Today at age 24, GRiZ (or Grant Kwiecinski, to his mom) is already being hailed as visionary. This spring, he’ll release Say It Loud (via his All Good Records imprint), a follow-up to its more funk-step predecessors, Rebel Era and Mad Liberation. With assists from rapper Talib Kweli, Afrobeat-group Antibalas, the L.A.’s Children’s Chorus, and others, his new full-length finds a golden mean between an abundance of brass instruments, liberal use of soulful vocals, and shimmering, synth beats.
Modern gadgets may bring his creations together, but GRiZ is, at heart, a time traveler. The name Say It Loud is an homage to James Brown’s funk-soul spirit and pioneering messages of equality. The horns throughout the album shout-out to GRiZ’s favorite albums, Miles Davis’ masterpiece, Sketches of Spain. And GRiZ’s outsize live shows at local DIY spots such as Scrummage University not only earned him his name and convinced him to drop out of college—it referenced a legacy of Detroit dance pioneers from the Belleville Three to the Detroit Techno Militia. (“They created the opinion and the space for me to be able to come and do my own thing,” he says, respectfully.)