I'm in This for the Music, Not Prizes; Jack Garratt Can't Seem to Stop Collecting Awards. He Tells Andy Welch How, despite the Hype, His Focus Is Firmly on Making Music

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 19, 2016 | Go to article overview

I'm in This for the Music, Not Prizes; Jack Garratt Can't Seem to Stop Collecting Awards. He Tells Andy Welch How, despite the Hype, His Focus Is Firmly on Making Music


Byline: Andy Welch

'I'M TAKING things a few hours at a time," says Jack Garratt, repeating Premiership footballers' oft-repeated maxim about taking matches in a title race one game at a time.

"There's so much going on, I can only really deal with things in chunks."

The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, hailing from Buckinghamshire's Little Chalfont, isn't exaggerating either. Garratt's diary is the stuff of nightmares, if of course the thing that keeps you up at night is the thought of hundreds of scheduled events, gigs and promotional activity for your recently released debut album, which in 24-year-old Garratt's case, is called Phase.

"I don't know what's happening from one day to the next, but at the moment, there's nothing that I don't like doing, and I trust everyone implicitly. I've had the same team around me for the past four years, and they know if something is going to be good for me."

A recent BBC News interview saw the presenter say, 'Hello' and Garratt respond by talking for two minutes without drawing breath, and today's interview isn't much different.

He's very pleasant company - interesting and interested - but he can't half ramble on.

"I love talking about creativity and art, and how important music is to the world, and people's enjoyment of their life, and if I could fill my calendar talking to interviewers about that, then perfect. Talking to people and promoting my album is a huge part of my existence at the moment, and I do like that. Ultimately, I just try to avoid talking to people about my face."

It's not Garratt's face people want to talk about, but the trend-setting prizes he's won in the run-up to the release of his debut album. Last year it was announced he was going to be the recipient of the BRITs Critics' Choice award, previously awarded to the likes of Adele and Florence + The Machine, and a month or so later, it was revealed he had also topped the BBC's annual Sound Of... poll, previously won by the likes of Adele, Sam Smith and Years & Years.

On the whole, however, the winners of such industry prizes tend to go on to much bigger and better things, and increasingly in recent years, the prizes themselves have come under fire for granting what looks like preordained success.

Garratt, who is also signed to a major record label, has something to say about such criticism.

"I've read some reviews, and they all go on about these awards, and the fact I'm signed to Island, but some writers appear to have done no research," he says. "There's this suggestion that I've somehow changed the writing of my music because I'm signed to a big record company, but in truth I have barely any involvement with them at all. …

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