The connection between fan and musician has always been an elusive one. But GRiZ understands that both parties are kindred spirits—and that should not only be celebrated, but rewarded.
In collaboration with GRiZ and his team, we found seven super-fans to share their favorite memories and stories as part of the Michigan-born electronic music virtuoso's tight-knit community.
"I saw GRiZ for the first time in 2012 at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO, opening for Big Gigantic. My friend bought me a ticket because he wanted to introduce me to the funkier side of electronic music. As soon as GRiZ started his set and played that sax, I was completely blown away. I fell in love with his energy and music right then and there.
Since then, I have seen him all across the country, more times than I can count. For me, it’s not about chasing a number; it’s about being immersed in the environment and experience he creates. It's about hearing a song and being transported back to a show or a memory with the people I’ve met along the way. These moments dance through my mind every time his music plays.
I’ve created so many beautiful memories because of GRiZ. His music has brought me to people who have become some of my best friends and helped me see parts of the country I would have never seen otherwise. I’ll never forget hopping on a bus in Detroit with complete strangers and enjoying some Detroit-style pizza before attending a roller rink prom. In North Carolina, I mingled with locals and hopped on a boat ride across a channel to see GRiZ DJ on a beach. His events have taught me how to feel comfortable going to a show solo, with no phone, living in the moment with the music and the people around me. He brought me to all the people I love the most on the ball drop of New Years Eve, arm in arm, singing at the top of our lungs that It Gets Better. GRiZ events are love. They are joy. They are friendship.
GRiZ does it all. He draws from every realm of music and he isn’t afraid to push boundaries. From creating his own live band to producing ground-shaking dubstep, you can feel his passion in everything he does. That passion and his message inspire me to show love and spread love in my everyday life. His message transcends the music world to the real world, and I intend to keep sharing that with everyone, every single day. Thanks, GRiZ, for your music, your charity, the experiences you create, and everything in between. We all really appreciate it. I know I do."
- Mikayla Kuntzman
"I first saw GRiZ on November 16th, 2016 at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucly and up to that point I thought all DJs just mixed songs together and lacked substance. Until he busted out the saxophone and laid it DOWNNNN. Then, just like that, he vanished (to work on himself and perfect his craft, I’m sure).
Fast-forward to May 14th, 2019. GRiZ performed at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville. It just so happened to be the four-year anniversary of my mom passing. And I had struggled very hard with the grief of that because Mother’s Day was the last time I saw her alive! I stood front row center on the rail the entire show and AWED at the energy Grant put forth! GRiZ closed the show with “Find My Own Way,” and Chrishira’s voice touched my soul and in that moment, right before the song ended, I began to cry, HAPPY tears! I finally felt acceptance and the grief leave my body as I put my hand up and released all the bad energy that had been weighing me down. I am grateful for THAT moment bc now I have a top notch memory to associate with May 14th to go along with the beautiful memories I have of my mom!
GRiZ has touched my life in so many ways and I don’t think he’ll ever know or understand how much he means to his fans, especially me! Since then, I’ve been inspired to learn to play the saxophone and learn how to DJ because GRiZ is the kind of energy the world needs! I will always support my guy because he means so much to me! Thanks Grant! #SLSL"
- Eric Williams
"When I think about GRiZ's music and how it's impacted me, my body floods with emotions and memories of pure joy. I started listening to GRiZ after I Grant opened for Big Gigantic when I was a sophomore in college, and since then, I've been blessed to experience dozens of shows and made lifelong memories and friends along the way.
I spent three days noodling over my favorite memories to share, and I sat down multiple times to write. However, nothing came out on the page, and it was incredibly frustrating for something that always has something to sa! I have SO many amazing memories from my dozens of incredibles shows! What's keeping me from writing?!
Then, that's when it hit me. My most impactful GRiZ moments weren't even on the dancefloor. In the summer of 2019, the GRiZ team trusted me with leading the GRiZ Liberators. I was so honored, and it came at a time of my life where I was really struggling to find my purpose in this world and what step I should take next (I'm still on this discovery journey). This role gave me purpose during this part of my life, and it was to provide opportunities for myself and others to Show Love and Spread Love and make this world a better place.
As the new Lead Liberator, I had the opportunity to go to GRiZMAS in July and Liberate my first show with my partner, Lank. For those who don't know, the Liberators are a collective of GRiZ fans that embody the Show Love Spread Love movement, and our mission is to SLSL to ourselves, to each other, and to our communities. At most shows, Liberators in the local area run a booth, raising money for charities and keeping the vibes high. This also means that when you're Liberating, you give up seeing most of the GRiZ show. And that was a first.
When we arrived in Wilmington, I was a ball of nerves and honestly a bit sad that I had to listen to the show from afar. I was also about to meet what seemed like hundreds of Liberators, and I prayed to the Universe that my first weekend Liberating would go off without a hitch.
Liberating changed everything. It wasn't just about the music anymore. It expanded my understanding of the GRiZ impact. It was about giving, loving, and connecting. At GRiZMAS in July, I connected with dozens of Liberators and amazing humans that donated despite spending tons of money flying in for GRiZMAS in July. We may have met through our love of GRiZ's music, but we connected through our love for giving back and loving others. That weekend is one of my favorite GRiZ memories because it taught me through practice that giving back is one of the greatest gift to ourselves. It helps me see beyond our own "pain" and "struggles" by showing and spreading love to others. It helps me truly see and feel all of the things and people we have and should be grateful for.
Thank you G for creating this platform, the Liberators, and reminding us that we are all connected and need each other, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or wealth. We're all little humans in this big big world, and we gotta do our part in showing the love and spreading the love."
- Carrie Yang (head of The Liberators)
"Many moons ago, I remember going to one of the best music festivals that ever blessed its presence to the mountains of Colorado called SnowBall. It was a snowy evening & I remember that the upcoming artist that was about to play, I have not yet heard of. Goodness golly, was this one of the best nights of my life! Long behold, GRiZMATIK took the stage and brought some of the funkiest, harmonized, soulful yet insanely 'get your body groovin' music I had ever heard in my life. To top it off, there were people snowboarding and skiing behind them on a halfpipe...it was epic.
From then on, I fell in love (with both) and ended up making the most of all the time I could ever soak up at shows over the years. With GRiZ, his music transcended so much beyond just going to shows and permeated the fabric of my being (as many others). Grant and his squad embody in the simplest of terms, 'Show Love, Spread Love' which vibrates out to his fans! GRiZ Fam is some of the realest, purest out there and I have the honor of calling so many of them some of my best friends ever (even roommates). This sense of community through his music & actions has created a legacy and love that truly will make a change. Thank you Grant, for sharing such a special, raw side of you with the world. You have such a beautiful soul and it shines brighter that evening from many moons ago!"
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- Paula Rainsberger
"My favorite GRiZ memory is when I attended Roller Skate Prom Night during the 12 Days Of GRiZMAS in 2019. I took the party bus there with a bunch of strangers that night. We were dancing, drinking and jamming out to GRiZ’s music together on the bus. We all got there and had the best time together. It was one of the girls on the bus' birthday that night, and GRiZ came over to the table and sang happy birthday with all of us and enjoyed the cake she brought with us as well. We all arrived at that party bus strangers and all left that night as friends."
- Emily Mills
"My name is Michael Plite, I have been a Liberator for a few years now and haven’t missed a GRiZMAS yet. Every time I see the man too he gets better and better. He is my all time favorite human ever. So here’s my favorite memory of him.
I’m from Grand Rapids and my girlfriend Bella is from Detroit, and before she moved here to Grand Rapids with me she lived in an apartment downtown Detroit by Wayne State University. So during 12 Days of GRiZMAS time he had announced he was gonna do Christmas caroling downtown and take the Q line to the little shops during Christmas they have set up down there and he had a special peppermint drink he had there to raise money for Seven Mile. So we showed up at Hopcat dressed warm for the occasion, my gal wrapped up in her blankie, and when she dropped her Santa hat Grant immediately picked it up and put I back on her giving her and I a huge hug. There were a few tiny little kids which made my heart burst bigger than ever because G was so happy and interacted with them, it was so cute. So then we gather and hand out the caroling sheets and little Christmas hand bells and hop on the Q line. Headed down we started bustin' out the carols as we rode down. Feeling SUPER jolly, we were all screaming these songs and feeling the Christmas spirit when all of a sudden this lady working on the train busts through the door behind us and yells, 'HEY HEY HEY! You guys gotta be quiet for the conductor up there you’re too loud!'
And Grant replies, “That’s absolutely perfect because we are gonna whisper this next one.' And she says, 'That’s completely fine!'
Then Grant: 'Here we go everybody [in a whisper] 1, 2, 3… I’m dreamingggg of a whiteeee christmasssss.'
It was some true GRiZMAS shenanigans. As we departed the Q line we walked over to a little area before the shops and we sang as G played some carols. Finally we walked into the warm indoor area hangout where you could get the drinks and Grant stands up on the table screaming, 'We’re gonna sing a song, if y’all know it sing a long! Because you guys are awesome and we’re doing everything for the right reasons and we LOVE spreading holiday cheer by singing LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR! Y’ALL FEEL ME?!'
Then we continued to sing 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.'
It was the most wholesome and heartfelt moment I’ve got to experience with G man. I definitely cried after we were done and he took a pic with Bella and I. We are so happy that we can continue to be apart of his monumental movement that is shifting the world to a better place and raising an insane amount of money for charity every GRiZMAS. We love you G! Can’t wait for this year! 3 days! WHOO HOO!"
- Michael Plite
"Since discovering music festivals, my biggest mission was to visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I was pretty set on seeing GRiZ for my first one. I’d been following GRiZ since 2015 and made a point (like most GRiZ Fam) to see as many live sets as I could. We camped out at Summer Camp, Summer Set, Electric Forest, and Bonnaroo. We squaded up with local homies for Lollapalooza, Spring Awakening, and Navy Pier. We ventured out and to Freaky Deaky, Jawbreaker, and GRiZMAS! The #1 for me on every one of those lineups was GRiZ! GRiZ shirts and hats took over my wardrobe, my playlists became very GRiZ-heavy. I started meeting people all over the world who also loved GRiZ and his music.
When Grant hosted a meet and greet in Chicago for Lollapalooza at Grassroots Chicago, I went. There, I purchased my first GRC hat and met Grant. I didn’t know it then, but GRiZ changed my life that day. A few months later, I started working part-time at the Grassroots Chicago storefront. I started blogging about my concert experiences, took up photography, and worked on building a presence. It was 2017 when I started connecting with the GRiZ Fam community, both in person and online. I was big on following GRiZ merch, tour dates, and talking to everyone about their favorite songs and gear.
It was 2017 when the stars aligned for Red Rocks: I had alarms set to scoop 4 Front Row tickets for Night 1 of GRiZRocks. When I created my AXS account and saw them on the app, I felt like I had accomplished a bucket list life moment! But you know what’s better than accomplishing your goals by yourself? Doing it with your best friends! My BF and BFF of ~9 years took little to no convincing to join me on my biggest adventure west of Illinois.
It wasn’t until we were standing on a mountain in Morrison, overlooking Denver, that it hit me: I’d made it to Red Rocks and was about to see my favorite artist! There were so many people I knew online and in person all in one place. The community vibe at the hotel, on the shuttle, and on the Rocks was so warm and fuzzy. This is where I learned what Show Love, Spread Love meant. Grant has impacted so many people; not just with his music, but with his message.
We had to get a quick squad pic right as we entered the venue. I asked this random guy only to discover he and I had been emailing over the last six weeks for work! I had gifted my 4th Reserved ticket to a girl who couldn't get in earlier (big SLSL move!) and now wanted to share it with our friend. We set a squad mission: split up, find the ticket, and get us all down in the front row. The guys took one side, the girls took the other, and we scanned rows of thousands of bubbling GRiZ Fam and voila! We found her! Our little squad of 3 became 4 and we raged Night 1. It was a GRiZ Live Band set and will go down as one of the most magical nights of my life.
The magic continued all weekend. I accomplished my goal of making it to Red Rocks for the first time. I heard my dream setlist live and cried my way through the best version of Wicked I'd ever heard. The next day, I got a promotion at Grassroots while visiting HQ. I scooped the Sample GRiZ Hat I had been admiring on Facebook for weeks. Later that day, I scored a second set of RESERVED tickets for Night 2 that popped-up online. I gifted our GA tickets with some work friends to pass on the SLSL-spirit and encouraged them to pass it on.
Night 2 of GRiZRocks was just as magical. During MFAI, Chicago homie, ProbCause, came into the crowd to perform and stood right next to us! Our new friend and I rode the rail together for the song "Maybe" before Ride Waves was even out. If that wasn’t magical enough, he gifted me a signed poster at the rail, literally steps from the artists and creatives I respect and revere so deeply. We all made it to the after party to let off the last of our energy in a hot, steamy room of good vibes. This story ends somewhere between a box of late night pizza and hotel pillows.
GRiZRocks was one of my favorite weekends ever and it led to a lot of passion projects and self-improvement. To make a bigger impact in the community, I joined the GRiZ Liberators. They're a team of GRiZ Fam around the world who aim to make the world a better place. I feed my own passion for connection, community, and GRiZ gear by coordinating meet-ups at shows and festivals. I've also attended Grant’s community workshop, Kulabunga, both in person and online. I joined ProbCause’s book club to exercise my love of reading and started the Kula Book Club shortly after!
Music and festivals are great, but it’s Grant's regard for individuality, connection, and goodness that makes me a GRiZ fan. The biggest takeaway I have from listening to 'some homie from Michigan''s music isn’t 'Glitch Hop Just Died' ('cause it didn’t). It’s this: show love, spread love. See you at GRiZRocks in a few days!"
- Nikki Graham