OEB’s Five SXSW Qs – Jenn Grant
Hometown: Halifax, Canada
OEB SXSW 2013 Review
Canadian singer-songwriter Jenn Grant took some time to answer some questions this week, providing insight into her songwriting, collaborating with rapper Buck 65 and her favorite SXSW snack.
I get the sense that The Beautiful Wild is quite an inward-facing effort. How do these songs relate to your own emotions and personality now and then?
I ended up scrapping a bunch of material when these songs came together really quickly when we got everyone together to start making the album.
Most of them were written over ten days while we tracked drums and bass- as they developed. So this record was made by following my instincts, which all came kind of at once and in a rush. We spent a long time after that building them up. (with my husband and producer, and band mate Daniel Ledwell)
I tried to reach a deeper place with these songs, and was also very aware of the creative energy around me driving the project. It was a really rewarding writing experience, and really fun. I was writing in a new way- and feeling inspired by some work I’d done with Buck 65 which drove me to want to explore new ways of working.
This record explores all types of different tones, a deviation from your popping debut. How does experimentation influence your sound?
I came to this record knowing i wanted to explore more natural sounds. I think that I’m starting to feel very connected to what sounds I like the most, and this record definitely has many of those sounds. It’s a growing period for me of continuing to learn about what sounds and tones I find the most satisfying, as well as always being open to new methods of discovery when it comes to making art.
I love the collaborations between Buck 65 and yourself. How did you guys hook up and how has hip hop influenced your own sound?
Rich sent me a letter after he heard a song that was on my first record (the song is called Dreamer). He said he’d like to collaborate and I jumped at the chance! I’ve learned so much from Rich. He’s opened me up to a world of possibilities that I am just starting to try to figure out for myself.
His music let me know that my voice had new places to go and new depths. Rich is a wonderful collaborator, and I adore him.
Do you have any appearances lined up for SXSW? Is there anything you’re looking to get out of the festival beyond a normal string of shows?
I will be travelling to SXSW with my band and performing one show I think- which is part of the Halifax Pop Explosion showcase. A wonderful festival based in Halifax, where I live.
Have you had a chance to check out the band list for SXSW? Any acts you are looking forward to catching yourself?
I still don’t know who I’ll be able to see, but I’m sure there will be a long list. It’s a little overwhelming, but I also like to eat french fries while the bats fly by. I love Austin, a whole bunch.