Show love spread love. A simple message that carries an impact for GRiZ and radiates through everything he does. From the soul felt in his music to sharing his coming out story and becoming a beacon of belonging for others, Grant Kwiecinski does everything intending to show or spread love. The world could use a bit of love and that’s why we decided to make GRiZ our MCM this week.
Grant grew up in a home where he was highly encouraged to be creative. In elementary school he originally dabbled in the oboe then eventually switched over to the saxophone which has become a lifelong passion of his and a major influence on his sound today. At the age of 14, his friend’s brother gave them music production tools, weed, and EDM and he quickly became consumed in this new world of dance music. First getting into IDM and delving into artists like Aphex Twins, Squarepusher, and Wagon Christ then later falling into hip hop, dubstep, and house. With a variety of inspiration, it’s easy to see how he’s created such a unique yet specific sound.
Through adolescence, Grant’s sexuality was hard for him to come to terms with. So much, that he even went as far as choosing to go to therapy and take medication to numb the confusion. With no gay role models to look up to as a young person, it created so much inner conflict that led him to force himself into heteronormative roles. When all his male friends around him were getting into girls he simply wasn’t interested but he didn’t want to believe he was gay. In a time where gay slurs were regularly used to describe someone being uncool, it added to the inner conflict. Even though Grant was surrounded by people who loved him, he found it hard to love himself; until he went to college that is. He eventually found his tribe of gay friends who helped him feel comfortable in his skin enough to love and accept who he is and that there is nothing wrong with any part of him. Now, with how popular electronic music has become, he gets to be a role model for young LGBTQ+ and show them that they deserve to love themselves, to be loved, and exist in this world as whole human beings.
On Monday, September 16, GRiZ along with one of the world’s top Fortnite players DrLupo, teamed up for a four-hour Fortnite live stream on Twitch. The duo, along with top donors who were invited to play each hour, fundraised over $18,000 for the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ , The Trevor Project. The stream, featured on the homepage of Twitch, attracted 280,000 views to the four-hour fundraiser and engaged with donors through Livestream fundraising platform, Tiltify. Watch clips from GRiZ’s stream, HERE.
GRiZ is no stranger to philanthropy. In 2014, he launched the annual 12 Days of GRiZMAS event series, which attracts fans from across the country for concerts, events and drives that benefit public schools in the Detroit area. Earlier this year, GRiZ was tapped to be the face of national underwear company MeUndies for their Pride collection, which raised funds for the Happy Hippie Foundation with each pair sold in June. He also participated in Facebook’s Giving Tuesday campaign, to fundraise for LGBTQ non-profit organization It Gets Better. For us, it really doesn’t get better than GRiZ.
After the success of his Ride Waves tour earlier this year he decided to head back on the road for a “Season 2” with his Imaginarium to bring his groovy, soulful bass and message all over North America. With tons of recently released music and more on the way paired with his vision, these shows will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Give yourself the gift of self-love and catch GRiZ on his Ride Waves: Season Two tour in a city near you.
Join GRiZ on tour here, and stay tuned to Fresh Music Freaks for all things GRiZ!
*Featured image via Bailey Ploughe