By HAZEL REID.
We talked with Jack Gilinsky, one half of the pop-rap duo Jack & Jack, ahead of their Auckland gig this Friday with R5. Jack even answered some of your Twitter questions!
You released your debut EP Calibraska last year and we’re loving the latest single How We Livin’. What inspires your music?
Things that we’re going through; things that we experience and observe. Our friend’s experiences, people that we see – we always draw inspirations from these things. A song on the EP Shallow Love, when we moved to Los Angeles – we noticed that there was so many people in relationships, so many of those couples were actually not in love, so that song was about how they’re in love for the wrong reasons – that’s one instance. We pull it from things we go through and experience.
You’ve got over 20 million social media followers between you; that’s a pretty big army. Not to mention over 87 million channel views on YouTube. When you started out, did you ever see yourself as becoming this successful?
I don’t think when we started out we even knew we were starting out. We stumbled on it and it happened organically and naturally. We realised we got all these followers and we asked ourselves – how did this happen? What are we actually doing? And we decided to take it to a professional level and make a career out of it. When you say those numbers, it really shocks me – I can’t believe that, it’s really crazy to me. I never thought that many eyeballs would have seen our music.
You’ve already collaborated with the likes of Alli Simpson and Madison Beer. Who would you love to work with next?
An obvious one would be Shawn Mendes – that’s our buddy and we all started out together, so that would be one the fans would appreciate; it will happen one day. A dream collaboration would be Wiz Khalifa, it would be cool and unexpected – he’s someone we’re very inspired and influenced by.
You’re performing with R5 in Auckland this week – what can we expect from your set?
You can expect a lot of singing, rapping and having a good time. We love to party. We vibe off the energy that the crowd is giving – we love when the crowd is giving us energy. You can expect new songs from the Calibraska EP and the old favourites, the fans really love that stuff. We play covers of artists that we really respect also.
What’s your favourite song to perform?
Like That – it gets me the most hype and is the one I like to listen to myself. It’s fun to play live; it’s a fan favourite.
Have you been to NZ before? Is there anything you want to do?
Never been to New Zealand or Australia. I’ve heard that the surfing is good, I’m not sure if we have time but I would love to go to the beach.
Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received? And do you have any advice for young people wanting to get into the industry?
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams – I’ve heard that since day one. My parents always told me to believe in myself and you will achieve your goals in life, be successful and happy. That’s all I’ve wanted to do, is inspire people, influence them and make them happy. The fact that I can do that today is honestly unreal, but it’s made me realise how true that statement is. If they can tell you’re passionate about your goal then they will start believing in you. People automatically gravitate towards you because they see you’re motivated and you’re going to succeed because you’re not going to stop at anything. As long as you have good intentions, nothing bad is going to come your way. Keep following your dreams and don’t listen to anyone trying to bring you down – believe in yourself.
We asked you on Twitter if you had any questions for Jack & Jack and we were overwhelmed with the response! Jack answers some of your burning questions…
How cool is it you get to travel the world with your best friend doing what you love? – @courtspotter
This is actually a conversation Jack J and I just had – it’s actually insane we do this and this is our job. It’s crazy all these girls are coming out to see us – it’s insane, it’s a dream come true, we love it. We couldn’t ask for better fans.
If you directed a movie about your lives, which celebrity would you want to play you? – @ACEMALOLEY
If I was like 40 years old and I decided I wanted to make a movie, it would be an honour if Johnny Depp would play Jack, or Leonardo DiCaprio – but he doesn’t look anything like me.
What are you most looking forward to in 2016? – @GILINSKYSKIAN
Making our debut album and touring more and more. Touring is an unexplainable feeling, I’m constantly on this adrenaline high and having fun. I’m out here with Jack J and we realise we’re doing this for real. We love coming out to meet all the fans and coming up with new ideas for the set, making the fans super proud – we want to be great on stage. We’ve been slow on the music for the past year and a half – we’re gearing up with some great producers and writers to get out a sick album for the fans.