A North Queensland musician will join the ever-growing list of performers for SXSW 2022.

Mackay local Jack Gray was the only Australian on the third artist announcement, which included Wet Leg, Pom Pom Squad, Cassandra Jenkins and Pillow Queens.

Beginning his music career in the regional sugarcane hub as one half of duo Tia & Jack, Gray pursued a Bachelor of Music in Brisbane before he got noticed with his breakout single, ‘Red Rental Car’.

Gray toured the UK and Europe supporting Dean Lewis long before he had a physical body of work recorded, releasing his debut EP Nights Like This in 2019.

He followed it up by joining Lewis on his US tour.

“I’ve learned so much over this time with Dean! I mean, his dedication and work ethic is definitely something to aspire to,” Gray told Pilerats in 2018.

“I’ve never seen someone be so switched on and focused for that many hours in the day and it’s a really strong testament for someone like me who loves to procrastinate.”

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In 2020, the trajectory of Gray’s career became Olympic, with his track ‘This is Our Time’ becoming the theme song for the Australian team’s Tokyo Summer Olympics endeavours.

“It started out like a year ago when I wrote it. It was more a political song talking about hate and discrimination and the hook was ‘this is our time’ and we’re just killing it,” Gray told theDaily Mercury at the time.

“Our generation doesn’t stand for all that bullshit people just let slide back in the day. I wanted to talk about how our generation is just killing.”

Gray will join the other Australians already announced for SXSW Music Festival in Texas from March 14th to 20th, including Alex the AstronautPhebe Starr, Eliza Hull, Indigo Sparke, Little Quirks, Sarah Mary Chadwick and Tom West.

SXSW organisers have recognised the demand for a hybrid festival, and will offer a hybrid event this year, with both in-person and online viewing and participation options.

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