An up-and-coming EDM artist brings his soothing sounds to the Phoenix area. Music producer and DJ Gryffin kicks off his Whole Heart Tour in Tempe on Thursday.
Dan Griffith or Gryffin pairs calming melodies with danceable backing tracks to create hit songs, but his life has not always involved creating EDM. Gryffin said that he has always loved music, but electronic music was not his first love. It was not until later in life that he became engrossed in EDM.
“I was actually still more into rock music/classic rock and stuff like that growing up,” he said. “High school and college — that was when I started falling in love with dance music. I was listening to a lot of Steve Angello and Laidback Luke — people that were up and coming in the dance scene right as it was about to explode.
"That was when I really started falling in love with the genre and getting into it ... I was always ‘the music kid’, but it wasn’t until then when I decided that maybe I should try and make electronic music myself.”
Pursuing a career in music was not Gryffin’s original decision. He said that he went to college and planned on having an engineering career, but he changed his mind.
“(Music) was always something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t actually planning on doing it for a long time,” Gryffin said. “I went to school to study electrical engineering actually and totally thought that I was going to do that life ... It wasn’t until I started releasing this music and this project that it became a reality for me.”
Gryffin said that it did not take that long for him to be discovered, and an Ellie Goulding song is partially to thank for that.
“It happened really quickly I guess,” he said. “I put out a remix — I think it was my second remix bootleg I did of Ellie Goulding’s 'Burn.' That was two years ago that I got some blogs to write about it and it kind of snowballed from there. I started getting other remix opportunities from other artists and I started releasing the remixes.”
Although his career took off quickly, Gryffin shared that he was not always confident in his music.
"It took me a while before I felt like my music was good enough to even be heard publicly,” he said. “I had been producing for a little while. I think any producer will admit that the first works that they make are pretty bad. It just takes a while and it has a learning curve.”
When asked if he expected his career to take off like it did, Gryffin responded with a definitive ‘no.'
“Definitely not," he said. "I think any person that puts out music, their goal is to have people like it. I didn’t want to put out my music and have people hate it, but I definitely didn’t think it was going to be as reactive as it was.”
As he prepared for his upcoming tour, Gryffin said that audiences can expect to hear old and new songs at the shows.
“They can expect to hear a lot of the music that I have put out but a good amount of new material as well,” he said. “I’m going to bringing my guitars, drum pads, synthesizers and piano out on stage with me and playing those live to my music. And I’m going to have a full scale lighting production rig to accompany me on this fall tour.”
Community health junior Alyah Johnson is a fan of Gryffin and said she stumbled upon his music and has loved it ever since then.
“I found (Gryffin) on a hippie-indie playlist on Spotify, and that’s the kind of music I listen to,” she said. “I instantly loved it. I feel like other students should listen to his music because we’re all stressed and his music is very calming and gets you in a good mood.”
Health sciences freshman Nallely Mada and first-time Gryffin listener said she liked his music because it had a nice beat and made her feel emotional.
“I like the rhythm and the emotion that it can evoke,” she said. "The message of his songs are really important."
To listen to more of Gryffin’s music, follow him on Spotify and SoundCloud. Gryffin will be performing at Shady Park on Mill Ave. near the Tempe campus on Oct. 20, 2016. For tickets and more information visit Gryffin’s website.
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