Jack Garratt: Meet The Man Behind Katy Perry’s “Power”

Born in 1991, Jack Garratt was one of the most talked-about new artists last year at the age of 25. Born in England, Garratt creates eccentric electronic music with hints of soul in his voice and falsetto that’s tailor-made for the genre. The distinctiveness in his powerful beats led to massive waves even prior to releasing his debut album Phase, winning the prestigious BBC Sound Of 2016 poll, which has produced winners like Ellie Goulding and HAIM, and winning the Critic’s Choice award at the BRIT Awards. However, the day when his profile was pushed to the highest level is probably on his album release day, from just a simple one-worded tweet by none other than Katy Perry to her 100M followers, concurring the equally positive review from Sia. And of course, Katy showed more support to Garratt’s music after that, so much that she ended up working with him.

With the head-nodding beats and natural accessibility in his distinctive sound, it’s not difficult to identify Garratt’s songwriting on “Power”, that he might as well be featured. As his first effort writing for another artist, deep bass and extensive synth pulses are evident in “Power’s” chorus, as they are in Garratt’s music. Having gotten in touch with music since the small age of 12, he was already encouraged by his equally music-loving parents to experiment with absolutely anything – guitar, drums, piano, even harmonica and the ukulele. “I just really enjoyed making noises and really enjoyed the reaction that I got from making those noises,” he said regarding on why he’s spent the most of his youth surrounded with music. Writing his first song in the same year, he has revealed that he had once walked in the fields of acoustic blues when he first signed to an independent record label, but abandoned it because he wasn’t proud of what he’s doing. The long road of searching finally leads him to the unique sound that he practically owns, and while it’s indistinguishable from the influences that he lists (Frank Ocean and Jack White), they share the common feature of extreme personality.

“I was trying so hard to achieve something for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t proud of the songs I was writing, and I was performing the music because I liked the way that people reacted rather than because I was proud of the songs.” – Garratt on his music in university

Garratt creates music practically as a one-man band, programming beats and writing enabled by his multi-instrumental talents. Looking at Phase’s liner notes, the record is essentially just him with help from a couple people. This also means that he can recreate and even improvise in his shows, which are often an absolute blast to see. Often playing the drums on one hand and keyboard in the other, there’s nobody that puts himself so into the music quite like him. His often explosive music performed live sounds absolutely eargasmic – as one would put it – see it for yourself here.

The Essentials

Far Cry

There’s no other song in his discography that describes his sound to the fullest. This has got every ingredient to a Jack Garratt song – the pumping electronic beats inherited from all kinds of modern trends, mixed in with his crooning tenor voice with some impressive falsetto too. It’s his sound at his best and most addicting, and if you’re in love with this then the others would be a pleasing listen as well.

Weathered

“And no wonder I keep you close, you’re the water to quench my throat,” Garratt sings on this beautifully crafted love letter to his youth, and how it should stay with him no matter what happens in life. The acoustics in the beginning builds a sense of innocence and nostalgia, as vocals and base lines develop into a soaring climatic point full of hope and positivity.

Chemical

This insane banger describes Garratt’s love, how it’s strong and so powerful that it’s incapable of adjusting to anything, or any type of compromise. It’s shown by the distorted electronica with seriously diverse vocal delivery, and makes for one interesting listen.