Q’s Best Breakthrough Act on the joy of famous collaborators and Iowan surprises.
Every day is Friday for the big-bearded synth-popper. INTERVIEW: NIALL DOHERTY
It says a lot about Jack Garratt’s 2016 that when he speaks to Q from his tourbus in America, he has absolutely no idea what day it is. Then again, every day must feel like Friday for the big-bearded synth-popper. His debut album Phase went Top 5 at the start of the year and Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire’s most famous export and Q Awards Best Breakthrough Act has been on the road with his one-man-band spectacular ever since. “This entire year has been one huge glorious abundance of light, it’s all shining,” he says, guiding us through the highlights.
WRITING WITH SIA
“Two days before I went to Texas for SXSW, I had two days in the studio with Sia in Los Angeles. It was incredible and one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. She was one of the most comforting and encouraging writers I’ve worked with. We spent the first half an hour with me sitting at a piano working through chord sequences I was making up on the spot and her with her laptop out on record, kind of committing to some of them with melodies. I was in a room with one of the most important pop writers of this generation and I had to convince myself I was worth that time and worth that situation.”
MUM AND DAD WATCHING me AT the GLASTONBURY festival
“Glastonbury still holds such a sweet familiar taste in my mouth. It was one of the most undeniably proud moments cos my mum and dad were in the crowd and that was a big crowd. To be on the John Peel Stage, to have it be as full as it was, to have my mum and dad in the middle of the crowd, that was as close to perfect as festivals can be.”
“I got engaged this year, which was great. I’ve tried to stop myself from talking about my fiancée but it’s impossible. She’s one of the only things I would love talking about for the rest of my life. We moved to Chicago about a year ago and we got engaged when I performed at Lollapalooza this year, which was a month ago. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”
HELLO DES MOINES, IOWA!
“We went to Des Moines, Iowa, and it was a difficult one, it was a territory I’d never been to before. I’m aware it’s going to be a difficult market. I had no idea how it was gonna go, and the tickets sold OK in the end, but the week before hadn’t done so well. Anyhow, what ended up happening was that the people who were there had the best fucking time they could’ve had. They just went for it, they were on fire. It was easily one of my favourite shows that we’ve done.”
With that, Garratt heads off to perform the last date on his US tour. Next, he’ll head back to Chicago to catch up with his fiancée for the first time since proposing and, when the time is right, perhaps he can reacquaint himself with the days of the week too.
I’d rather Jack: Garratt with his Best Breakthrough Act award.