Greenock born, Southend-on-Sea raised director/composer Grant Armour, is now based in South East London. Grant has been travelling the world for the past 10 years making documentaries on subjects like drugs, rave culture, climate activism, fetishes, mental health, prisons in Colombia, ancient rituals, homelessness in London, LGBTQ+ rights in Jamaica, and space tourism.
He made the first documentary on Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement and recently collaborated with Brian Eno on a film about the anniversary of the moon landings. Grant is currently making a doc about cartels distributing counterfeit medication in Mexico and another film on the cocaine epidemic in Glasgow. Most of the influences for Grant’s music comes from his experiences as a documentary filmmaker.
“My songs are about the human condition, so I needed to see some shit before I could write anything decent.”
Most of Grant’s music has been instrumental, as accompaniments to his own films and other productions, but now he’s using his voice to make spacious and cinematic downtempo pop music.
“Singing has been a means of releasing tension from a year in lockdown and I’ve found it to be therapeutic. While I’ve experimented with electronic music for a while, picking up instruments again felt less automated and more personal. I feel like people are crying out for something more visceral.”
Grant believes in limitations in timbre to create space in music, to capture the emotion and energy of the song, to communicate the initial idea - so he typically writes and records his songs within 24 hours. Most of Grant’s songs are about the human condition in the end times, isolation, perceptions of time and space, the loss of privacy and modern love.
“Music is all about space, with the gaps between notes being just as important, if not more, than the notes themselves and also how these sounds fill a physical space. The tracks I’ve written and recorded have been a response to the space I’ve been in. Not experiencing music in a live or club setting has meant I’ve mainly listened to music at home or in headphones. I wanted to create something that felt like a comfortable armchair for the listener and communicate words and melodies that become ingrained in their memories.”
Watch the video for 'Forgotten What You Look Like' - BELOW:
While most of the influences for his music come from films rather than from other people’s music, for instance: the sound design of some Italian giallos; the movement of the camera in Robert Altman’s Images; or even the editing style of Thelma Schoonmaker, if he had to narrow it down to formative musical influences then it would be artists like, Scott Walker, Portishead, ESG, Minnie Riperton, Dean Blunt, Ennio Morricone and The Dust Brothers.
“Making music is compulsive for me as I find the process therapeutic. I would like my music to serve the same purpose for the listener.”