[Interview] Gryffin Chats With EDMTunes at Miami Music Week

Dan Griffith, known by his stage name Gryffin, is an American musician, DJ, and music producer known for his unique and euphoric electro pop sound, dynamic DJ sets, as well as raw musical talent. Born in San Francisco, California, Gryffin grew up as a classically trained pianist and learned to play the guitar at an early age. He played in bands to initially hone his instrumental abilities before breaking out as an electronic music producer in the mid 2010s. His meteoric rise to fame is awe inspiring and he has quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the most sought after acts across the globe. This last week, Ultra Music Festival saw the return of Gryffin for another main stage set (2023 was his Ultra Main Stage Debut) hot off the heels of a highly anticipated release with dance legend Armin Van Buuren, ‘What Took You So Long.’ Gryffin was able to spare some time between his busy Miami schedule to chat with us here at EDMTunes. Read the full interview below:

Hey, man. How’s it going? My name is Jaesyun from EDMTunes. We’re very happy you agreed to have this interview with us.

Gryffin: Yeah. What’s up man? How’s it going?

Pretty good! It has been an hectic music week on my end. So I can only imagine how it’s been like for you. You had your big main stage set last night amid all of the changes. How did that go compared to your very first main stage Ultra set last year? Good to be back?

Gryffin: It was awesome, man. Yeah, I felt really good about it. It was it was obviously kind of chaotic with the set time changes and all that stuff, but I was I was definitely willing to accommodate and get Hardwell on there because he prepared for months for this set and I wanted him to have a great set as well. So it was amidst all that. I mean, I had an amazing time. Got to play a bunch of IDs out and really show where I’m going directionally with my music the next year and this next era. The fan response felt really strong and it was perfect. And weather wise we finally saw some blue sky.

You also just released a really big collab with Armin on Friday and it was quite a surprise to hear the trance sound. Can we expect even more genre bending elements from you in the upcoming album? DNB? Maybe a little hardstyle?

Gryffin: Yep. I’m definitely experimenting with a lot of different subgenres of dance. I think this album represents me going dancier than I’ve gone before on any of my albums. So I am experimenting. Like, I’ve got a couple of DNB songs on the album. It’s been really fun. I’ve been really creatively fulfilled, honestly, working on this project. It’s the most fun I’ve had making music in a long time. So I’m excited to see what people think. 

And even just with the Armin song. It kind of came super naturally. We’ve been fans of each other for a long time and finally got a chance to write together in LA; and the entire song was written and produced essentially in like one mega 12 hour session. So that was really cool. It was super organic and the vibes were just perfect that day. We were just bouncing everything off each other and loving what each other was doing. So it just it just came together super naturally and we’re really happy to have it out now. 

Wow 12 hours. Like front to end, right to master or did you have a bit more back and forth afterwards? 

Gryffin: We tweaked it back and forth over the next several weeks, but just remote since he was back in the Netherlands and I was in LA. But, really, if I played you the version that we finished and bounced that day, you would be like, “oh yeah, this is the track.” Um, so it was pretty crazy. Like he had a set an Exchange that night and his manager kept coming in like: “yo, man, we gotta go get food. We have to go get ready for the show.” And [Armin’s] like: “no, I want to stay and finish this.” He was so excited about the track. So it was pretty cool and it was a really fun but long day.

Yeah, totally. It sounds like it really worked out and it was really rewarding. Do we do we have a release date yet for the album? I know you said spring summer, but you know, spring is almost over. 

Gryffin: I know! So yea it’s going to be summer now, but it’s coming soon. I’m just finishing up the last few records and now that touring and stuff is kind of pick back up, I wanted to focus on the sets. I wanted to make sure everything is feeling good in that regard. But now I’m heading home to LA this week and trying to finish the album ASAP. So it’s coming. It’s coming soon. I don’t have a date, but it’s it’ll be a few months away for sure. 

Great! Right during peak festival season. You got any big festivals you’re looking forward to this year? And any that are on your bucket list that you haven’t played yet? 

Gryffin: I’m excited to go to Osheaga. It’s one I’ve always had in my mind that I really wanted to do. So I’m really excited about that one. And of course Tomorrowland — obviously in Europe this summer. It’s going to be my first time going there. I’m very excited for that one. I’m doing a few big other ones later this summer that actually haven’t been announced, but I’m very much looking forward to those as well. And then I’m going to gear up and start preparing for my big fall tour. Brand new show, brand new everything.

For the tour itself, are you visiting any new cities that you haven’t been to before? I mean, obviously you’re probably gonna have a Red Rocks show. Something in New York, something in LA, the Palladium again or?

Gryffin: So in LA…we’re going pretty big in LA. I can’t announce it yet, but it’s going to be a big one. And then I’m not sure if I’m actually doing any new cities I haven’t gone to before, but it’s the most comprehensive tour I’ve done in a long time. It’s going to be like 20 – 30 cities in the US. I haven’t done a tour, like a bus tour like that since probably the Gravity era. So it’ll be fun to get back out there and really travel the country and play the set out. I’m really looking forward to it. 

That’s great. Gravity was one of my favorite albums. I still listen to it on repeat to today! So I want to get your thoughts on the trends in production right now. Tracks in general are going higher and higher in BPMs. What are your thoughts on that as a producer? I know you mentioned that in this particular album, you’re going a lot more dancier here than your previous studio albums, are you kind of following that trend of going with a higher pace, or are you kind of just seeing what works with the track and going along with that? 

Gryffin: Yeah, I guess that is the trend, but I also just am enjoying it. I have actually been going more uptempo. Like it’s fun to play out live. It’s fun to feel the energy. I’m actually really just having fun with that kind of stuff because of the pace and energy these records have when I’m working on them. I’ve actually been really inspired by a lot of what’s been happening in dance music and dance culture. So I am kind of just running with it.

Changing gears a bit. You’ve always put out so many good YouTube content pieces. Like that set in Kauai was just absolutely amazing to watch and listen to. Where do you get the inspiration to do that? Like, do you just go on vacation and then decide on a whim? Or does that take a lot of planning ahead of time? 

Gryffin: That one specifically actually came together pretty fast when I was out there. I just decided to rip it. So it kind of depends. But yeah, that was a fun one to do. I always like putting up those sets every once in a while when I feel like I have a good vibe on the set direction and the environment that I would love to present it in. I don’t have one planned on the horizon necessarily, but I do have some stuff in the works around the album release. So that that should come out pretty soon, which will be exciting as well. But yeah, appreciate the love on that. I definitely enjoy doing those, and I do put a good amount of effort into it. So I appreciate the positive feedback on that.

Of course! All right, I’m sure you have a really busy day. Thank you for carving out these 15 minutes to chat with me. Really looking forward to writing this up! 

Gryffin: Thanks, man. I appreciate that, and thanks for your time as well.