While contributing to social evolution has always been a part of Griz’s artistic agenda, the world-famous DJ and musician contributed to the effort more personally this week when he came out as gay. A massive name and presence within the electronic music community, Griz’s combination of live instruments and explosive produced bass lines have made him one of the most captivating DJs and producers to watch live. In recent years an increasing number of women have become major players in the DJ world but it has classically been a male dominated scene. As in most scenes that are yet to diversify, the topic of sexual orientation has not been brought to the main stage with our favorite electronic artists. Griz’s decision to go public with his orientation is an inspiring and progressive one that will no doubt encourage others who have felt suffocated by the straight white male stigma that ran the rise of EDM but clearly will not define its future.
In the bares all article in which Griz comes out, he shares the trauma of feeling like something was wrong with him during adolescence; the crushing pressure of a culture that portrays only heterosexuality as normal. He goes so far as to say he would have bartered with God to be straight. But overtime Griz realized that being gay was as much a part of him as all of the other positive attributes that would bring him to the world stage, and that secrets become extremely destructive: “I had to tell myself, ‘Grant, you’re just gonna be who you are. You’re a super rad dude and people are gonna love you either way. If they don’t then they weren’t actually your friends in the first place.’ This is that leap of faith moment”. That leap of faith resulted in the freedom to fully express himself and form a community that he trusted. The rest it seems is history, and history still in the making.
Griz’s sophisticated live set and intricate tracks have earned him top rankings across Billboard charts and Hype Machine repeatedly. His most recent single, Good Will Prevail, immediately made its way to #1 on the electronic music charts. Combining improvised saxophone, guitar, and vocals over hard hitting bass lines Griz has created a sound all his own that has been hailed as “brilliant” by DJ Mag. He has owned the main stage at the biggest festivals in the world from genre inclusive Bonnaroo & Lollapalooza to electronic specific Electric Forest & Outside Lands.
It’s clear that Griz’s originality, taste and talent have earned him a top slot in electronic music. His announcement this Gay Pride Month has allowed him to use his now lofty platform to create more inclusion, acceptance and pride. One of the best things about rave culture and produced music has been its orientation towards togetherness. With one of the biggest names in the game now sending that message in an even more powerful and personal way it seems like the sky is the limit for the positive change that electronic artists can create from their current position of heavy influence. We celebrate Griz’s achievements, bravery and influence this Gay Pride Month!