Following the implosion of his band The Czars and a period of six years learning to live and survive without all his former crutches Grant nailed his 2010 solo debut Queen Of Denmark. It’s been the most spectacular of journeys, from a place in time when John Grant feared he’d never make music again or escape a life of addiction, to winning awards, accolades and Top 20 chart positions, and collaborating with Sinead O’Connor, Goldfrapp, Elton John and Hercules & Love Affair. The fact he subsequently won a Best International Male Solo Artist nomination at the 2014 BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake, seemed like some fantasy dreamt up in a moment of outrageous hubris.
Music Beyond Mainstream put Grant together with The Royal Northern Sinfonia as a 34-piece orchestra for a UK tour, commissioning new songs from Grant that would be released on his third album invitingly titled Grey Tickles. The BBC also requested a session of the orchestral show with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. It was broadcast live on 6 Music, and subsequently released by Bella Union, confirming that it was simply the latest spectacular chapter in his personal and artistic renaissance.
Ongoing health issues (not least of which is handling his HIV Positive status), still processing, “decades of brainwashing,” he says from a traumatic childhood, Grant still manages to keep fighting the good fight, and writing his way out of trouble. “I want to continue to challenge myself,” he says. “To keep collaborating, to get the sound or the direction that will take me where I need to go. To keep taking the bull by the horns.”John Grant Website