Interview: Jack Garratt – 'I taught myself to be my harshest critic rather than just a mean voice in the back of my head'
Ahead of his slot at TITP the singer-songwriter and Brit Award Critics' Choice Award winner talks festivals and deliberate musical isolation
As a teenager, Jack Garratt entered the first song he ever wrote in a bid to represent Britain at Junior Eurovision. He came last. Earlier this year, he received the Brit Award for Critics’ Choice and scored a top ten hit with his debut album, Phase. So he’s pretty upbeat now. But in between those milestones were years of social anxiety and deliberate musical isolation for this self-confessed ‘pasty, fat, ginger kid’.
‘I didn’t do myself any favours,’ he says with disarming candour. ‘I would be resentful of my own ideas, even before I’d said them out loud. But music was always the most consistent and peaceful thing for me. So I taught myself to be my harshest critic rather than just a mean voice in the back of my head.’ Aged 20, he moved to London, where he learned to stop worrying (quite so much) and embrace the freedom of being a 21st century one-man band, blending digital and analogue, pop, electronic and R’n’B.
‘I’ve always found myself to be most free and creatively open when I’m on my own,’ he insists. ‘I find myself working ten steps ahead of where I actually am on my laptop or keyboard, but I know what the ten steps are. I just haven’t got to them yet.’ To this day, he practically comes out in hives if it is suggested that he collaborate. ‘But it is something I want to change, I don’t wanna be a recluse forever,’ he declares. How does he feel about sharing a field with 70,000 other folk at T in the Park then? ‘Festivals are the best because you can’t control anything, and for a control freak like me that’s a wonderful experience.’
T in the Park, Sat 9 Jul.