"The work released under Grant is finally the first music that I was able to produce... that I was actually pleased with."
Grant first appeared as a mysterious project on The Lauren Bacall—a label started by Collins with frequent collaborator Francis Harris as a way to produce anonymously using old Hollywood names. (Grant is named for Cary Grant.) The alias racked up EPs and albums of deep, melodic house for The Lauren Bacall and a self-titled label, as well as Lobster Theremin and its imprint Mörk. The project remained completely anonymous until now, because Collins feels it is established enough to reveal the true identity.
"I wanted to reach an audience who would listen to my music without any preconceived ideas of my sound due to my past discography and aliases," Collins told Resident Advisor via email. "Our society is so quick to pigeonhole you in a certain category, and it feels sometimes impossible as an artist to get out of that."
"A couple of years ago, before the Grant project was born, I was making music [and] sending it out to artists or labels I liked with zero response," he added. "I had the core feeling that one of the reasons for that was they didn't even open the files because my artist name—Anthony Collins or Frank & Tony—had too much history, for better or worse. Funnily enough, I was kind of right on a few occasions, as in the early stages of the project a couple of tracks I sent out as demos under the Anthony Collins name got no responses. Then, they were released under the Grant moniker and got positive feedback from the same people who completely ignored them."
Collins described the music he made as Grant as the first music that "summed up all his influences" and that he was "actually pleased with."
"The paradox of all this is that it took me over ten years of producing music and releasing records that never really felt totally honest under my official name to finally come up with something that I was happy to stand behind, and then put out that material hidden behind an anonymous moniker."
Before Grant, Collins had been making house since the mid-2000s, and he also collaborated with Francis Harris as Frank & Tony on the duo's Scissor & Thread label. Since Grant appeared in 2014, the project has taken up most of Collins' time.
"I hope that after all this time, and music, the audience will see me now as Grant and not pay too much attention to my past aliases," he said, explaining his choice to come forward. "And on a personal level this year, I had a complete life change moving to Marseille and opening up my coffee shop and roasting facility, Deep, on top of starting a publishing branch of my label Duke's Distribution with Alex Gross from Our Place Studio in London."
"I feel much more comfortable growing in a natural and organic way, without having to answer to any demand or expectations," he added. "Just doing 100% my thing, my way."
Collins' next EP as Grant—the latest release on his self-titled label—will come out in September and features three new tracks. He also has a release on the way this October via a new Lobster Theremin sub-label. He's uploaded a new, all-originals mix and clips of his upcoming EP, which you can listen to below.
A1 Nature Yourself
A2 Beat One Project
B1 Got To Know
Grant will release GRANT 005 in September 2018.