Gryffin has been captivating us all with magical sets and blissful tracks. Songs like ‘Heading Home’ and ‘Whole Heart’ are emotive, thoughtful and energetic, to say the least. All around, Gryffin brings a unique sound to the dance music scene through his awesome tracks and unique stage presence.
As he prepares to deliver an epic set at Firefly Music Festival ’17 next month, on June 15th, Gryffin set some time aside to talk with us about his music, life and of course, the upcoming festival.
Q: What’s your average day like? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I’m on tour, a typical day includes waking up early, catching flights, doing sound checks, and hanging out with friends. I might catch a nap, then head back to the venue and do the show.
When I’m not on tour, I’m working on music, heading to the gym, checking e-mails, and working in my studio at home or at Interscope, sometimes alone or with other artists. I spend time watching sports and I also enjoy checking out new restaurants.
Q: What initially sparked your interest in dance music? Was there a particular show, or even an artist or song that did this?
I’ve been into music my whole life, but the interest in dance music grew more in college. Going to Coachella in 2010 when Deadmau5 unveiled his new light-up helmet was a moment that inspired me.
That was definitely an exciting time in dance music. There were a lot of cool sounds and the music people were making was fresh and different from what I was listening to when I was younger. Attending festivals, and seeing artists like Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Avicii live was super inspiring. I wanted to see if I could do that, too.
Q: What track never gets old for you? Any artists you really enjoy listening to?
Skrillex‘s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’. It was the first time I had really heard any noises or sounds like that, and he made it all so musical; it was eye-opening. I also like Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii’s older remixes, pre-Levels. He made a great remix of the song ‘Blessed’ and there’s also ‘Fade Into Darkness’. Disclosure‘s ‘Latch’ is also awesome.
Q: Ultimate festival headliner?
I’m very interested in seeing Gorillaz live this summer. Definitely excited to see what they’re going to bring, especially since they had taken a break for awhile.
Q: What helps you get creative? Is there anything that helps you come up with new concepts and ideas for your music?
Usually when I download a new software or program, working with a bunch of new sounds helps. New gear (like a new guitar) always ends up inspiring me, since it’s sort of like adding new colors to a palette, but with music. Traveling also helps; whether I’m going out to do a show in New York, Chicago or even internationally, it usually sparks something new.
Q: Are things how you imagined they would be, let’s say, five years ago? How or how not?
No, not at all. I’ve always loved making music, but in college I didn’t even study music. I studied electrical engineering and totally thought I’d be working in Silicon Valley. It’s been a very big blessing, and I’m very grateful for all of the experiences I’ve been able to have.
Q: ‘Heading Home’ is a really powerful track. How did you come up with the concept for this song?
I first heard the demo from Josef Salvat. I’ve been a big fan of his since he dropped ‘Open Season’. The demo featured him just singing a loose verse, with a church organ-type sound backing the vocals. It was in line with what I was trying to do, and where I was at musically. I got the demo and started working on the track, trying to shape it into what it would eventually be.
We passed it back and forth and Skyped often – the whole thing was really remote. We didn’t even link up in person until months after the track came out, and that was to perform it acoustic. It was a really fun song to make. I wanted to channel a lot of emotion and heart into the song, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The fans really like the track, and it’s a great feeling to get positive reception on something I poured effort into.
Q: Are there any artists you plan to stick around to catch live at Firefly? Who would you want to see if you could hang out a bit longer at the festival?
I love the vibe at Firefly, but I don’t think I can stick around for too long after my set, this year. Definitely 21 Pilots, they have so much energy on stage. Also Miike Snow, Arizona, and AFI.
Q: What sort of vibe do you hope to leave with Firefly attendees that come to catch your set?
I try to showcase as much of my original music, and my remixes, as possible, not so much songs from other DJs. I hope people really enjoy the music I am performing for them, since I’ll be playing a DJ set, and live instruments, too. I try to make my sets emotional and beautiful, but dancey at the same time. I hope people that come to see my set are having a really good time with their friends, and are ready to have fun.
Listen to Avicii’s remix of ‘Blessed’ that inspired Gryffin below:
Explore more by Gryffin by clicking here.