Jack GarrattReady to build
with Jun-6 V

Jack GarrattReady to build
with Jun-6 V

Jack Garratt is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Buckinghamshire in the UK. Known for his emotive, vulnerable take on Indie electronic pop, his string of releases for labels like Island Records and Universal Music have led to him picking up several British music awards and touring his music across the world.

After getting his hands on Jun-6 V, an emulation of the timeless Juno series, we checked in with him to see how the plugin fit into his sound and creative process while he produced a track from scratch.

A cyclical journey

It was at school that Jack first found himself drawn to music. Noticing he had something of a natural aptitude for it, his parents stuck him in music classes where he learned to play a wealth of different instruments including the guitar, drums, piano and trombone. It was at the tender age of 12 that he wrote his first ever song and, just a couple of years later, he found himself in the UK national selection for 2005’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

This experience was the first time that Jack noticed that his intentions for making music weren’t quite right. It was the attention that was fuelling him rather than the passion for creating. These feelings reared their head again when Jack was at university, where he was training to be a teacher. Whilst studying he began work on his debut album but abandoned it soon after when the realisation hit him that he wasn’t proud of the music he was making - again it was the need for recognition that he was chasing.

He dropped out of university following a “self-destructive moment” and spent several years honing in on a more intimate, sincere sound. After releasing his debut album ‘Phase’ on Island Records in 2016, he swiftly began work on his sophomore LP, but following the initial recording, Jack decided to discard the draft. It had come at a time where he’d been dealing with bouts of anxiety triggered by the pressures and scrutiny that came with fame and success. This was the catalyst for him to take a hiatus from music until 2020 when, with the help and support of co-producers James Flannigan and Jacknife Lee, he released his second album, ‘Love, Death & Dancing’: a vulnerable yet uplifting collection of songs which explored his battles with his mental health.

The art of storytelling

The road to this point hasn’t always been smooth but the obstacles Jack has faced along the way have led him to self-acceptance, and in turn he’s found himself in a more honest and respectful space with his output. Unsurprisingly his writing is deeply personal, documenting his own thoughts, experiences and feelings — it’s the musical embodiment of what’s happening in his world.

I like writing stories and telling stories. A lot of people like engaging with stories, that’s why they watch movies, or they play video games or they talk to people on social media.

We are all attracted to good storytelling. I find it really hard to write from any other perspective other than what I’m currently inhabiting. I’ve got to be very aware and very self-aware to be able to write what I consider my music. And that’s why I think my songs are so personal to me.

For Jack it’s about listening to your gut, whether that’s cutting something out, leaving a song as it is or discarding an idea that doesn’t quite work. After all, it could be of use in another composition in the future.

I’m not a prolific writer. I can look at a song and I can go: ‘there’s something in that, but it’s not there, and I’m not going to force it out.

That idea that I might not have used for one song will appear in another song that I’m writing. And that’s happened countless times. So I’ll be halfway through a song I’ve got a verse and a chorus for, I’ll come to the middle and this chorus from a song I started writing four years ago will pop up into my head. It’s the only way that I know how to do it. I kind of naturally have found myself in that place.

On Jun-6 V

Juno synths have played a central role in Jack’s collection for some time, so when he came to trial Jun-6 V, naturally he approached it in the same way.

Jun-6 V channels the instant-access polyphonic formula that made the Juno series so iconic when it was first released in the early ‘80s. Our exclusive TAE® technology has allowed us to re-engineer every circuit and part of the timeless polysynth so that you can have the authentic Juno sound at your fingertips.

I always do one thing on a Juno when I power up for the first time, and that was the first thing I did on here [Jun-6 V], which is just messing around on a few chords that I like. My ears still wanted to play the things I would usually play on the Juno because of how apparent it was that that’s what I was hearing. So what I ended up making was a very Juno-like thing.

Juno synths are reputed for how user-friendly they are, and Jun-6 V is no different. The synthesis will instantly feel familiar, from the authentic BBD character and stereo spread of the iconic dual chorus feature to the simplicity of DCOs - you’ll find whatever sound you’re punching in is true to the original.

I wasn’t creatively in a space today to do anything more than what the instrument was kind of asking me to do. My head wasn’t in that space to kind of “push this as a machine” and see what I can do and take it apart to put it back again. And with sounds like this, I don’t think you want to do that, if I’m being honest.

In the short time we spent with Jack in the studio, he leant into the idea of what Jun-6 V wanted him to do, letting the machine guide his workflow, rather than forcing it.

This is 14 tracks [in the DAW] and there’s a couple of reamping bits in there, there’s a basic structure and I’ve done a very, very small amount of automation, but that’s usually what I’ll get done in a session when I’m enjoying myself. I’m aware obviously there’s cameras in the room and I’m doing this for a purpose but I could still have sat here and just had absolutely nothing if it wasn’t inspiring anything out of me… but it has!

Jun-6 V’s easy-to-use access helps ideas flow quickly and organically - in Jack’s case this allows him to be present and self-aware while writing and ultimately focus on making the music that’s true to him.

It might have taken him some time, but Jack’s path is now well and truly defined. Music has proved a powerful vehicle for him to share his experiences and stories with others, and he hopes that, like him, others will also find solace in the art of creating music.

I’m a big believer in giving everyone the opportunity to express and explore themselves as openly and vulnerably as possible. Creating music is a really beautiful way of doing that, and we live in an age where creating music is easier than it’s ever been. We’re already in the middle of one of the most fascinating changes in music in modern history. To be not only alive for it, but also being part of it, is really exciting. It’s really cool. I’m excited to hear what the future’s going to sound like.

Sign up to our newsletter!

Get expert sound tips, exclusive offers, and endless inspiration straight to your inbox. Built for everyone - from the aspiring producer to the studio veteran - let’s take your sound to the next level.