Western Sydney indie pop artist and former teen YouTube star grentperez has just released the four-song collection, Trail Mix Tape, featuring the singles ‘Ego’ and ‘Wishful Thinking’. The tape arrives amid Perez’s first major stretch of live shows. The malleable pop performer recently supported Eric Nam at his shows in Australia and New Zealand and will be supporting mxmtoon on her upcoming tour.
But despite being a live performance newbie, Perez is selling out stacks of his own headline shows locally and internationally. Following the mxmtoon tour, perez will conduct a run of shows around Europe, the UK and North America, most of which are already sold out. Music Feeds chats to Perez about playing live, his international following and Trail Mix Tape.
grentperez – ‘Ego’
Music Feeds: This is a big run of shows. After these Aus shows you’re going to Europe, the UK and North America, where everything is sold out. What’s your general feeling at the moment?
grentperez: I’m honestly having a really good time. It has a lot to do with the crew that I’m with. They’ve really kept my head on straight and we’re all just really good for each other. But I’m pretty stoked – it’ll be my first time travelling across to those countries.
I’m still very, very much new to the whole performing game, but I’ve grown accustomed to it pretty quickly. So, I’m enjoying it, but I do also enjoy my time when I’m at home.
MF: A lot of your songs were written at home, sometimes with collaborators over Zoom, and then uploaded to streaming platforms. Has it altered your perspective on the songs, witnessing the reactions in real time?
grentperez: I think that was the funniest thing for me. Seeing live reactions, it’s like turning comments into people’s faces. And I find that really, really funny. Having people listen to my music, especially from it coming from my bedroom, the whole sitch is just funny to me.
It’s just like, “Wow. You guys are really loving it. I was just, like, laying down in my bed and you guys like the music? Sick.”
MF: Did you grow up in Sydney?
grentperez: I did. I was born in Fairfield Hospital, Western Sydney.
MF: According to Spotify, your biggest audiences are in Jakarta, Manila and Los Angeles. Are you surprised by how widespread your following is?
grentperez: I think I’m more so just surprised at the size of each group. It’s pretty gnarly. I had a feeling I would attract the Filipino side. The Indonesian side surprised me. They’re like one of the best communities, they’re so lovely. But yeah, I think I’m just more surprised that people actually like my shit.
I really do appreciate the community that’s been established. I feel like my demographic is really, really spread. Even within Australia when I do get noticed, the communities that see me, it’s all mixed races. There’s like a few Indian guys that listen to my music, Arabic, Lebanese and then the Filo side and then you have like all the Aussies and whatnot.
grentperez – ‘Cherry Wine’
MF: You already had a big base of YouTube followers, but ‘Cherry Wine’ reached a whole new audience. Do you worry about whether you’ll be able reach those heights again?
grentperez: I’ve thought about it. I’ve got no pressure at the moment. I’ve definitely got quite a few bangers in the archives at the moment. But in terms of ‘Cherry Wine’, I’m not really that fussed because whenever people come up to me and say what their favourite song is, it always changes.
MF: Trail Mix Tape is out now. Compared to Conversations with the Moon, which is an EP, what makes Trail Mix Tape a mixtape?
grentperez: I don’t think I wanted it to be a full-fledged EP, per se. And I didn’t really want too many songs on there. I just wanted to collate these four little ideas into a little collective. And since every song was mixed, each song has its own genre. It’s very, very different.
MF: ‘Ego’ has been doing really well on triple j. Does that mean much to you?
grentperez: Oh, that means so much.
MF: Is it a true story – is ‘Ego’ about someone you used to be friends with?
Grant: I would say yes and no. Originally it was written about me if I were to critique myself if I were to ever be this arrogant arse. No one likes an arsehole. But yeah, I’d say that I definitely had a friend or two that, when they talk about money, it gets a little bit draining. And it’s just like, “Dude, we get it. You’ve got a proper job at 19 years old. Good job.”
But I wouldn’t say it was fully written because of those types of people. It’s more of a critique of people in general.
MF: You’re 20 years old. Is your conception of the sort of artist you want to be still evolving?
grentperez: Oh, hell yeah. It makes me pretty happy because I know for a fact that my music will be ever-changing. I’d say Trail Mix Tape is a testament of what I can do, all the different genres that I’m capable of doing.
grentperez – ‘Wishful Thinking’
grentperez’s Trail Mix Tape is out now.