A Jack of all trades, Larsen's raw talent shines through his genreless creativity
When I first stumbled upon Jack Larsen I listened through his entire SoundCloud profile and found myself resisting the urge to repost everything I heard. I was impressed by the breadth of his tracks. Songs like “Closer” and “ufo” instill deep Lo-Fi vibes while “Cold Like December” shows his twist on modern Pop music. Larsen’s a “Jack of all trades” when it comes to songwriting, but he remains strategic in his own musical releases.
Growing up in the west suburb of Saint Charles, Jack’s earliest influences came from his Dad’s love of The Beatles and Nirvana. He started writing poems as early as elementary school, but it wasn’t until high school that he began to merge his musical interest with his talents. Recording from home with nothing but a mic and a laptop, Jack’s music reflects the emotions of his day.
Jack first started taking music seriously during his senior year of Highschool after collaborating with Los Angeles’ Kevin Abstract on the MTV1987 track “27”. A seemingly obvious pairing, Jack and Kevin met online before becoming good friends in the analog world. As an introverted music junkie, Jack’s made great use of the internet, meeting a majority of his collaborators this way. Austin, TX producer Chris Hatam found Jack online and has been sending him instrumentals since they first began talking. “We [Chris and I] work well together. But it’s frustrating trying to make changes over a skype session. ‘Pneumonia’ took a week to make, but it’d probably take one night in Austin to make together.” While the collaborative process may be challenging from remote locations, it’s allowed Jack to work with several reputable names such as Australian producer ryanjacob, INDICA and Brockhampton.
Jack continues to provide vocals for a variety of talented artists and producers, but you won’t find anything like “Kumbaya” on his own profile. Jack is focusing on refining his sound and finishing a project, but finding himself in a constant clash of genres and styles. While this doesn’t seem like the worst problem to have, he feels the need to create a cohesive album. His ultimate goal is to become a songwriter, playing off his ability to write good music regardless the genre. Of course Jack wants to be his own artist as well, but he feels that at this point in his career it’s difficult to grow a strong fanbase without locking yourself into one genre. Jack’s sound is very personal and doesn’t sell out for any one fan base, but rather selectively releases his music. This brings up an interesting question of what an upcoming artist like Jack should do. Should he trust that his fans will grow naturally given the quality of his music? Should he make multiple SoundCloud accounts of different genres and see which one is the most successful? Or should he focus only on one style, even if he can do them all? The answer may be unclear, but one thing’s for certain; he’s got talent.
One of the things that I’m most excited for is Jack’s self-produced music. Having recently acquired Ableton, Jack is writing more often and engaging in a fluid process of making new music. On his latest single, “Pilot”, Jack’s production enables a natural hybrid of his multidisciplinary sounds. In this mix of sounds we learn that Jack has what it takes to be more than a songwriter.
Jack’s creative wits expand past the arts through outlets like “Let’s Vent”, where he personally responded to over 40 letters from fans venting about their struggles. Jack’s also got an eye for videography. In a grainy montage that is all too short, Jack’s dreamy vocals and aquatic guitar are complemented perfectly by intimate shots of a scale-painted Larsen delivering raw energy with extremely minimal movements. Jack has built a strong portfolio in the three short years he’s taken music seriously and he’s immersed himself in many creative endeavors. With only one semester left to achieve his Music Business degree at Columbia College, Jack’s looking toward the future. He’s eager to focus on music full time, and plans to move to Nashville or Austin upon graduation.
When asked about some of his short term goals, he replies with an optimistic answer, Jack’s focused on making more music and letting whatever happens happen. From my perspective the future is already looking bright for him, so perhaps he’s got the right attitude.