PHOTO CREDIT: Jackson Todd
I been speaking with Future Jr.…
about his new track, Forget About Me, and what its story is. The Brisbane-born artist discusses his start in music and what he grew up listening to; whether there are going to be plans and tour dates coming up – he recommends a rising artist to watch.
I ask which albums are most important to him and why he decided to move to Austria; which artist he would support if he had the chance; whether he gets time to chill away from music – Future Jr. ends the interview by selecting a cool song.
Hi, Future Jr. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’m doing really good thanks! How are you guys?
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course! My name is Matt. I’m twenty-four-years-old, from Brisbane, Australia and I make music under the name Future Jr.
What is the story behind the new single, Forget About Me? Was it exciting hearing it premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show?!
It’s really just a little glimpse into my life. I recently had a period of my life where I had (wrongly) convinced myself I had to choose between my dreams of success and love. I’m a really driven person and it’s not often that you find yourself surrounded by people who understand that drive and the sacrifices that you have to make in music. So, it’s really just an open letter; a P.S.A. to say ‘I hope you know what you’re signing up for’.
You were born in Brisbane and raised around music. How important was your family home regarding your choice of career?
It’s been super-important for me. I grew up in a really creative household. From a very young age, in order to keep me and my siblings entertained, my mum would gather us together and play some simple chords on guitar and encourage us to write our own songs and melodies to match the chords. It was little things like that - it happened all the time. I was lucky enough to have parents that encouraged me to chase what I was passionate about.
Which artists struck your ear at a young age?
I probably had less of the typical music education than most kids. I never really remember listening to the radio very much as a kid. I grew up in church, so Gospel and inspirational Pop artists like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were always playing in the background. The first C.D. that I bought myself though was a Hip-Hop group called DC Talk. I latched onto it, because they used these huge, loud drums samples typical of '90s Hip-Hop. It was the first album I just absolutely rinsed.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jackson Todd
How important was it moving to Vienna and spending time there? Was it an eye-opening move for you?
I think, without me knowing, it was super-foundational. My whole family moved over when I was seven. It gave me a taste for adventure. I grew up in an environment where my whole family were experiencing new things together. It’s also a city that’s drenched with so much quiet beauty and history - the birthplace of some incredibly important historical musical figures, like Mozart for example.
It’s a city that understands art and encourages the pursuit of it. Looking back, it was invaluable. Vienna never yells at you like a city such as New York would. It just quietly whispers and encourages you to create something. I think that’s the part of Vienna that will always stick with me.
Might we see more material next year at some point?
DEFINITELY. Lots of it.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I’m actually about to head off on a big trip to L.A., N.Y.C. and London for a few months. It’s going to be a lot of songwriting and making art! I’m just so excited to start creating the next era of Future Jr. and write the next part of the story.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I remember when I got the final masters back for my first E.P. It was late, I had just got back to my car after getting dinner with some friends and the email came through. I immediately plugged in my phone and sat there listening. It was the most surreal experience for me. Sitting there in an empty carpark, I was listening to the soundtracks of one of the worst years of life. After I finished listening, I sat there in silence for a bit then finally drove out of the carpark. It was one of the most still and quiet moments of my life. I left all the troubles of that year in that carpark.
Which two albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
I had discovered Bon Iver in my last year of high-school - and the year after he dropped Bon Iver. It was the soundtrack to my coming-of-age and continued to be a pillar for years to come. The themes in that album about finding your identity had a huge impact on me.
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
This was the soundtrack of high-school for me. This was the album my friends and I would blast with the windows down on our way to the beach. I still remember hanging out with window of my friend’s beat-up Ford Lazer screaming out the lyrics to Lisztomania as loud as I could.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Haha, oh man! That’s a huge question. Right now, I would say probably someone like Lorde. I love what she’s doing and what she’s done from day one. She creates this music that’s authentic and uniquely her but still has these anthemic Pop hooks. I feel like the crowds there would also probably be willing to have more of a heartfelt experience at those shows. In saying that, maybe a bit of a guilty pleasure; supporting someone like Bieber would be pretty amazing as well. Haha.
I don’t even know what I’d ask for my rider. Haha! I’m not the most extravagant kind of person. I’d be content if there was just fresh pizza every night of tour.
Will there be some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
There are some tasty things in the pipeline at the moment. It’s a bit of a surprise. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Figure out early why you want success. Figure out why you’re making music. If you’re in this game for riches and fame then you’re in the wrong biz, kid. Fall in love with creating art for the sake of creating art, not for the sake of making money.
IN THIS PHOTO: No Mono
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Wow, that’s so hard. There’s so many at the moment! My top new recommendation would be No Mono. They’re some local lads from Australia. They’re creating some incredibly intricate and soulful music. Picture James Blake crossed with Jamie xx.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I love the beach. It’s my way to switch off my brain; lying in the sand with the only sound being the waves crashing. That is my sweet-spot. It also always fills up my inspiration tank. If I’m ever feeling dry, I always head to the beach.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I’ve been slamming this track since it dropped. Some serious early-2000s R&B/Pop vibes: Girls Don’t Cry (ft. Maribelle) - Young Franco
Follow Future Jr.