Gryffin Took Flight—Now He’s Returning to the Nest for His Most Personal Album Yet

Gryffin has been airborne for a long time, soaring as a musician for nearly two decades. As he prepares for his next migration, he finds a pulse of inspiration at ground zero.

“There’s just nothing like the energy you get being at a show, festival or club,” Gryffin reminisces in an exclusive interview with “Feeling the music pulsing. The production that’s going on around you. The people that are there and the energy and love that’s in the crowd. I just don’t think there’s any genre of music that has the same energy and love in the room as dance music. That’s really why I fell in love with it.”

Gryffin is warming the engines for his third studio album Pulse, set to release later this year. If Gravity channels the cosmos and Alive highlights the human experience, Pulse evokes the enchanting essence of electronic dance music.

It was during the isolation of the COVID-19 lockdown period when Gryffin pined most for how dance music tethers people together. Flying solo reminded him how uplifting a flock can be.

“It slowed things down for me and deprived me of being with people and having that energy in the club or festival energy and sort of yearning for that,” Gryffin says of the pandemic. “I think that had been building up for a while.”

“I hit this huge wave of inspiration where I really wanted to make this album high octane and energetic and almost like you feel the pulse of the music breathing and living as you’re listening to the album and experience. That’s the birth and ethos of it. It definitely still sounds like me. It’s still very melodic with a lot of emotion within the album, but I think people are really going to feel a difference. It’s going to feel like an adrenaline shot.”

Gryffin performing at Colorado’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Juliana Bernstein/Get Tiny

Pulse is in many ways a collaboration between Gryffin and Dan Griffith, the college kid with a newfound captivation for EDM. Griffith’s discovery flipped the switch from electrical engineer to electronic music producer—he forged a new destiny and never looked back.

Pulse provided an opportunity for Griffith, now 36, to reconnect with himself before Gryffin took flight.

“It didn’t make me fall in love with dance music against—because I never lost the love for it—but it kind of brought me back to that earlier spirit of me, going to raves and falling in love with it,” he says. “When I’ve been making this album, I’ve just been thinking and recalling back on my experiences as a fan and a raver, not just as the guy who is behind the decks now.”

“I’ve been trying to find that love and spirit again. That’s why I think it’s been so fun for me, honestly, making this album. I’m remembering and recalling all of my experiences and what made me fall in love with it.”

Griffith found a treasure trove of memories stashed in the back of his mind. Box after box of catalogued souvenirs to source for self-expression. One such memory dusted off was a performance by deadmau5 at HARD Haunted Mansion in the late 2000s.

“deadmau5 came out and had his first helmet with the Xs. He [figuratively] killed himself onstage or something like that. He took off the helmet,” Gryffin recalls. “I was so into the culture and falling in love with it back then. It was the shock value of it all. I remember the first time his helmet lit up.”

Working on arguably his most intimate project has encouraged Gryffin to free-fall into the creative process. The streaming era of music—like everything—is a mixed bag. The unparalleled accessibility to music allows fans to discover artists like Gryffin. It also encourages artists to chase metrics and cater more to algorithms than people, a very real stress that ruffles feathers. Gryffin managed to shed those worries on Pulse.

“Trying not to overthink things is something that’s really helped me this year,” he says. “I kind of stopped thinking in my head, ‘Are people going to like this? Are my fans going to like this? Will the streaming crowd like this?’ I would get those thoughts in my head and I’ve been able to shut it off while making this album.”

The artistic tailwinds have the chart-topping dance music star cruising toward the finish line, but the creative process isn’t always so smooth. Music is naturally a major source of inspiration for Gryffin, but turbulence is nothing new for him.

“I just got in it and made music that made me feel something. It got me excited,” he continues. “Me happy and fulfilled as a creator. When that lightbulb went off in my head, everything else started flowing out.”


Grant Thompson

When asked to name a few quintessential albums or artists that every music fan should listen to, he named Daft Punk’s Discovery or Homework, Disclosure’s Settle, Jamie xx’s In Colour and projects by M83 and Explosions in the Sky.

Gryffin’s sonic appetite was always insatiable. The conversation about music spurred a funny memory of an 11-year-old Griffith pleading with his parents to purchase a copy of Dr. Dre.’s very explicit and probably not kid-friendly sophomore album, 2001.

“That was the first explicit one I had. I got my dad to hook it up on that one,” Gryffin says with a laugh. “My dad is the one where I’m like, ‘Yo, I really, really want this.’ He’s the one who can cave. I don’t even know if my mom knew that I got that album.”

It’s a matter of time before Pulse sticks the landing. The project is tabbed for a release sometime this year. While Gryffin keeps a tight beak on the release date, he did confirm that a teased collaboration with Armin van Buuren will be on Pulse.

“It’s going to be released through Armada [Music] because I wanted it to come out through Armin’s project. That was always the goal,” Gryffin says. “But it’s going to come out on Pulse as well because it weirdly fits what I’m doing now and where I’m going with my sound, and it’s a very state of trance Armin ethos to it as well. So it’s going on both.”

Watch the full interview with Gryffin below.

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