GRANDSON: an artist interview
Grandson, a twenty-three year old alternative artist from Toronto, Canada, is a name you will soon become familiar with. With only four songs released, and a sound that blends hip hop, alternative, and hard rock, I was ecstatic to have the chance to interview him.
MARANDA RISNER: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, who is grandson?
GRANDSON: I was born in New Jersey, grew up in Toronto in a family of musicians. My sisters introduced me to hiphop, R&B, dancehall, while my grandfather turned me on to jazz. I started writing on a guitar in high school, and then making beats while in University. I later dropped out of university to move to Los Angeles to write full time. Here we are now.
MR: Where did the name grandson come from?
G: I had been searching for a name that would come from a place of nostalgia; that paid respect to the people and places that my music is influenced by. The project started taking form a couple months after the passing of my grandfather; my manager had this dream one night that he was side stage at a show of mine and my name was "grandson." Once we heard it out loud, it stuck.
MR: To someone who is unfamiliar with you, how would you describe your sound?
G: I would describe it as a contemporary take on alternative rock -- blending different genres of rock I grew up on, like grunge and classic, riff-driven rock & roll with production styles of the hip hop and trap music I'm a fan of now. It’s an unapologetically 2017 take on a rock band.
MR: Is music something you've always wanted to pursue?
G: I don’t really know. It was something I always had an interest in and constantly worked at, but never saw as a realistic option until I left university.
MR: Where do you find influence when writing your lyrics?
G: I’m influenced by the places I go, the people I meet and the relationships I build. I try to be a fan and student first and foremost of both art and human behavior.
MR: Who are some of your musical influences?
G: Bill Withers, Rage Against the Machine, Danger Mouse, Eminem, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Beatles, Mark Ronson, Rick Rubin.
MR: When creating your songs do you do most of the production and instrumentals yourself?
G: I’m very fortunate to have collaborators like Kevin Hissink, Tim Suby, HighxLand and other super talented friends of mine that help me bring the ideas in my head to life.
MR: If you could tour with any musician you wanted to who would it be?
G: Run the Jewels.
MR: Where is somewhere you dream to play?
G: Red Rocks*
MR: So your newest single is "Best Friends" where did you find influence when writing that song?
G: The song is about this guy who was in a bad environment his whole life, and progressively his friend group gets more dangerous with the trouble they get into. He finally reaches for help and ends up escaping. At its heart, the song is about fear, morality and self-worth... nothing serious.
MR: I've seen a lot of positive feedback from your music lately, how does it feel to have it so accepted?
G: Fuckin gnarly.
MR: Can we expect an album anytime in the near future?
G: Working on it everyday. Stay tuned.
MR: As for the future, what's next for grandson?
G: New music, new shows, new stuff!!!
MR: And for the last question, I'm gonna ask what is your final quote, if there's one thing you'd like the readers to take away from this interview what would it be?
G: “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
Overall Grandson has quickly become one of my favorite up and coming artist. He has a sound that is uniquely his own and his music is one that not only tells a story, but also makes you think. Take time to check him out, I promise you will not regret it.