Over the next week I’ll be taking another in depth look at some of my favorite artists; GRiZ, Zeds Dead, and Bassnectar; as a preview for Minus Zero Festival in Stratton, VT. The festival is next weekend Friday April 7th and Saturday the 8th. I’ll also be taking a look at some of the less popular artists, and Illenium, whom I’m unfamiliar with. Hop aboard the hype-train with me as I get ready for my first festival of the season.
I’ve been itching to write a GRiZ post for a while. He’s one of my favorite artists, and I’ve been rocking his hat, (a Grassroots California collaboration branded with his slogan “Show Love, Spread Love” on the inner lining), for a couple years now. Like Pretty Lights and Tipper, whom I posted about earlier, GRiZ is a genuine, and progressive force within electronic music today.
The positively glowing entity above, that we today revere as GRiZ, grew up as a Grant Kwiecinski in Detroit. One of the things you’ll notice if you were to venture to his website, and take a gander at his ‘about’ section, mynameisgriz.com/about, is that he’s made a commitment to giving back to his community. In 2016 alone his project “raised over $50,000 for Little Kids Rock,” a program that funds music programs in public schools.
Watch one of his interviews and you’ll find this affable man telling you he started making music at “fourteen and a half.” He started out after his exposure to Fruity Loops, a digital audio workstation (DAW), that can be used for making electronic beats. He started out making “glitchy hip-hop beats for his friends” according to an interview he had with Bim Tv. The founder of his own label, Grant talks about how his label functions more as a “small family” than a business. He says that the purpose is more to create a scene that they are proud to be involved in, and that his signature future funk style is like “… if James Brown was given a computer and then sent on a crazy space mission, into outer-space, and then hung out with a bunch of aliens, and came back with this, like, new style of music.” He has invented a Grizzly Bear character, named Mister Bee, who is “here to save the world from shitty music.”
Grant has produced five albums; End of the World Party (2011), Mad Liberation (2012), Rebel Era (2013), Say it Loud (2015), and most recently Good Will Prevail (2016).
In an interview with Kora from BettyAndKora.com and Tucker aka TheFestivalGuy.com Grant says that bringing the saxophone to the stage was in part due to the influences of the many other acts sharing the spotlight with him; mainly Big Gigantic, and Lettuce.
His 318 thousand followers don’t show how great his influence is. His most popular track is actually a collaborative effort involving Big Gigantic. “Good Times Roll” has over four and a half million plays at the time of this post. I can’t wait to see him again next weekend Saturday the eighth for night two of Minus Zero Festival!