Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work –and who were some of your influences growing up?
I’m Grant Smith, a musician and soldier currently deployed in Afghanistan. I’ve been around the music scene for a couple of years now since my first full album release at eighteen. I think one of my greatest influences, in music that is, would have to be Ed Sheeran.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I haven’t had much formal training other than some music theory in college.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been performing for as long as I can remember. I began playing piano and guitar at five, and haven’t stopped since.
What has been your favourite project to work on so far?
Definitely, the Empty Words album was a lot of fun because it was my first experience releasing a full-blown album.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
One full album and ten singles, for a total of twenty releases.
How did you get the gig?
I actually saved up every penny to afford three hours of studio time and only used 30 minutes worth.
What sports do you enjoy watching?
Big fan of Jui Jitsu.
What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
Probably meeting my producer, Marc Solomon.
If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
Ed Sheeran without a doubt.
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background and inspirations behind it?
My last two releases, “Black Sea,” and “In Her Hand,” both came from a romantic stance. My previous singles such as “Crooked,” and “Better Up There,” came from this intense need to be alone with my art. I felt it was time to give way to something softer — sweeter.
What projects do you have coming up?
A new single, hopefully, a duet called Late Night.
Who is your inspiration?
Everyone in my home town of Fairland, Oklahoma. Anytime I get down or reach an obstacle in my career I remember this is bigger than myself.
How have you ended up in the music industry?
When I was twelve, I was busking with my trumpet in Grove, Oklahoma, when a woman approached and made a request. I played and saw this shimmer in her eye. I knew from then on I wanted to be that spark. I’ve been sprinting as fast as I can into the industry ever since.
What do you think of the music industry in 2018?
I think music is going in a great direction. There are always some bad eggs in any art form, but in general, we are becoming way more open to new things and mixing genres. A popular song doesn’t need to be pumped full of adrenaline, thanks to Ed Sheeran, Lumineers, Ruth B, and the like we can release music as simple as a voice and the keys.
Who do you think the most influential artist?
Ed Sheeran by far. He shows us what music can be for someone. He ran toward that dream of his, and didn’t stop. I don’t see him stopping anytime in the near future.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?
I’ve managed to work with some talented artists throughout my career, though the best relationship I’ve cultivated is with my producer Marc Solomon.
How do you think you differ from other artists?
I would have to ask the fans that. I make music that I feel, and can perform with 100% soul and spirit. I just hope it resonates with them.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
Ray Charles, my original inspiration. No one else can convey emotion through voice as he could.
What was the first album you bought?
The very first song I ever owned was American Pie, still one of my favorite songs.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. I’ve seen that film three times and it never fails to touch me.
If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Without doubt.
What are your favorite venues to perform in?
Small holes in the wall like Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood. The Watergate Hotel in DC is also really nice.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
I’ve been heavy into meditations by Marcus Aurelius this week. Highly suggest.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Four tattoos and counting. I leave it up to the big fans back home to know what they are by heart.
Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?
In the works is a new song with a ‘summer’ vibe and a live album from my shows through last year.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making great, fresh music.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak!