Written by Johnny Papan
VANCOUVER – The funkadelic vibes of electronic music producer GRiZ have been taking the dance-community by storm since the release of his breakout record, 2012’s Mad Liberation. Mixing elements of hip-hop, dubstep, glitch and 70s funk, amongst other genres, GRiZ neatly ties this self-proclaimed “Skrillex meets Earth, Wind and Fire” influence with his signature saxophone, adding a layer of old-school groove to an already bouncy sound.
Each new record GRiZ puts forth shows his evolving maturity as an artist. His most recent release Chasing the Golden Hour Part II, sees the producer, born Grant Kwiecinski, strip some of the party vibes for a more chilled-out, experimental psychedelic style.
“I wanted to just have a creative outlet that was a departure from the things that I challenge myself to do in a regular album format,” Kwiecinski states. “Albums, to me, have such a statement and power behind them. With this Chasing the Golden Hour thing I just look at it as one requirement: music you’re listening to as you’re watching the sunset. That has created a completely new vision I can kind of dive into. I’m just trying to create a musical space that’s a little more dreamscape-esque, a little more magical. A head in the clouds kind of like… staring off in the distance, contemplative energy about it. It’s a what feels right in the moment kind of thing, you know? That’s the beauty of it for me.”
Chasing the Golden Hour Parts I & II, along with the rest of GRiZ’s discography are available on Kwiecinski’s label: All Good Records and can be downloaded from his website: www.mynameisgriz.com for free. In a world where many artists complain that streaming services like Spotify and iTunes are ripping from their revenue, Kwiecinski has been releasing his tunes free of charge since the beginning of his now highly-successful career.
“There shouldn’t be some kind of intermediary for you to have this music,” the musician explains. “That’s one of my core values, I want to be able to share this music with people because it’s something close to my heart and it’s something I just want to have wings and fly out into the world. I don’t want to restrict that access. If you can’t afford it why should I be the one to tell you that you can’t have this music? Take it, enjoy it, play it for your friends, play it for yourself. I don’t want to have to sell you an emotion if I don’t have to. You should just be able to access this at your will whenever you want.” Kwiecinski continues: “Music is a place of feeling and it’s a place of expression. That’s a sacred place and I don’t want to have to put a dollar value on that.”
GRiZ will be playing Vancouver’s PNE Forum alongside the massive support of Big Wild and Opiuo. “Maybe you won’t or will believe me but Vancouver is my favourite city in the world and I really enjoy playing here. You guys have it all. You have the mountains, the water, you have islands. You have a beautiful downtown area and great culture collisions happening. You have weed stuff, great food, I fucking love it.”
Being a regular touring musician, Kwiecisnki concludes that the performance-aspect can be both nerve-wracking and beautiful at the same time. “Sometimes it’s really difficult because it’s like your brain and your emotional self happening in real time so you can feel really vulnerable. The energy is sending and receiving simultaneously and when people are into it, that can be one of the most beautiful things you can ever experience. It’s an expression of pure love. It’s so satisfying and beautiful to share that with people.”
GRiZ plays the PNE Forum with Big Wild and Opiuo on October 20.chasing the golden hour, DJ, EDM, funkadelic, future funk, golden hour, Griz, PNE Forum, psychedelia, saxophone