June 17, 2019
How long have you lived and worked in Jersey City?
I’ve lived in Jersey City for about 5 years now; my work here really picked up about 2 years ago.
What’s the Griffter story…in a nutshell?
I’ve been playing music for almost my entire life. I’m self-taught on the piano, and I played violin for about 10 years. It was only natural for me to pursue a career in the arts. At 14 I started DJing, which is something I’m still doing today. About 5 years ago I took up music production, and I’m proud to say that I have music released on all the major streaming services, with more to come this year!
How did you decide on the name Griffter?
I saw it on a list of 1930s nicknames and liked it. I know it means “con artist”, but I’m far from that. I’m usually brutally honest and believe in transparency when I venture into business with others. I just thought it was a cool name, so I went with it.
What’s your typical work day like?
It’s usually just planning the next step and creating as much as possible. I’m lucky enough to have a home studio in Jersey City, so I wake up, make my coffee and go into the studio to start making music. When the afternoon hits, I take a gym break, then head back to take care of admin stuff like emails, bookings and business meetings. It’s not so different from the typical American work day.
What Jersey City spots can we find you spinning at?
I DJ at Porta and Red Lounge every month. I’ve also partnered up with my buddy DJ Lexx to throw a fun Sunday party called “In for a Treat” where no top 40 music is played. The vibe is just fun and funky. We’re looking to host a block party this summer, so stay tuned!
How would you describe working in Jersey City?
I love it. Besides having the easiest commute of my life, the people that work and live in this city are what keeps me motivated to bring more to the table. The amount of creativity in this town is absurd and I love every little bit of it. People here are willing to give ideas a try, and if they don’t work, they move on to the next one. It’s that type of risk taking that I love.
What’s the most popular song request you get?
Anything by Drake.
What’s something people don’t know about Griffter?
As much as I love music, I love cooking and food equally. I’ve been perfecting my Paella recipe for the last 2 years.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
Probably watching “The Office” on Netflix for the 1,000,000th time.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I grew up listening to so much music, from Sade, Kiko Matsui and Zombie Nation to 112, Biggie and Outkast. I have a lot of influences when it comes to DJing and music production.
What’s your favorite thing about being a DJ and producer?
For me seeing people have a good time brings me all the joy. Music aside, that’s the reason I started DJing in the first place. There’s no greater feeling than being able to make someone’s night. Production is more of an outlet for myself. I get to create music, share it with the world and see how people react. If they love it, great, if not, then it’s just not for them. The important thing is that you’re happy with it yourself.
You worked the Super Bowl this year! Can you tell us more?
I attend the Super Bowl every year to DJ the parties hosted by a major sponsor for their clients. I’m part of their entertainment line-up. One year I got to open up for One Republic and had a very quick and nice chat with Ryan Tedder, who I’ve looked up to since high school. I also play some of the clubs while I’m in town. This year I got to open for Grammy winners Galantis!
You travel a lot for work. Where to next?
It’s been a crazy start to the year already. I’ve been to Houston, L.A., Atlanta, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. I’ve got Southeast Asia, Vegas, and Vancouver in the pipeline this summer.
Any big plans for 2019?
Music releases! Shortly after my return from the Mexican Caribbean, I released “MülüT” (available on all major services) and currently I’m working on a few remixes that should be out mid-summer. Very excited to bring you some new sounds that I’ve been working on!