GRiZ is a refreshingly complicated recording artist. The Michigan native formerly known as Grant Kwiecinski is a young visionary, who crafts contemporary dance music with funk, soul and classic rock.
“I like mixing things up,” GRiZ said during a phone call from Pittsburgh. “That makes it more interesting. I love mixing in slower funk with what I do. I’ll add drum and bass and put my foot to the gas pedal and press it to the floor.”
The dynamic GRiZ, 23, is on his way to becoming an electronic dance superstar. His debut album, “Mad Liberation” was embraced by the EDM crowd. “Rebel Era,” the latest GRiZ release figures to be an EDM favorite, too. The production is raw, and the dance music bangers are intense as anything out on the circuit.
“I’m about making my bangers deep,” GRiZ said. “When I was making this album, I was thinking about the live element. I want these songs to stand up live. You have to deliver when you go on the road and I think I’m doing that on this tour. I want people to get into it and dance and just leave having the best time of their life. It’s amazing looking out there at kids that want you to play your instrument. I love playing live and creating these records that people are so into. Everything is working out great for me and EDM.”
But GRiZ, who will perform Wednesday at the Ritz Ybor, is no dummy. He realizes that the EDM wave is probably at its peak.
“That probably is true,” GRiZ admitted. “I’ll tell the truth. I think we’re all kind of scared right now. How can such a good thing keep rolling? Look at our history. Things swell in our civilization. They might seem like they’re going to go on forever but they burst. You don’t want to be left out.”
It’s not surprising that GRiZ already has a plan for his post-EDM projects.
“I’ll be fine because I’ll just go another way,” GRiZ said. “No matter what happens with EDM I would like to go to New Orleans and just play with one of those small funk bands in an intimate venue. How cool would it be to work with a band with those huge horn lines and produce all of that great funk that makes you just want to party? I want to get a huge acoustic funk band together and just jam.”
In the meantime, GRiZ is going another way. “I’m just doing what I”m doing,” GRiZ said. “I think what people don’t understand in this country is that you can do different things in music. There’s no reason to make the same music your whole life. I love what I’m doing now. It’s about reaching people, and I’m accomplishing that.”
There’s something for every GRiZ fan on “Rebel Era.” There’s funky guitar lines, atmospheric synths, bluesy rock, soulful vocals, jazz-flavored runs and deep grooves. “It’s good to be eclectic,” GRiZ said. “I’m playing what I love. It’s never just one flavor.”
It’s not easy to market the freewheeling GRiZ, but he doesn’t care about that. “That’s the business side, and that’s not on my mind,” GRiZ said. “If you make music with business in your head, it’ll show. I make it from the heart. There’s a difference.”