Photography by Sam Dameshek
As the EDM scene continues to expand and evolve, house music remains a beloved genre that continues to captivate listeners around the world. The Fade In had the pleasure of speaking with multi-platinum house music producer, Gryffin, who has been making waves in the industry with his characteristic sound since his breakthrough in 2016. Gryffin’s music has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following, cementing his place in the house space. In this interview, we’ll delve into his creative process, inspirations, and collaborations on his latest album “Alive”.
Congrats on the release of Alive! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new album and how it differs from your previous work?
Thank you! I wanted my sophomore album to sound like Gryffin, but I tried to make it feel like a new chapter from my first album, Gravity. I wanted to make records that I loved and differentiated themselves from my Gravity era. Alive takes you through the human experience of emotions. My last album, Gravity, takes fans on a thematic journey through space, time, and the elements of nature to present-day. Alive continues the timeline with a dive into what it means to be alive, to be human, human emotion, to feel, the senses. Alive is tied together largely by continuity in the full-color spectrum, light, and live-action human performative thematics.
How does your classical piano training influence your approach to making tracks today? In your compositions and productions, how do you merge the worlds of classical piano and dance-pop music?
I was heavily involved in classical piano starting at a very young age and picked up the guitar when I was a teenager. My classical training really helped with how I constructed melodies and created my own unique sound. Instead of using only samples or electronic sounds, I’ve always incorporated organic elements like acoustic and electric guitar into my songs.
As a DJ, the ability to read a crowd and adapt a set on the fly is so powerful. Can you talk about how live sets have translated to your studio work and the production of the album?
Both live and DJ sets have both influenced the music on this album. I’ve found that the DJ sets have more of an influence on the direction I take my house records and the live sets have more of an influence on the half-tempo, dubby side of the album.
There are lots of exciting collabs on “Alive” featuring artists such as MØ, Kygo, Calum Scott and so many more. How did these collaborations shape the sound and direction of the album?
The album definitely would not be the same without these awesome collaborations. I got to work with artists I have always dreamed of working with. I’ve been friends with Kygo for a while and we have always wanted to collaborate. When we received the “Woke Up In Love” demo, it really resonated with us both. We kept sending ideas back and forth until the production was exactly where we wanted it. Both of us have always been a fan of Calum Scott and felt like he would sound incredible on the track. We sent it to him and he loved it! MØ has also always been a vocalist I have wanted to collaborate with. She has always had an impact on electronic music with her incredible songs. I received “Reckless” as a topline from MØ and really vibed with it. I continued to send her production ideas and hone it with her over time. The experience working on the track with her was incredible. She is an incredible artist but an even better person. She’s an angel!
How do you see the dance-pop genre evolving in the future and how do you aim to push the boundaries with your music?
I’m not really sure how the dance-pop space is going to evolve personally, but I am enjoying that dance music culture in general has its own unique space in the U.S. It’s fun seeing the young artists explore samples and sounds from the past and revitalizing them for the modern dance scene. It’s really inspired me to reconnect with my roots and I’m really trying to push beyond what I’ve been comfortable with producing for the past few years.
What are you most looking forward to about touring and performing your new material live?
It’s going to be very exciting to share all my new music with fans, but I think the best part of touring is being able to meet and reconnect with all the Gryffin family out on the road again. It’s such a privilege to meet the fans all over the world that support my music. I’ve met so many incredible fans and worked with so many amazing people with the Gryffin project that the treat is touring in itself.