Grentperez is an Australian DIY Pop artist of Filipino descent who has recently been on a world tour with K-Pop artist Eric Nam. Just before that, he released an EP called Trail Mix Tape where he took on significant experiments in Production and genre exploration that built on his signature soothing sounds.
Today, he has released new original holiday single, “When Christmas Comes Again.” Those who follow grentperez’s work will already know how much he loves Christmas music, having posted many covers and performance videos over the years. With this original song, you’ll find a window into his thoughts and emotions about the season, and it’s all about the romantic feelings the holiday conjures up, complete with longstanding traditions in Christmas tunes.
We held the following Q&A with grentperez about the Trail Mix Tape EP, his new holiday single, and more.
Hannah Means-Shannon: Do you think that music has a therapeutic effect on people? Do you think of that idea at all when creating your own songs?
grentperez: I’d like to think that my music has a therapeutic effect, a handful of people in my community have definitely said it’s calmed them down. When creating my songs, I do like to construct something that is rather easy and pleasing to listen to.
HMS: How do you think your cultural background and where you grew up has impacted the kind of music that you make and the things that you write about?
grentperez: Filipino culture amasses a lot of soothing music. Whether it be ballads or folk tunes, the smoothness is always there. I’d say I’ve picked that up in my upbringing.
HMS: What were some of your discoveries and developments in sound and production while making Trail Mix Tape?
grentperez: While making the Trail Mix Tape EP, I feel as though I really uncovered a new array of genres that I could comfortably rock into.
HMS: I see that you used to write poetry (and maybe still do!) What do you think are the similarities or differences between writing poetry and writing lyrics? Are they interchangeable?
grentperez: I did try to write poetry. It was rather challenging but highly rewarding. I’d say the similarities are quite high. In both aspects you’re trying to convey a story, a feeling, a message in the most touching way possible. Depending on your style of poem, it can follow a rhyme scheme which (for the most part) can very much be interchanged into a song.
HMS: What are the main differences for you and your mindset between playing music in-person and playing online?
grentperez: When playing online or to a pre-recorded video, I’d like to keep my glaring mistakes to a minimum as you can rewatch those videos thousands of times. While during living performances, I do like to avoid mistakes, but I mainly focus on having a lot of fun and translating that fun to the audience.
HMS: The idea behind the song “Ego” is very relatable as we see people in our lives go through upswings and get a little too proud of themselves, but I was interested that in the funny DIY video there’s actually a “Good Grent” and a “Bad Grent” and that suggests you might hope to avoid being “that guy” in your own life. Is that true?
grentperez: Very much true. The story behind ego kind of follows suit to that music video, as I imagined myself falling into this egotistical pit and how much I would dislike to be that person.
HMS: The song “Wishful Thinking” is a little more vibey and reflective but there’s also this idea of instability and change in the world, which could lead to more possibilities, whether good or bad. Did music help you deal with the uncertainties in the world in the past few years?
grentperez: Music has been a very good source of meditation. I love singing, it just feels so nice to sing; good or bad, it just makes a lot of my problems feel faint. I think that some music has the power to uncover bits of us that we don’t see at first, similar to how movies evoke that same feeling.
HMS: “Day by Day” brings in a more pointed drum element that drives things and also suggests the passage of time. What were some of your choices that built up the sound of the song?
grentperez: For a while, I had wanted to make a song that really taps into the RnB world, revolving around similar themes to that of Usher or Daniel Caesar and that was my main motive.
HMS: Are there holiday songs that have stuck with you over the years? Do you think they change the atmosphere of the season for us?
grentperez: Oooo, I am a sucker for “I’ll Be home for Christmas”, “Please Come Home For Christmas”, “Cold December Night”. Those songs have great power over the season. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without them.
HMS: When you were writing “When Christmas Comes Again”, were there traditional elements or images that you knew you wanted to include? How did that relate to the sound elements you brought to the final recording?
grentperez: The feeling of cheeky romance during Christmas has always been a lingering motive, so I wanted to include the mistletoe, sitting under starry skies, and just the whole feel of cute holidays. In relation to the music, the little xylophone hits, and lyrics definitely come into play, making the whole song fun and easy to dance to.