This spring’s Lawnparties features two interesting headliners: Meyer Hawthorne and GRiZ. This decision has not been without controversy, as some have even noted that the latter artist, GRiZ, “doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.” However, people shouldn’t be quick to discard the importance of the live aspect of electronic music these days. GRiZ is no stranger to putting on a great show, having performed at big-name festivals at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest just last year. While it’s easy to get caught up the crowd when it comes to today’s EDM trends and so-called “press play” DJs, GRiZ has managed to stand out with his live instrumentation and perhaps a more chilled-out groove. Most impressively, he brings to the table an ability to get the crowd pumped up and jumping, then swaying to soulful tunes just minutes later.
GRiZ also isn’t your typical EDM producer; he produces a unique blend of diverse sampling and smooth melodic lines with electro and dubstep-inspired beats, making up a genre he calls “electro-soul” or “future funk.” His music ranges from tracks that sound like they’re straight out a brostep album (“Blastaa”) to songs fusing hip-hop, jazz, and soul (“Fall in Love Too Fast”). As an avid saxophone player, GRiZ has been known to break out the sax during shows to play along with his tracks, such as in his signature track, “Smash the Funk.” Anyone who isn’t familiar with GRiZ should check out his Soundcloud and website, where you can listen to and download his music (yes, he releases it all for free!). You’ll find quite an extensive range of originals, remixes, and collaborations, all of which promise a fresh perspective countering the dulling mainstream electronic scene of today.
Whether you know him or not, GRiZ is not to be underestimated. Expect an experience reminiscent of an EDM festival, but with a whole new take on what it means to be a DJ. This is a Lawnparties act like none we’ve ever had, and it will surely be an unforgettable one.