Gig Seeker Pro


Detroit, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Detroit, Michigan, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
DJ Electronic Electronic



The best kept secret in music


"Detroit Music Producer GRiZ Bends Soul and Electronic Genres in the EDM World"

Electronic music has exploded over the past few years in America lead by the massive popularity of Dubstep and various other forms of bass-driven music. It's reached its pinnacle and is now trying to progress into something more lasting. Detroit has always been a hotbed for electronic music, and new generations of young artists, DJs, and promoters have continued to sprout up. One of those young names is a Detroit-area producer/musician named GRiZ, born Grant Kwiecinski, who at the tender age of 23 through his own natural talent and passion has become one of the next artists to watch in the world of electronic music. The young upstart blends a futuristic electronic sounds reminiscent of dubstep/bass music but shakes it up with a heavy dose of classical funk, soul, and jazz. His sound, which he would describe as "electro-soul" if a genre needs attached to it, sets a balance between various urban music genres while not heavily dependent on one in particular. I was able to catch up with GRiZ during a rain-filled day at this past spring's Movement Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza. Even during the downpours all day, the kids were still out at the Electric Forest-curated stage to see GRiZ do what he loves to do: music.

With early teenage inspiration coming from electronic artists like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, GRiZ caught the music bug. After getting a copy the Fruity Loops Studio music production program, he realized his passion for making music and the party hasn't stopped since. For him, music acts as his greatest outlet and even an obsession. "I feel like music is sort of therapy for myself," describes GRiZ.

He says: "Whether it's like helping me release bad energy into sounds that helps me deal with my issues, or it's like a very positive thing that's like this glowing ball of light that feels really good. It feels like I just have this f--king thing that I need to like get out. It's like you see a really hot girl, you just want to f--k that girl. You got to, you know. I just got to f--k this beautiful musical b-tch. I just have to do it. It's like an itch."

There's a freedom in the music of GRiZ that allows for growth while not pigeonholing himself into any one genre. GRiZ has low key been packing shows along the electronic music party circuit and playing festivals like Coachella, Electric Forest and Lollapalooza, among many others, showcasing his unique stage show. His live sets, which feature himself on the saxophone along with various controllers and a computer as well as an accompanied guitarist, bring a distinctive edge to GRiZ not seen much with most electronic artists who solely depend on electronic gadgets for their stage shows. "I loved playing the saxophone," says GRiZ. "I loved how it sounds. I love the live human element of it and I've been playing since fifth grade. People do live instrumentation. You have people, like bands and sh-t, they play instruments. Why can't I play an instrument? So I just went for it. It sounded terrible at first. It sounded really really bad. I always got feedback and all that stuff sounding like an idiot and it took a while to dial in but we did it."

The organic aspects of his live sets are an extension of his passion for music. "When they see me live," explains GRiZ. "It's a kid jumping around on stage looking like there's f--king fire on the ground. Playing saxophone. Ripping sh-t up. High energy. I love what I do so much, I can't help but to like indulge and just go f--king crazy."

Last September, after a slew of tracks and remixes posted online, GRiZ released his debut full-length project Mad Liberation for free download, and his buzz grew immensely. One year later, GRiZ is ready to drop his next album Rebel Era in the coming months that marks the next musical chapter in his career.

Along with his own solo material, GRiZ has found a bit of kismet musical relationship with Slovenia-born, now Brooklyn-based electronic music producer Gramatik, and started collaborating together on tracks as GrizMatik. Much like GRiZ, Gramatik mixes old style blues and soul rhythms with modern urban flare and electronic bass music sounds. "That was born out of a tour that with him, his Digital Freedom tour last spring," describes GRiZ about working with Gramatik.

He says: "I was showing him some music on the bus. He was like 'This is dope.' So I asked him 'Do you want to finish it?'... he was like 'Yeah'. At the time I was getting ready to come out with my record Mad Liberation and he had his record out Digital Freedom, and our names mixed and the names of our albums mixed so well. It happened so organically and perfectly that we can't just not do this. It's like having a conversation with somebody you feel like you have known them your whole life and you just click from the start. It's amazing."

GRiZ has not found himself in the higher echelon of electronic music artists from the Detroit area yet, but at age of 23, he sure has a great start. His musical acumen is beyond his years and if he stays creating, GRiZ is definitely someone to keep your eye on in the years to come. "Hard work and just sticking to the vision," explains GRiZ about his work ethic. "Always focus on the music first. That's the big thing. Staying true to making good music and not sacrificing that for anything."

GRiZ will be kicking off his first national headlining 32 city Rebel Era Tour in October with supporting acts Pegboard Nerds, Two Fresh, SuperVision, The Floozies and Anvil Smith. For dates and more information on GRiZ, visit - The Huffington Post

"GRiZ, "Hard Times" MP3 + Video"

Master saxophonist turned Detroit producer GRiZ will release a new free LP, Rebel Era, later this month. In a press release, he explains the title, writing: "This is a time where classism and competition is tearing a rift in society. A time where imperialist democratic capitalism is fighting its way to dominate cultures and separate people into selfish consumers...It's up to us to use [music] and manifest a new reality... A world of action and of love." Below, download soulful, honk-and-bass album single "Hard Times" and watch GRiZ in action in its accompanying video. Then catch him on tour in the US through the end of the year. - Fader

"Morning Becomes Eclectic: GRiZ"

Detroit-native Griz has a sax-infused sound that blends hip hop, funk and electro and has earned him spots opening for everyone from Bassnectar to Pretty Lights. - KCRW

"12 Best Things We Saw at Electric Zoo 2014"

Griz's gonzo DJ/saxophone project is a highlight of any festival, a break from heavy oonce-oonce and a deep dive into the sensual end of electro-funk. Playing just about all of these events, he has honed his unique combination of live mixing and sax-blowing, and he knows how to please a crowd: For this set, he blended perennial hip-hop staples "The Next Episode" and "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothin Ta Fuck Wit" into his own aesthetic, turning the party up while secretly getting a clutch of ravers to listen to jazz. The bait and switch is real. Go Griz.

Read more: - Rolling Stone

"Primal Storm of Human and Electronic Music"

The most crowd-pleasing D.J. was probably GRiZ, who blasted at top speed through a huge, historically aware music library — funk, reggae, ska, hip-hop — and had a midnight crowd happily shouting along to oldies. - The New York Times

"3 Acts Not to Miss at Electric Zoo 2014"

“Electro-soul” artist GRiZ has combined diverse musical talents in order to become a unique and obvious standout in the EDM world. The artist blends live saxophone over his tracks while performing, making the experience sincerely different than not watching him live. His personal releases, as well as those he did in collaboration with Brooklyn-based Gramatik under the name GrizMatik, have led to the public acknowledgement of the star’s capacity to become something bigger than the genre in which he has thus far been labeled. - Blackbook

"Holy Ship!!! 2014: Disclosure Crack a Few Smiles, and the 5 Best Things We Saw Friday"

Deeper into the night, we stumble into the Pantheon Theater and discover a man playing live saxophone to his own wild remix of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious." This is GRiZ, a 23-year-old from Detroit who refreshingly inhabits a place located firmly outside of the cool-kids spectrum. But in case there's any question: "I came to get the funk down!" he shouts before mashing up Morricone-esque film music with Tupac samples and dubstep American style. He also plays with genuine dub, funky glitch, big beat, classic rock, and backpack rap (hear that lo-bit SP-1200 fuzz), but the highlights of his set are the sax breaks, whether wedged into the middle of that exhilarating bass-weighted mix or following an on-the-nose drop of Parliament's "Give Up the Funk" or War's "Low Rider." Oh, and he led a call-and-response to the Isleys' "Shout." - SPIN


Rebel Era (2013)
1. Gettin' Live
2. Hard Times
3. Feel The Love
4. DTW To DIA (The Travels Of Mr. B)
5. Simple ft. The Floozies
6. Dance With Me
7. Do My Thang
8. Too Young For Tragedy Pt. II
9. Crime In The City
10. Keep The Dream Alive
11. How It Ends

Mad Liberation (2012)
1. Too Young For Tragedy
2. Smash The Funk
3. Rock N Roll
4. Blastaa
5. Live On Arrival
6. Where's The Love
7. Mr. B (Feat. Dominic Lalli)
8. Fall In Love Too Fast
9. Better Than I've Ever Been
10. Wonder Why
11. The Future Is Now
12. See You Again


Feeling a bit camera shy


Grant Kwiecinski (aka GRiZ) is has blown up quickly. At 24 years old, GRiZ has asserted his place in the music world with his sax-infused sounds that find heart and soul within the beat of the dancefloor. A musically trained ear from the start, GRiZ played the alto saxophone since elementary school and took piano and saxophone lessons his entire life. He recently supported Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Big Gigantic on their respective tours, which then led to his own headlining tour — all within a year. His first album, Mad Liberation, given away for free really put him on the map in 2012. His single "Smash the Funk" was featured all over, from Jay Z's Life + Times to This Song Is Sick. The popularity of the release landed him on stages all over the place, from his hometown Movement to Coachella, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Lightning in a Bottle, Governor’s Ball, Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Parties, Summer Set and the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. He also found time to play one half of Grizmatik with the Gramatik crew. Subsequently he kicked off his own label, Liberated Music, which he intends to keep his independence as well as give other artists the same shot he has. The follow up solo album, Rebel Era, features a scorching blues undertone and a wild ride through Griz' eclectic influences — from rock to dubstep. "Gettin Live" has already seen over one million plays on Soundcloud.

Band Members