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T4

MUSIC

STARTWO, FRIDAY 13 JUNE 2008

Pleasure granted
By NIKI CHEONG
niki@thestar.com.my
E PROBABLY doesnt know it just yet,
but Peter Grant appears to be destined
for greatness. Sure, the 21-year-old
British singer has worked really hard to get to
where he is today, but speaking to him, one
cant help but feel that as far as his career is
concerned, it is all written in the stars.
Grant is a young crooner and at his age,
has already reached critical acclaim. Some
critics have even dared compare him to such
greats as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Of
course, these references could very much be
due to the fact that Grant sings old
standards, songs
which were hits
decades before the
young lad was born.
I started singing
when I was six-years
old, Grant said in a
phone interview from
his home in London.
My dad was a singer
but he was not into my
style of music.
That did not stop Grant
from going onstage with
his father, although that
would have been quite a
sight considering the fact
that they would perform
wearing the same outfits waistcoats and
bow ties.
Still, that would prove to be a turning point
in his life. It was during these shows that he
would meet other performers, and he would
fall in love with the kinds of songs they were
singing.
They would be singing songs by the Rat
Pack and I was obsessed with it, Grant

Young British singer Peter Grant, fondly known


for his knack for interpreting classic songs, is set
to thrill Kuala Lumpur.
explained. It would be a love affair that would
continue for almost 15 years, and the spark
doesnt seem to be fizzling off just yet.
In 2006, Grant released his debut album
New Vintage, featuring songs made famous by
you guessed it various artistes who make
up the Rat Pack. On the album, he also sings a
couple of songs by The
Beatles, such as The Fool on
the Hill and I Saw Her
Standing There.
In fact, the stars were
aligning well for him
from the start Paul
McCartney, who cowrote both songs with
John Lennon, was in the
next studio from where
Grant was recording
his first album at
Abbey Road in
London.
He was recording
a demo for his album
but I was not
allowed into the room, Grant
recalled. But just seeing him through the
window was an amazing experience.
New Vintage peaked at #8 on the British
charts not bad for a young upstart from
Leeds singing songs that most people his age
probably have never heard of, or be bothered
with. This hasnt deterred Grant, however,
and he appears to be more determined to
sing this sort of music because of that fact.
All the other kids are into music that are in

the charts and so few young people are doing


this music its so important to keep this
music going, keeping it alive.
Thats not to say that Grant doesnt like
other sorts of music. He may be classically
trained (having learnt to play the piano from
a young age), but he likes music made by
singers-songwriters including Sean Mullins
and Fiona Apple.
His albums he released his second album
Traditional last year do not reflect his songwriting skills but this is set to change.
I do write and I will write quite a lot of
songs in the new album, he shared. He is
currently in the early stages of his third
album, and while its too early to know what
sort of album he will produce, Grant shares
that it will definitely see the old sounds of the
big band mixed within a modern song.
This decision appears to be a natural one.
After all, Grant feels while he may sing old
songs, he injects his own flavour, giving them
a modern twist. This is, of course, an extremely successful formula it worked for Michael
Buble and Jamie Cullum, names that he is
very closely associated with.
Come June 19, Malaysians will get to catch
Grant live as he is slated to perform at Alexis
Bistro at Great Eastern Mall, Kuala Lumpur.
He will be performing as part of the venues
International Jazz Series and said that he is
very excited to perform there.
It will be my first time to Malaysia, so I am
really looking forward to it, he said, adding
that he is grateful to have the opportunity to
travel so far to perform. And while

Malaysians should consider themselves lucky


to have Grant performing six shows within a
week, even he would admit that the opportunity cropped up by chance.
I met somebody at Ronnie Scotts (a
renowned jazz club in London) when I was
performing there and was told about this
great venue in Malaysia, he said. So I did
some research, and you know, I love travelling and going to new places so I thought this
would be a great chance to bring my music
over and also have a bit of a break.
Grant said that his show consists of some
songs from his records, and some which are
not. He particularly enjoys performing pop
and rock songs that he has rearranged to fit
his style of music.
I really enjoy doing all this, and because I
am young, I can add energy to these serious
songs from the 1950s and have a laugh, he
added. As Grant will perform with local musicians, he will only be travelling with his band
leader and musical director in tow.
Fans can expect quite a show, and from the
way he describes it, it would appear that his
youthful energy is set to rub off on everyone
whos around.
I like to dress up and look smart which is
very important for a show. So Id be performing in a nice suit and tie, but at the end of the
night, Ill just be in a shirt.
If his promises, adding to his amazing voice
on the tracks from both his albums, are anything to go by, Malaysians are in for quite a
treat. Oh, and girls, in case youre interested,
the young man also added that he is single.
Peter Grant will perform at Alexis Bistro
Ampang, Great Eastern Mall, Jalan Ampang, KL,
on June 19 and 26 at 9pm, and on June 20-21
and 27-28 at 10.30pm. There is a RM35 cover
charge. Call 03-4260 2288 for reservations, or
log on to www.alexis.com.my.