Interviews

A Bulldog Named Gigi Dominates an Amazing Year of Achievements for DJ/Producer Gryffin

A Bulldog Named Gigi Dominates an Amazing Year of Achievements for DJ/Producer Gryffin
Courtesy of the artist
click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Courtesy of the artist
Dan Griffith, AKA Gryffin, has played Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and tonight he will be at LIV.

Born and raised near Silicon Valley in Northern California, he is the son of an electrical engineer. He was studying engineering at the University of South California when he became interested in dance music. After seeing Skrillex, he downloaded music production software. He was a natural, his longtime relationship with the piano and guitar having groomed him to be a quality producer.

“I just wanted to make music that my friends liked," Griffith says. "I was making remixes and releasing them on the internet when labels started hitting me up.”

By his own admission, he veers toward a pop sound —- and considers himself a “melody guy.” He calls his music “cloud house,” which is an EDM and future house cousin. Press play on his 2016 hit “Heading Home” and imagine two smiling models walking down the beach and blowing kisses at the camera. Or try “Whole Heart” and envision a couple holding each other close with a setting sun in the distance. As the beat becomes more urgent, their lips touch in a moment of passion. His latest, “Feel Good,” features the familiar voice of Daya — she starred on “Don't Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers.


Asked about recent life highlights, he didn’t mention festival gigs or music-related success. Instead, he cited Gigi, a 15-pound English bulldog. She's part of a pivotal phase in his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. This is more than companionship and good times at the dog park. Griffith and his girlfriend are in their late 20s. They are going through sound check to prepare for the responsibilities of parenthood. Gigi isn’t skateboarding yet, but things appear to be going well despite weekends on the road.

“I didn’t have a dog growing up, but yeah, I really love my dog," he says. "She’s been the highlight of my year. My girlfriend and I did obedience school and everything. My girlfriend takes care of her when I’m away and if she comes with, then my friends in the neighborhood help to look after her.”

After graduating from Southern Cal, Griffith had a talk with his parents about his next move. There was the music industry with its uncertainty and metaphorical shark-infested waters. And there was an engineering job somewhere waiting for him. The beauty of this story is that his parents said they would be happy either way — they've supported both ideas since day one.

GRYFFIN
11 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Tickets cost $30 via tixr.com.
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Elvis Anderson has been a devout Kraftwerk fan since the fifth grade. His favorite dance-floor move is the somersault. He serves on the board of the Woody Foundation, a Miami-based not-for-profit organization that improves the lives of those living with paralysis.