Before Just A Gent kicks off his national tour, we had a chance to get down and deep with the sharpest-dressed DJ 'round town!
UNDR Ctrl: Hey Jacob! We are very excited to sit down with you before your tour!
Oh my, what a great story you have – from being a little rocket high school bedroom producer, then a few years later playing at some of the biggest EDM festivals in the world! Did you predict/have any inkling that this is where you’d be?
Just A Gent: Hey! Definitely did not predict it. When I was a kid my dream was to play at any nightclub and I think I achieved that pretty early on haha. I think little Jacob wouldn't even believe in the slightest that one day he would get to tour around for a living.
UC: It’s a success story that would inspire many young kids, especially from rural areas. How have your friends and family from Maitland feel about you blowing up around the globe? Do many young producers reach out to know the tricks of the trade?
JAG: Most people from Maitland still don't really understand what it is that I do. But the younger people here and all my friends and family are huge supporters. If I ever play in Newy I always see my old high school comrades etc in the crowd front row which is always a blast. Electronic Music is so popular now that there are actually more then like 3 people making dance music here which is so dope. A lot of them do reach out and I teach them a few things here and there when I can.
UC: The EDM circle is extremely hard to crack into, but you managed to slide in with your unique style – music and performance wise. What has been the trickiest part of manoeuvring your way in the industry?
JAG: Finding my own sound in such a crowded scene was definitely a challenge but once I found a style I just stuck to it and it worked. I think the trickiest part though was spreading my music and trying to get more people to hear my music. I was a huge soundcloud fanatic and I basically used soundcloud to grow my audience through vigorous spamming. However, these days it seems like an even harder step in growing as an artist just because there is so much more noise.
UC: You’re on the road a lot – touring Aus and USA! From Maitland to LA, what is your all time favourite meal and at what place?
JAG: Honestly, my all time favourite was introduced to me by the boys over at Cakes from the world Bar back in the day and it was at a little Italian resteraunt in Kings Cross Sydney called Cafe Roma. They make probably the best Tortellini Alla Panna ever and its just my go to whenever I'm in the city.
UC: We're very interested to know what style of music you listen to on a day to day basis. You remix everything from Rage Against The Machine to Don’t Call Me Baby, Whitney Houston to Phantom of the Opera. What are 5 diverse songs or albums that influence your music?
JAG: I'm definitely a fan of a bit of everything but 5 albums of the top of my head that has been influencing me lately would have to be Raidohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, Silverchair’s ‘Diorama’, I'm still loving Jaden Smith’s new album ‘Syre’, One of my all time favourite albums is Eskimo Joe’s ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ and my mate Kasbo recently put out an album called ‘Places We Don't Know’ and its amazing.
UC: You’ve been touring and playing festivals since you were 17, have you noticed any shift in the music touring sphere since you started?
JAG: I think electronic music is getting cut from a lot of Aussie festivals as of late. Every Lineup, I've been seeing less and less DJ's and I get it, but at the same time there is nothing like just going hard to a sick DJ set at a festival. Another thing I have noticed is a lot of clubs I have played at in my short career have shutdown too which is really sad and I think a big reason people are going out less and less is definitely due to the likes of lockout laws, but also just buying a round of 4 or 5 drinks can sometimes end up costing like $80, a lot of people just can't afford to go out!
UC: You have been part of the UNDR Ctrl family since the very start, and came off a US tour with other UNDR Ctrl family San Holo and DROELOE late last year. How was that tour different from other ones you have done? What was it like touring with them?
JAG: Yew, UNDR CTRL!
It was a crazy ride. They are such awesome dudes and being on the road for 3 months with them we definitely became a bit of a family. It was so much more intense though, constantly travelling almost every day for that many days is definitely a challenge, but after a while it just becomes the norm. Touring in AUS it generally only takes about 10 days to play around the whole country and I get to split it up over a few weeks so its far more chilled out haha. It was such a dope experience though and I can't wait to do something like it again.
UC: Your latest track 404 sent vibey ripples through the music industry – it was a unique fresh take on heavy techno and we all loved it! Where did the inspiration for this come about?
JAG: At the time I made the track I was really into Herobust and listening to alot of Noisia and Ivy Lab. I think I tried to mix a bit of all that in with JAG and 404 was the result!
UC: We hear you have a brand new track around the corner – can you tell us more about that?
JAG: I sure can. Its a freshy with the very talented Thandi Phoenix (who you might know from the Like A Version we did together or one of her many amazing singles). It's a 128bpm upbeat electro vibe. It's inspired by some of my oldertuff like Waveless and Limelight. It's called Space Odyssey and it comes out on May 25th!
UC: Since the beginning of Just A Gent, you wear a smart slick suit as part of your performance persona. What was the inspiration behind that and is this something you will continue to evolve over time?
JAG: I just have always loved suiting up. Over time I have definitely made the outfit a little more suitable to going ham behind the decks because it can get pretty sweaty up there, so I've tried to wear less jackets etc But it will definitely stay. What’s a gentleman without his suit?
Make sure you catch Just A Gent as he tours around the country, kicking it off in Brissy baby!
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Friday 18 May - The TBC Club , Brisbane
Friday 25 May - Proud Mary's , Erina
Saturday 26 May - Fat Controller , Adelaide
Saturday 2 June - The Waratah , Hobart
Friday 15 June - Chinese Laundry , Sydney
Friday 22 June - Mr Wolf , Canberra
Friday 29 June - The Night Cat , Melbourne
Saturday 30 June - King Street , Newcastle