Last year, L.A. based producer Gryffin delivered two heavy-hitting singles that showcased his deeply melodic take on dance music.
For 2017, Gryffin served up his latest original track featuring Illenium and Daya, and brought his boundary-shattering artistry to bold new heights. Emotionally charged and irresistibly high-energy, “Feel Good” is powered by hypnotic melody, massive beats, and a soulful vocal performance.
We caught up with Dan Griffith about everything “Feel Good”, and how a culturally rich music background has served him well when it comes to making a mark on the global electronic music scene.
Varun – Hi Dan! Thanks for taking time out for this interview. How has this past year been for you so far?
Gryffin – Of course. This past year has been incredible. I got to start touring for the first time, and put out my first original tracks. It’s been an exciting year.
Varun – We’ve been thoroughly enjoying all the new music you’ve been putting out lately! How have you developed your sound, back from when you started, to the sound that we all know, now?
Gryffin – I always try to achieve the same emotional integrity and feeling in all my music, but I am always trying to evolve and push my sound to fit my current tastes and what is currently happening in dance music. The sound isn’t necessarily confined to purely house music which is what I started with, although I still enjoy producing that. I want to keep switching things up and challenge myself as a producer/artist.
Varun – “Feel Good” is a beautiful rendition of dance music as we see today. What is the inspiration behind the track and how did you get about to working with Illenium?
Gryffin – That track started when Daya sent me an absolute gem of a topline. I fell in love with the song immediately and felt it was super special. I was on an off day in Denver and I messaged Nick to see if he wanted to get together to work on music. I played him the demo and he had the same reaction as me, so we began working on the track together in Denver. I then finished writing the vocals/lyrics with Daya in LA, and Illenium and I finished the production remotely.
Varun – You’ve got so many massive shows lined up this year, including Lollapalooza and Coachella! Could this be the most memorable moment in your career yet?
Gryffin – Yea it’s definitely way up there! I’m extremely excited for the opportunity. It will be an awesome festival season.
Varun – Can you tell us more about your live sets and stage productions for your shows and how you plan to evolve your shows to more than just DJ sets?
Gryffin – Yea definitely. I play piano, synth, guitar, and drums as well as DJ so there’s a lot happening on stage during the show. I do love the DJ element of dance music so I don’t want to completely abandon it but I do enjoy playing live instruments and adding that element to the show. My shows incorporate a lot of edits that are exclusive to the live show which is fun to play out. As the year goes on the show will have more and more of a visual component to it so it’s constantly evolving!
Varun – You did the ‘Whole Heart’ tour last year! What do you have planned for fans this time round?
Gryffin – I will be announcing another big tour later this year. I don’t want to reveal anything about it yet but I promise it will be worth it.
Varun – You’ve been a major inspiration for upcoming producers! What is the most unconventional tip you would give an upcoming artist, looking to make it big in the industry?
Gryffin – Some tips I can say are not be afraid to reach out to artists/musicians to get feedback or see what they think of the music. Also to make sure to try and bring something unique and different to the table musically so you can stand out. If you just make music that doesn’t have a sonic identity or sounds like everything else you won’t stand out.
Varun – As a classically trained musician, you come from a culturally and musically rich background! How much of a role does this play in dance music, while comparing producers who are theoretically sound and those who work by ear?
Gryffin – Well I think it’s enabled me to come up with some different chords/melodic progressions that may not be as easily created by someone without knowledge of instruments and music theory. I can also get a lot of topline and chord ideas down very quickly because of my ability to play instruments instead of drawing them in. But I also know several outstanding producers that don’t play any instruments or have musical knowledge. There are many different ways to create great electronic music.
Varun – Who’s next on your collaborative wish list and why?
Gryffin – I would love to work with Jamie XX one day from a producer perspective. Khalid is a star and Florence Welch is my favorite female singer.
Varun – Your 5 essential tunes at the moment?
Louis The Child – Love is Alive
Whethan – Can’t Hide
Illenium – Fractures
Khalid – Location
Julia Michaels – Issues
Listen to “Feel Good” by Gryffin and Illenium featuring Daya, right here.