Fresh off a trip home to Manila, Filipino/Australian artist grentperez is in the middle of a seriously busy close to the end of 2023.
When We Were Younger, his most recent album, was earlier this year and has been a huge success, making his schedule slightly more packed than usual. At just 21, grentperez is experiencing the life of a burgeoning pop star, but he’s really right where he belongs. His newest single, “Op Shop Lover”, even features the ARIA Award-winning Lime Cordiale, a notable collaboration at this early stage of his career.
Looking back at how the release came together, grentperez fondly remembers meeting the Leimbach brothers at last year’s Spilt Milk festival; it wasn’t long before they were getting in the studio together. “We recorded mostly light-hearted stuff, but eventually recorded “Op Shop Lover” in a day,” he recalls, fondly talking about their natural relationship and chemistry in the studio together.
Working with the likes of Lime Cordiale is a long way from grentperez’s humble beginnings, when he, like so many millions of other people, posted homemade clips on YouTube, hoping his music would connect with someone out there. Now, he’s got millions of followers on social media, sold-out shows across the globe, but in conversation, grentperez is as down to earth as it gets.
His recent trip to the Phillipines was the first time he’s been there since a child, where he caught up with family members and experienced the Filipino culture up close for the first time in a long time. He documented the experience as a mini-documentary on his YouTube channel (watch below), the action of an international phenomenon remaining a regular person in everyday life.
When you listen to a grentperez song, themes of love, romance, and nostalgia are prevalent. He accredits this to his love of Filipino music, which he listened to a lot growing up. “Filipino music is filled with love, so that’s where it comes from in my music” he says while reflecting on his trip home.
grentperez is just getting started. Looking towards the end of the year and what’s on the horizon for him in the new year, relaxation is the furthest thing from his mind. At the time of our interview, he’s about to conclude a tour with Rex Orange County; as an avid fan of Rex since the English singer-songwriter’s early SoundCloud days, it was a major moment for him. grentperez says they check up on each other and have established a genuine relationship outside of tour life – a true ‘pinch me’ moment for the Sydneysider.
Right now, he’s in the middle of his own sold-out – yes, sold out – tour of North America, which will conclude next month in Los Angeles. Even at the heights he’s reached thus far, though, grentperez acknowledges that he definitely feels the monumental pressure that comes with a tour of the US and Canada.
Straight after his Northern Hemisphere visit, it’s straight back to work at home, with Australian and New Zealand dates confirmed to see him through until mid-December; his only break will come in January before he sets off on a Europe and UK tour for the majority of February (luckily, that’s grentperez’s favourite place to tour).
It’s not all work, he hastens to add, and grentperez still finds time for home comforts: he lists gaming, cars, and catching up with friends as the things that keep him grounded.
But when his career does become stressful, he always manages to maintain a bubbly social media personality. How does he keep this up, I ask. “I keep it pretty real,” he answer coolly. “If I’m not feeling it, I’m not feeling it.”
One thing he definitely is “feeling” is new music. With his debut album already out in the world, he says his aim for next year is to release a new album. He wants to branch out into other genres, especially R&B, and cement himself in his “love era”.
Despite a lot of success in his career so far, it seems like grentperez is only scratching the surface. He’s only 21-years-old, after all. But he possesses all the tools to for the future: talented, marketable, ambitious, thoughtful, but also, crucially, level-headed. That’s why the grentperez story is only in its early chapters.
grentperez 2023 Australia & New Zealand Tour
Ticket information available via grentperez.tours
Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Liberty Hall, Sydney, NSW
The Gov, Adelaide, Sa
Max Watts, Melbourne, VIC
Powerstation, Auckland, NZ
San Fran, Wellington, NZ