BRODY GRISWOLD WAS BORN AND RAISED IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT MOVED TO THE TAMPA BAY AREA AT A YOUNG AGE. HE WAS ACCUSTOMED TO THE NEW YORK CITY HIP HOP MOVEMENT. IT’S SOUND AND CULTURE WOULD LATER TRANSLATE INTO THE MUSIC HE WOULD CREATE. HIS SOUTHERN MIGRATION INTRODUCED HIM TO A NEW, MORE BASS DRIVEN, DANCE-STYLED SOUND, WHICH WAS DIFFERENT FROM NEW YORK’S MORE LYRIC-FOCUSED STYLE OF RAPPING. LATER, HE LEARNED TO EMBRACE HIS NEW SURROUNDINGS, AND REALIZED THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ONE STYLE OF MUSIC OR ANOTHER. “I WASN’T HEARING THE MUSIC I WANTED TO HEAR, SO I STARTED CREATING IT”. BRODY GRISWOLD IS A SOLO ARTIST WITH BI-CULTURALLY FUSED, NORTHERN LYRICISM AND SOUTHERN SOUL.
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth: I’m of Dominican descent, but was born in New York City and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn. I later moved to Tampa, Florida at the age of 10, until my senior year in high school, then moved back to Brooklyn, where I graduated.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music? Being the son of Dominican parents, music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There was always “Salsa” or “Merengue” music playing during family parties or just a regular day, while my parents cleaned up around the house. My weekends were mostly spent in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, an area that is predominantly Dominican. My cousins and I would watch the adults drink and dance, while we played in the hallways of my great grandmother’s building. I was introduced to New York City Culture by one of my uncles, my mother’s youngest brother. He was the first to introduce me to Hip-Hop Culture, as far as fashion, sports, and music. It was a part of who he was. The way he dressed, the way he spoke, and the way he lived. One of the earliest Hip-Hop albums that impacted my life was Brand Nubian’s “In God We Trust”. In the early 90s, when my family moved my sister and I to Florida, I was taken from everything I knew. The people looked like me, but didn’t speak like me. The culture and the slang was different. The music was mostly bass/booty music, like 2 Live Crew, 69 Boyz, and 95 South. Although I wasn’t hearing New York’s more lyric-centered style of rapping that I was used to hearing, I could feel the soul in Southern music. I later learned to embrace my new surroundings, and realised that I didn’t have to choose between one style of music or another, which opened me up to a whole new style. Because I wasn’t hearing anybody making the music I wanted to hear, at the age of 14, I began creating it myself. I knew I was making an active impact when my friends would ask me to freestyle at parties in order to impress the girls. I truly knew I was making an impact, when I was able to impress my uncle, the very same person who introduced me to it all.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why? As far as mainstream artists are concerned, I studied so many of them for different reasons. I studied Jay Z’s persona, and how when he rhymed, it sounded like he was having a conversation with you. Nas for his edgy and vivid lyrics. When he described his project building, I could smell the hallways. Notorious B.I.G.’s presence and aggression. When he rhymed, it demanded people’s attention. 2 Pac’s passion, intelligence, and ability to give you a piece of his heart every time he spoke. Kool G Rap and Big Pun for mastering multi-syllable rhyme patterns, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon the Chef for their unique “concept” rhyme patterns and fashion sense, Ice Cube for never smiling, Snoop for the whole “Doggystyle” album, Redman for the funk, AZ for showing me that half Dominican MCs from Brooklyn can not only make it in Hip-Hop, but be one of the greatest to do so. That’s just to name a few. I would collaborate with any of the artists I named, but at the moment, if I had to pick one, it would be Black Thought from the Roots. I feel like he would push me to write the best verse I possibly could, just to stay on track with him, but it still wouldn’t be enough!
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music? There’s always seems to be mixed emotions when this question is asked, because there are so many opinions on what Hip-Hop was and what it is now, but Hip-Hop has always been about change and bringing fresh ideas to the culture. I’m proud of where Hip-Hop Culture is. It’s constantly growing and evolving, and has become a global artform. My friends, “Thaitanium”, are one of the biggest Asian groups in Hip-Hop. I have beats from producers that are from South Africa, Canada, and the UK, and hearing their creativity inspires me to innovate.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about? I currently have a single out called “American Hustler” available on all digitally distributed outlets, so go get that! I have a follow up single that will be releasing next month, called “Oxygen”, and both these tracks are part of an EP that I’ll be releasing shortly after that. As of now, the EP it’s still untitled, but it is halfway complete, so I’m very excited about that.
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months? I’d like to release a few singles, release my EP, continue to build my brand through social media, blogs, print, and if possible, college and mainstream radio. I’d like to continue to grow and connect with my fanbase, and establish new relationships with brands like Now Hip Hop, that not only supports the growth of our culture, but gives artists the platform to do so.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years? Besides music, I also enjoy acting. I’m currently one of the main characters in a pilot series called “Pale Blue Light”, which is about Hip-Hop Culture and the ups and downs in the music business. I’d also like to work on discovering talent for my company, “Off the Ave Music”, and continue creating innovative albums.
If you had one song out of the catalogue you have created to show a person what song would it be and why? If I had to choose one song out of my catalogue, it would be a song called “Madison Square”. It encompasses who Brody Griswold is, how I got into music, and it reminds people to find the winner in themselves and reveal it. It also encourages them to “become a legend, be ready to leave a legacy, and make your own fate, don’t be late to your date with destiny”. What’s more real than encouraging people to chase their dreams/ goals?!
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter? My music is a reflection of who I am, and my life experiences. To know my music is to know me. There are no gimmicks, no filters, or fairytales. I’m a person going through the human experience just like you. God just blessed me with a talent to be able to give you my perspective in a way you may not have seen it, or have the ability to articulate it through music.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be? Honest, smart, vulnerable, relatable, unforgettable
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different? No two fingerprints are the same. There’s only one Brody Griswold, but I think what makes me unique, is that I still am, and will always be, a student of the game, first. I see the game through the eyes of a fan, so I’ll always respect the listener. I’ll never be bigger than the game itself, and I’m okay with that.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey? Be 1000% sure that this is what you want to do with your life. Music is no different than nurturing a relationship. There will be ups and downs, and maybe even times that you’ll want to walk away completely, but if your heart is in it, then your love will always overcome the challenges. Set goals and deadlines for yourself, but don’t put a timeframe on success.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
www.brodygriswoldmusic.com twitter: @brodygrizz instagram: @brodygriswold
“American Hustler” is available on itunes/ Apple Music- https://itun.es/us/bNe_fb
Google Play- https://play.google.com/store/
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
Thank you for your continued support. Stay tuned and see what I’m about to do next. Peace and love!