Interview: Gryffin talks hanging in Winnebagos, life after college and making music he loves

From Winnebagos to every major music festival across the United States and beyond, Gryffin is living the life of a jet-setting DJ and producer. He's come a long way from the library at USC where he would take a break from his studies in electrical engineering to play around with creating music.

Just how far? He's got a new album that's about to drop in September and its first single, "Winnebago" with Quin XCII and Daniel Wilson, is not only climbing charts in the industry, but also in hearts all summer long. 

What else could this classically trained pianist and guitarist (yes, you read that correctly!) possibly want? Perhaps to just kick it poolside with some great friends and cruise the street in a Winnebago. 

Find out, as AXS sat down with the DJ and producer before his next big show at Splash House in Palm Springs to talk all things music, traveling and, of course, Winnebagos.

AXS: You've just finished two weekends of Electric Forest, Splash House is around the corner with Outside Lands the day after. Then you're off to Red Rocks and more. How do you keep up with such a busy schedule?
Gryffin: It's definitely hard at times, but you get used to it. You just sort of realize that routine and normalcy are things that are never going to be part of your life. It's about embracing that and recognizing that reality, and to just remember that it's all one big fun ride at the end of the day.  

AXS: Your debut is soon to be released, and we've already heard "Winnebago" (a favorite of ours here at AXS) and "Just for a Moment." Take us through the ups and downs of recording your album. What can we expect, where does it take you and us as fans, and what's next?

G: That's awesome! This album has been kind of a recent thought, as I sort of realize I had been building up quite a collection of music that hasn't been released yet. I'm really excited for everyone to hear it, as I've poured so much of my time and energy into this project. 

The album is going to have familiar sounding songs to my previously released style, but definitely some newer styles and inspirations as I want to push myself as an artist.

I think fans will appreciate the old and new, and really get into the whole album as a body of work and not just stand-alone singles.

AXS: Do you have a particular track that you yourself resonate with (of course, this is your album and they all resonate with you), but is there one particular track that really stands out and you absolutely love it? Why?

G: I loved making "Winnebago" because it was so out of the box for me. Out of previously released material, "Nobody Compares To You" was a favorite of mine to make because it had so much emotion and heart into the making of the song from start to finish. 

As far as personal favorites for the album, I definitely have a few and I'm really excited to share them.  

AXS: Your original exposure to music is as a classically trained pianist and guitarist. How does that training influence your sound today and do you still find yourself going back to the days of your upbringing in music for current inspiration?

G: I'm not sure if it directly influences my sound nowadays, but my understanding of musical theory and chord structures really has helped me create the music today. I really should go back and play some classical music again now that I think about it!

AXS: What brought you from musical production (with your Electrical Engineering degree from USC) to producing and recording your own music? Take us on that journey.
G: While I was studying EE at USC, it was so intense and draining that making electronic music sort of became my creative outlet in my time away from studying and coursework. 

I would sit in the library and take a break from working on school and just dive into Ableton and just made music as a hobby. When I finally felt like my music didn't totally suck, I decided to put it out on SoundCloud and see what people thought of it just for fun. Some of the early remixes did really well, and I started getting [producers] contacting my record labels to remix some of their artists, and it really all just snowballed from there. 

As I was graduating, I started doing shows and getting commissioned to do remixes, and basically thought, "If there's ever a time for me to pursue a passion, it's right now." So I turned down my job offer for post-college and went full-time [into] music.

AXS: So here we are album about to drop and the festival circuit before you. What's next for you? Will you be headlining your own tour in the coming months in support of your new album, etc.?

G: I'll be headed out to Europe for my first headlining show in September. Then the album will drop. And shortly after I'll be having some big tour announcements that I'm super excited about.

AXS: What can fans at Splash House expect from your set this August?

G: A lot of energy, good vibes, and a fun time. I've never been to Splash House but I've heard it's a serious vibe so I'm really looking forward to it.  Gonna be renting a house out with my homies Louis The Child and we're just gonna have a blast all weekend. Looking forward to it!  


Fans can catch Gryffin next at Splash House this August 10-12 in Palm Springs, California. Keep your eyes may just seeing him cruising down the street in a Winnie.