Funk isn’t merely a genre. It’s a state of mind. Such is the opinion of GRiZ, the North Detroit-raised musician who spends sunny days and neon-tinted nights in pursuit of good vibrations.
Born Grant Kwiecinski, the multi-talented GRiZ has cultivated a party-poppin’ corner of bass music all his own defined by sax-blastin’ productions and soulful live shows. A former student at University of Michigan, Kwiecinski eventually swapped class for the club to follow his dreams, and insatiable eardrums are better for it.
The self-proclaimed “Good Vibes Rainbow Boy” is a beacon of positivity. His reflective nature and fun-loving attitude are mirrored in his unmistakable electronic creations, each their own serotonin-fueled gateway to a bona fide good time. Now building beats in the heart of Denver, GRiZ has proven that his eclectic style is boundless. The musical “chameleon” is never afraid to flip the switch from upbeat future funk to low-tempo glitch-hop. Craving a taste of
four-on-the-floor or disco? This shape-shifting maestro can do it all, painting each cut with his vibey hallmark soundprint and leaving no question of their genesis.
Even before the release of his 2016 breakout album Good Will Prevail, which debuted at #1 on the iTunes Electronic chart and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, GRiZ had established himself as a prolific and definitive voice in dance music. His Chasing the Golden Hour series, which includes three LPs so far and has soundtracked many a sunset time slot, showcases dreamier works to enhance the afterglow.
In 2019, GRiZ reached new heights with his critically-acclaimed sixth studio album Ride Waves, which was lauded by leading industry publications like DJ Mag North America, Billboard, and i-D, and featured collaborators like Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Matisyahu, Grammy Nominated singer DRAM and legendary bassist, Bootsy Collins. The album hit #33 on Billboard’s Top 100, and has garnered a combined 52.7 million across major streaming platforms.
The former LP showcased Kwiecinski’s unshakeable admiration for hip-hop, funk and
groove-laced pop. Soon after came his four Bangers.Zip EPs which thrilled longtime fans with their throwback stylings. Via this project GRiZ dropped a number of solo heavy bass cuts, and also hit the studio with names like Jauz, Blunts n Blondes and riddim producer, SUBTRONICS. To date, their 2019 single “Griztronics” has racked up well over 1 billion
streams on TikTok, more than 3.5 million streams on SoundCloud and has clocked above 14 million views on YouTube.
GRiZ wants to keep the bass pumping as he unveils a fresh chapter in his artistic evolution. In 2021, he returns with Rainbow Brain, a psychedelic ode to his foundational fascination with dubstep.
“I feel like a squiggle, and I love that feeling,” GRiZ shares of his creative trajectory. “I’ve accepted this non-sequitur into my life, and I’m just going back to the things that I love. I fucking love bass music, and it’s always been a staple of what the GRiZ project is all about.”
GRiZ has invoked the power of the potent memories he formed when experimenting with sonics, strobes and substances, tucked away in his college basement. Reminiscing back to the genre’s glory days where he first grew enamored with mid-tempo styles made famous by UK stalwarts like Rusko, Benga and Caspa, he’s composed a body of work that paints those late aughts vibes in vibrant new shades. Chalk it up to the hypnotizing collision of signature sax and experimental bass. Just trust — it’s a trip worth taking over and over again.
“Rainbow Brain is the experience of letting go into the technicolor world of psychedelia,” GRiZ offers of his mind-bending new LP. An avid meditator, yogi and down to Earth philosopher, Kwiecinski’s compositions always come touched by personal experience and existential wonder. With Rainbow Brain, he invites listeners to loosen their iron grip on reality and allow the universe to chart their course.
Kicking off with the stellar lead single, “Astro Funk”, GRiZ sends his signature saxophone melodies soaring over intergalactic synths. It’s a planetary banger that energizes the soul and serves as the perfect introduction to the wild journey his forthcoming album paves for listeners.
Rainbow Brain further cements GRiZ’s reputation for teaming up with divergent names, a practice that emphasizes his versatility. Some of the LP’s noteworthy collaborators include electro-pop singer/songwriter, Elohim, with whom GRiZ dished out “Bring Me Back”, a jazzy, key-laced house melter that hit airwaves in Spring of 2020. It’s contemporary lounge aesthetic bears a stark contrast to, for example, the old-school dub sensibilities of “Ease Your Mind,” on which he tapped UK duo Ganja White Night.
In addition to empowering the music community with his “Show Love Spread Love” message, GRiZ has emerged as both an activist and philanthropist, rallying critical support behind cultural,
social and racial justice movements. After coming out as gay in a now seminal letter to the Huffington Post in 2017, GRiZ has made it his mission to transform his shows into safe havens for conscious fans to be expressive and embrace themselves. “There’s no room for oppression, bigotry, racism or homophobia at this party,” GRiZ reiterates.
His single “It Gets Better” has been used by the organization of the same name in their educational videos, and GRiZ has lent support to similar nonprofits supporting LGBTQ+ youth including The Trevor Project and Happy Hippie Foundation. In 2020, his hip-hop banger “Medusa” feat. scene newcomer, Wreckno, became Pride month’s unofficial anthem. The track has since clocked millions of plays and has made Wreckno a household name among bass lovers.
GRiZ’s high-energy live performances have transformed him into an instant festival favorite. He’s graced stages at events like Electric Forest, Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Detroit Movement, Envision Festival in Costa Rica and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival where he’s served as esteemed host of the highly-anticipated Saturday night Superjam session. His annual GRiZ Rocks events at the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO are another mecca of sorts for his ever-loyal fanbase.
His annual 12 Days of GRiZMAS charity program has brought in more than $200,000 for increasing access to music education for Detroit’s youth via charity partner and beneficiary, Seven Mile, an organization offering afterschool and summer camp programming engaging local youth in musical and creative arts. It has sold out every year since its 2014 launch before going virtual in 2020 to keep the tradition alive during the global pandemic. The virtual edition included sessions focused on everything from cookie baking to community service to online yoga, in addition to a number of streamed performances broadcasted via GRiZ’s official Twitch channel which has attracted millions of viewers over the past 16 months. In 2021, the
game-changing fundraiser will return to its longtime home at the Detroit Masonic Temple, and for the third time this summer, he’ll revive the special offshoot, “GRiZmas in July” in Wilmington, NC for fans who just can’t wait for Santa to arrive.
In October, GRiZ will headline all three nights of Another World, a new festival in Broomfield, CO, before unveiling his sold-out, two-night Space Camp experience on the east coast on December 17th and 18th. This sky-high bash will blast off at Virginia’s revered Hampton Coliseum, and feature performances from established and emerging bass stars like Moore Kismet, CloZee and Lucii. Needless to say, it’s been a busy year for GRiZ, but spectators can
be sure they’ll be over the moon with his explosive energy, saxy renditions, powerful vocals and earth-shaking bouts of bass.
“I want to empower people to be able to create systems of economic and financial and emotional, intellectual support with each other,” GRiZ shares passionately. And through his unique approach to music-making and relentless optimism those possibilities are already becoming reality. As he follows his inner funk, so shall his unbridled talents and positive vision transcend.
EVAN GIIA Digital Mirage 2:54am ET https://digitalmirage.io/set-times Alfie Templeman Sunday Morning Cereal Club (recurring event) 5am ET (10am GMT) https://www.instagram.com/alfietempleman GRiZ Digital Mirage 3pm ET https://digitalmirage.io/ Rhett…Read More