Get To Know Griff Clawson [Interview]

Joe DelloStritto

Griff Clawson ditched the future of sitting in a cubical for a future with a guitar, and is reaping the benefits. While some of his latest tracks have created quite the buzz, Griff is far more than just a musician. Tap in to learn more about our friend,  and gain insight into what's next for the surging artist.

Define Griff Clawson. Behind the music, what would you say characterizes you as an individual?

If I had to elevator pitch myself I’d say that I’m shy until I’m not, nicer after a coffee, sometimes sad but mostly silly, and endlessly curious.

In your Spotify bio you label yourself as “a little different.” What do you mean by this? What would you say makes you unique?

Hahah what I mean by that is when it comes to music and my own personality, I find it boring to compare myself directly to anyone and that it’s important to remind ourselves to be different. At the end of the day, everybody actually is a “little different” from one another and I just think more people should claim that. I’d say stay tuned to get to know me a little better.

Billboard had said your track “You’re Not Alone” with ARTY would have killed it at live shows. How excited are you to get back to live shows? What’s your favorite part about performing?

Going back to live shows is going to be so strange but so amazing!! With my own solo songs finally coming out, these first live shows are going to feel like a new chapter for so many reasons and I'm a little nervous but a lotta excited.

To me, songs are like cars you work on in your garage for hours and hours, and performing them is like driving those songs in front of an audience who’s never seen or heard something like it before. 

How has working with DJ’s like ARTY sculpted your style and workflow?

Arty is a true talent and I'm lucky to have worked and continue working with him because I’ve learned so many priceless bits about how to structure a song that gives the listener everything they want but also leaves them wanting more. He’s so good at that and I’ve learned similar things from all of the other collaborators I’ve been working with. It’s really something I’ve tried to learn from a lot of dance music, how to draw somebody in with production and arrangement alone.

What’s the feeling that accompanies your first solo release “Chasing Highs?” Is it nerves? Excitement?

It’s mostly a surreal feeling of, “wow, this is what I do for a living.” It’s been such a strange and tough year for so many people including myself and I just feel thankful that I’m able to express myself through art and share it with people who can relate. It sounds so cheesy but art is essential to life and I get to make it every day. I am also over the moon to finally be releasing my own music and I can’t wait for all that’s coming in the next few months.

When did you start making music? Did you make the decision to pursue it right off the bat?

I first picked up the guitar when I was about 11! But only officially committed to pursuing music during my senior year at UCLA when I just couldn’t bring myself to let it go for an office job. I kind of had to do it.

Who’s been your biggest influences, either musically or in life in general?

Musically, I will forever be inspired by artists like Bon Iver, John Mayer, James Blake, The Beatles, and Coldplay. Their through-line for me is the ability to make you feel what they mean in every aspect of the song, from the lyrics, to the melody, to the production - it just all fits and feels like a work of art to me.

Outside of music, I look to my parents daily for guidance and lessons. They’re just my rock and have had such a crucial hand in shaping who I am as a person as well as how far I’ve gotten in music.

Tell me a contact in your phone now that you would’ve never imagined having saved.

Hahaha ummm well I can tell you that 11 year old me would be very confused by the idea of having phone numbers of strangers that I met on dating apps. And 12 year old me would be ecstatic at the idea of being friends with A&R’s at record labels as well as publishers at different publishing companies. Even though I'm still trying to build my foundation as a writer and artist, I try not to take these things for granted because there was a time when I had nothing and knew nobody, everybody starts from nothing, and you’ve got to look back and celebrate progress!!

What would be the ultimate goal for you as a person and as an artist? What’s the end game?

I have a few different end games. Creatively I know that my goal is to have a body of work that is authentic, bold, and long-lasting. Seeing what’s happened recently with Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” was a good reminder that good music lasts forever. I want to create something that people grow with and return to when they’re older.

Personally, I just want to be my best self. I’ve realized over quarantine that your relationship with yourself requires real work and patience, and that the more you put into that relationship, the more you get out. I’ve also realized that being my best self means being my best for the people around me. I find a lot of purpose in doing well for those on my side of the ring, be them family or management, or my community.

The end game is to leave behind something I’m proud of, no matter how big or small.

What should Griff Clawson fans be looking forward to in the near future?

All I can say is I’m having the most fun preparing for the next few releases. The videos, songs, merch, and artwork is all so sick, a bit unexpected, and I just can’t wait to share it and see how people react. Expect exciting things to come in the next couple weeks, and months.

Listen to Griff Clawson's debut solo single below!

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