Gryffin Interview: Dream Festival, TikTok, Collaborations + More

Dance-music phenomena Gryffin is on fire right now, with the new release of his track ‘Safe with Me’ with Audrey Mika. His latest single is paired with a sensational dance video. Gryffin is known for his upbeat, spacey tracks like ‘Body Back’ and collaborations with acts such as ILLENIUM and SLANDER. On December 10th, he released a update to his Gravity album, adding numerous new singles including four orchestral versions. Gryffin tells CULTR all about his new music video along with some other insights on collabs and his ever growing musical career.

The dance video for ‘Safe With Me’ is awesome! How did you find these dancers to feature, and what was the vision behind this video?

Thank you so much. We worked on a previous video with Erica [Klein], who ended up choreographing the dance, and she hand-picked these dancers from within her network. The vision behind the video was to bring together a really diverse group of incredible people and artists, and showcase their talents in an eye-popping, visually stunning location. We’re super happy with how it turned out.

How do you go about working in a collaboration, and how do you find these artists to feature on your tracks?

This track was originally written earlier this year, and I reproduced it over the summer when I was feeling very connected to it lyrically with everything that had been going on in 2020. I was tipped off on Audrey Mika from my label and had been a huge fan of her voice for a while, and I reached out to see if she’d be interested in collaborating. We got into the studio the next week and finished the track over 2 sessions in LA. I’m always on the hunt for artists that I really connect with musically, and most of the time just reach out with a DM to see if they’re interested, and that’s how it usually happens!

With back-and-forth communication, when do you know the song is really flowing together smoothly?

You can feel the enthusiasm and excitement pretty early on. If something is clicking and vibing, there’s a certain energy between myself and the artists I work with that develops, and it’s about riding that creative wave. 

You once said in a previous interview that you want DJs to be viewed more than just button pushers, highlighting the musicianship that goes into it. How do you think dance music overall this year has evolved not just from a performance level but also a musicianship level?

I think DJs for the most part are continuing to push the narrative that they’re more than just button pushers. It’s great to see more dance artists incorporating instruments into their music and performances, and I hope people keep understanding just how versatile dance producers can be.  

What’s your favorite software and musical products to create your songs with? Any you recommend to other producers out there?

I use Ableton Live as my go to, but I also enjoy Pro Tools and Logic. I’ve been writing most of the new material with my Fender Strat and Gibson acoustic, and just recently got my Dave Smith analog synth back in the studio. Loving UHE Diva and Omnisphere software plugins at the moment as well.  

What would be your dream festival to play once shows return, any new stage concepts for future sets that you have in mind? 

I’d love to play Tomorrowland internationally. Would love to play Outside Lands again, which is my hometown festival in San Francisco. I’m definitely designing a new stage concept for when touring returns, and I can’t wait to debut it soon. 

You have such a growing presence on TikTok right now, what’s your thought on social media apps like these being a catalyst for an upcoming musician’s success?

I have mixed feelings. I do think these platforms are great ways to connect to fans and reach audiences, but I do also think they can become toxic platforms and not make it as music-centric as it used to be. It’s important to be visible as an artist though, so I understand and appreciate the platforms. 

Picture it – it’s 2015, you’re making your debut at Snowglobe Music Festival. How has your musical process and outlook as an artist developed through these years?

It’s changed a ton. Back in 2015 I didn’t really know what I was doing, had only really released remixes on SoundCloud, and now I’m hard at work on Album #2. I still feel like I have so much more I want to accomplish, but I’m proud of where the project’s gone since those days. 

The Deluxe version of Gryffin’s album Gravity is now available on all streaming platforms.