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College Park, Maryland, United States

College Park, Maryland, United States
Band EDM Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Mashing Up College Park"

For DJ and mash up artist Jeff Gratton, it’s all in the name.

Even if that name sprouted from the cramped, brick building he has called home for several years. Gratton a.k.a. “KnoxBox” is a student DJ slowly building a large fan base around the university and Washington area spinning at clubs, parties and bars. The junior elementary education major has been mixing and mashing since his freshman year, and after releasing a CD last summer, he plans to drop another album sometime this fall.

Gratton first found an ear for music playing clarinet until he was 15. Growing up around music built a foundation for the compilations he does today, helping him find beats and figure out how songs would best fit together.

“I do it by ear,” Gratton said, “and while famous mashup groups like Girl Talk, E-603 and Super Mash Bros use much more sophisticated programs that do a lot of the work for you, I like to think it shows that anybody can do mashups if they want to and they don’t need really expensive equipment.”

During his first semester at West Virginia University, Gratton went to a Girl Talk concert. Since Girl Talk has become famous for his own mixes, Gratton was inspired to try it out for himself.

“I started out just mixing songs and transitioning after I first heard Girl Talk, and I just got better as the years went on,” said Gratton.

Gratton started mashing in his dorm room, practicing whenever he had spare time between classes. Though his cousin is a DJ, he said nobody ever showed him how to mix music and he just figured it out on his own.

Each mashup takes between six and 15 hours, he said, and while he never set specific hours to practice, each new song was a time commitment. And in the beginning, teaching himself wasn’t easy.

“At first, I struggled a lot with transitions from one song or beat to another and learning the [computer] programs” Gratton said.

After his first semester, he decided to transfer to this university. Originally from this state, he said he was more comfortable around people in his home state.

And from there, his career continued to progress. He compiled a CD and independently released it. He played his first show at his CD release party in July, and he’s since played at parties, formals and clubs in Washington. Gratton said that one of his favorite venues is Thirsty Turtle because of its energy and atmosphere. The huge dance floor at Thirsty Turtle is perfect for his music, Gratton said, since his ultimate goal is to make people want to move.

But his true passion is creating music, boasting nearly 40 mashups of his own. One of his biggest hits, he said, is a mashup he called “I Gotta Stay Silly,” which starts with an instrumental version of Alice DeeJay’s “Better Off Alone” with Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance” vocals.

“My CDs are all mashups, which is what I really love doing,” Gratton said. “DJing brings in money, but it’s not what I really love to do.”

With Facebook, MySpace and Youtube pages promoting his music, Gratton’s fan base continues to grow. His concerts have gotten pretty crazy at times. While playing at a party at James Madison University last fall, the festivities spiraled out of control.

“It was a crazy dance party, and the floor almost collapsed,” Gratton said. “The alarm went off, and the fire department had to come with, like, seven fire trucks, and they were evicted for the weekend. So now I always say I should put on my résumé that my dance party almost broke the floor.”

Junior civil engineering major Corinne Resch has been a fan of KnoxBox from the beginning.

“‘I Gotta Stay Silly’ is my ring tone and alarm clock in the morning — it just puts me in a good mood,” Resch said.

Resch said Gratton’s music is “great for people with music ADD,” because unlike what you’d hear in a normal song, you can listen to a lot of clips in one song without getting bored.

“He’s always coming up with mashups with the newest songs mixed with classics. Like he’s got *NSync mixed up with Lil Wayne. It’s just so good,” Resch said.
- The Diamondback (Univeristy of Maryland's Newpaper)


My first CD "Sound the Alarm" released in College Park in July 2009. My next album is set to be released in Fall 2010. No radio play have been released, but my mashups have been featured on many youtube playlists and at all of the College Park clubs and bars.



The rising genre of mashups has always appealed to me. My biggest influences are obviously other mashup artists such as super mash bros and girl talk. But I grew up listening to different kinds of music, from bruce springsteen to elton jon to n*sync, I pull creativity and samples from many different kind of music. I got to University of Maryland which allows me to play at many house parties. Which always end in a crazy dance party. Always.