Grant Richard Kwiecinski, popularly known as GRiZ, is famous for creating perfect moments out of his unique style of music. A fusion of electronic music and the saxophone, American DJ GRiZ is more than a musician; he’s an active voice for the LGBTQ community in the contemporary electronic music buzz and stands by the mantra, Show Love, Spread Love.
Dropping his sixth album, ‘Ride Waves’ on the 5th of April, GRiZ is set to take the world by a storm. In a conversation with Smriti Raizada, GRiZ gives an insight into what’s unraveling for him this year!
Ex: Hi Grant! This is probably a frequently asked question, but we just have to know. How did you come up with the name GRiZ, in that particular letter case?
GK: My college roommate used to call me Grizzy or G-Kwizzy all the time. He was a riot. I dug it, so I shortened it to GRiZ, and made the “i” lowercase as a way to symbolize a shift of focus away from the ego. The “i” – the me. I think life is a more of an “us” thing.
Ex: You have a unique integration of a saxophone in the electronic music you produce. How did this unusual combination come into play?
GK: When I was playing basement college parties I wanted to interact more with my music and really be able to perform it. People seemed to really dig it, so it stuck!
Ex: Live Performances have been a huge part of your music career. Tell us one of the best and the worst things about performing live.
GK: Best thing is feeling and conducting the energy of it all. Connecting with people in that way is magic. The worst part is when you screw that up. It can quickly feel like you’re standing in front of people with your pants down. Everyone’s just looking to have a good time though, so you have to be able to shrug it off.
Ex: 12 Days of GRiZMAS is an initiative that definitely made a huge impact on the community. When and how did this idea turn into reality?
GK: GRiZMAS began in 2014. We planned 11 days of fundraising activities around Detroit with a show at the end of it falling the weekend before Christmas. It’s a blast. 5 years later we are raising upwards of 50K in fan donations surrounding activities like a themed roller disco, a community open mic, and secret DJ pop ups; not to mention a pop-up store filled with merchandise, a seasonal GRiZMAS Blend coffee in partnership with Great Lakes Coffee, and clothing donation bins 100% built and operated by my friends and I.
Ex: How do you think the electronic music scene has changed over the years and where do you see it heading in the next 5 years?
GK: I think the biggest changes have been the integration of electronic music into mainstream culture and the rise of internet streaming. Electronic music is everywhere; in commercials, behind the biggest pop hits of today, selling out arenas across America. The popularization of electronic and electronic dance music has given rise to more musicians, more diversification. The scene is evolving at a rapid pace. We see new genres almost yearly which I find fascinating. Electronic music enables people to create whatever comes to their minds. We are sharing and growing ideas. That’s a beautiful thing.
Ex: What are your thoughts on social media and digital streaming of music?
GK: Social media can suck. However, it’s a powerful tool to connect people and share ideas. Everything needs balance and social media is no exception. Addiction, anxiety, self-doubt – these are common side effects of these applications. We need to be mindful of our consumption and the value of its existence. Recently I’ve become more interested in creating real life experiences with people. Getting to know my culture in person. That is important to me.
I feel like digital streaming is the new radio. It’s is just so accessible. I love being able to have almost infinite music in my pocket wherever I go.
Ex: In a parallel universe, what would be Grant Kwiecinski’s calling?
GK: Graphic and/or other design work. I love art!
Ex: How is the response different in the different places you’ve played at?
GK: I’ve been so surprised at how well-received my music is across Europe and South America. They really get it!
Ex: You’ve recently released a single “I’m Good” and it’s already received a great amount of love. What else does the GRiZFam have to look forward to in 2019?
GK: A new album (April 5th!) A tour! And maybe even more music!
Ex: A piece of advice you’d want to give budding artists.
GK: Do your best to focus on the objective of creation for the sake of expressing yourself. Above anything else it’s about connecting to that piece of the human spirit. Nothing else.
GRiZ – UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
- Most expensive tech buy:
My speakers. Kii 3’s
- Phone you use:
- Car your own and the one you’d like to get:
Never owned a car but I’d love to get a classic convertible just to enjoy driving around town.
- Name some essentials tech toys in your music studio:
- Describe one quintessential day in your life:
Wake up, coffee, breakfast, meditate, make music, work out, lunch, make music, make some art
- Name one thing your fans don’t know about you:
I love customizing clothing
- Your music icon:
- Who’s owning the electronic music scene currently:
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