JACOB Grant, aka Just A Gent, should be packing his tuxedo and laptop in his suitcase this week and jetting off to the US for three months.
The Maitland electronic producer had planned to liaise with studio writers and perform shows, but that was before COVID-19 scampered everyone's plans.
"I was pretty excited for it," Grant said. "It was gonna be a big thing for me. I was gonna go to [music festival] EDC Las Vegas and potentially drop a set there.
"The whole plan for this year was to focus on building myself there more because I've got a visa and wanted to spend time there working with as many artists as possible and just expand.
"There's only so much you can do in Newcastle and Maitland, and even Sydney."
Instead Grant has used the downtime to remain creative in his freshly-minted backyard studio, built in his East Maitland shed.
"It has thick-arse walls and sound insulation and doesn't leak any sound at all," he said. "I can finally crank up the music now until 10pm and not have to worry about sound."
Creating from home is hardly a foreign concept to Grant. The former Maitland Grossmann High student caught attention in 2014 when the EDM tracks he recorded in his bedroom on rudimentary equipment led to a contract with US booking management giant WME.
Just A Gent has since released the EPs Stories To Tell (2016), http://EP (2018) and URCA (2019) and attracted 891,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and more than 40 million streams for the track Limelight.
Just A Gent's latest single Geekin' saw Grant collaborate with Brisbane producer Yvng Jalapeno and rapper Nerve.
"I was already aware of Nerve and I was super keen to fly up and get in the room with him because he's been popping off," Grant said. "He's definitely blowing up in the rap scene in Australia."
Geekin' and another single, due for release later this year, emerged from the fruitful six-hour recording session. The experience also convinced Grant he wants to expand Just A Gent's reach into the rap scene.
"I just want to get into that whole world," he said. "Every rapper needs a rap beat and I'm pretty good at making the rap beats, and just love doing them, so I've been trying to do that more.
"I've also got plenty of stuff for Just A Gent that could always do with a sick verse.
"Definitely I want to get into that more, especially on the production side of things, for the rappers. It's more about expanding what I can do for my music career because it's definitely hard to make money in the music industry sometimes.
"The rap game seems to be where it's at right now. Everyone loves rap music, including me."