Humans of the UK: Thoughts from August Grantt’s Dormitory | Characteristics
When August Grantt discovered that his idol Mac Miller had died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, he was high on the same drug that Miller mistakenly believed he was using.
It was one of many stop signs. If Miller wasn’t invincible, neither was Grantt.
Nearly four years later, Grantt is an up-and-coming rapper trying to create music that connects with listeners the same way Miller does for him. He is also a British senior and a psychology major who goes by Austin Woods in his day-to-day life.
Grantt takes signs seriously. When Flipturn’s “August” appeared as Grantt was deciding whether or not to pursue music, he knew something in the universe was telling him to go for it. Since he didn’t want to make music under his real name, and August was quite close to Austin, he adopted the name of the song.
The “Grantt” also comes from a sign. Since Grantt was born on February 2, 2000, which contains the angelic number 222, he incorporates both into many parts of his life, from the two “t’s” at the end of his stage name to the release date of his first. album – June 22, 2021.
From age 17 to 19, Grantt used hard drugs, but they are no longer a part of his life. He was sick of the negativity, he said, and he didn’t want to become “a forgotten overdose statistic.”
Although he doesn’t think of himself as a role model, Grantt said he wants to be a positive example of someone who let himself into addiction but eventually got through it.
“I didn’t really enjoy that part of my life, but I still rap about it,” Grantt said. “I just want to work hard and then be like, you can look at me and still be proud, even though I’m not that cookie-cutter perfect person.”
Grantt was sitting in his dorm trying to write a song called “Thoughts from my Dorm Room”, inspired by Miller’s “Thoughts from my Balcony”, when he decided to get into music. He called every studio in Lexington, asking to intern so they could show him the ropes. They all said no, but Ekaman, an entertainer and event planner, called Grantt back to invite him to a show he was co-hosting at Fishtank.
On the show, Grantt showed off the engineer’s lyrics that he had written in his Notes app. The engineer took Grantt’s phone to show them to Ekaman.
“[Ekaman’s] read the lyrics and he’s like, ‘You wrote that?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah,'” Grantt said. “He’s like, ‘Have you ever recorded before?’ I said no, then he said to me: ‘You will do it.’ »
And he did. Grantt followed Ekaman to his studio to learn more about mixing and recording music, and after COVID shut that down, he worked until he could afford his own recording equipment. He released over 30 songs on SoundCloud from the dressing room of his LEX apartment, but eventually realized he wanted to focus on concepts, not singles, and see if he could create a smooth album.
This album – “Disoriented Wonderland” – was released last summer and is meant to sound like the feeling of being lost in your head. Last week, on the eve of her birthday, Grantt performed part of it in front of an audience for the first time.
“There’s a huge difference between seeing numbers on your screen next to your name and then seeing people you don’t know come from the back of the room coming up to you and starting to vibrate with your music,” Grantt said. . “There’s no medicine that could get me higher than that.”
Grantt said he was already set for his second, third and 50th performances. He has prepared several months of unreleased music and continues to write verses daily. He’s also getting better at “painting emotion” with his music, he said. But he doesn’t want to get caught up in the attention or comments, positive or negative. His goal is not to please the masses, but rather to make art for the 50 or 50,000 people connected to him.
“I don’t like to think about the future,” Grantt said. “You think like, ‘Oh, that would be great to be a famous rapper or something.’ Sure, but I can almost guarantee that the path to this point is probably as fun, if not more fun, than this point itself. So I don’t really want to get lost where I might be going. I’d rather get lost where I am.