potential. The amount of time you spend consuming new music or art is just as important as the time you spend creating it. It’s really easy to forget this and I honestly have to remind myself about this every day.
Grant’s “Are We Still Young” is out now. Grab it here: Monstercat.lnk.to/AWSY