INTERVIEW: Gryff

Gryff’s new album Calypso Drip merges clean, sunny pop and slick vocals with a throwback (yet modern) 80’s Miami Vice sound, that is as fresh as it was 40 years ago. From the clean Scarface reminiscent artwork, to the little radio intro that greats the album, this is an awesome, fun listen. Tracks like “Dreams” kick things off from the get go with a bright and smooth dance stomp, with the undeniable hook blasting out, “for all my life I think I’m the only one”, drawing us in with an equally personal and universal theme. “Hollywood View” bops along with jungle synths and almost industrial banging drums, while Gryff belts out “all I want is a piece of the night and a Hollywood view”. Imagine cruising on the weekend with this as your theme, it’s as smart a hook as it’s powerful and moving. What’s so impressive about this album is that it’s nostalgic and hazy, retro and aesthetic, but even if you stripped those layers away, at the center you would just have an incredible, unique pop record. “Jessie” might be the stand out track on this record, with it’s soaring sax solo it’s the epitome of what makes Gryff so great, the feeling of yearning along with the visceral thrill of dance music, this is very much worth the listen. Here is our exclusive interview with Gryff, make sure to stream this album often!

Can you talk to us more about your track “Jessie” from your newest album Calypso Drip?

Jessie was inspired by Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode. I really felt inspired by technology and romance and where it fits into the world today. The saxophone is usually quite a sexy instrument… but for Jessie, I wanted it to be completely digital, making the whole romance-technology vibe come full circle. I’m really happy it’s been so popular and has been a hit in the synthwave community.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Black Mirror’s San Junipero, really.

Any plans to release any music videos coming up here?

I’ve just released a Halloween special for Hotline, and we’re looking at music videos for future singles right now.

The single comes off your new album Calypso Drip FM – what’s the story behind the title?

Calypso Drip FM is my take on classic 80s pop radio stations. I played GTA Vice City growing up and my current music taste has been forged by it. I remember making my own radio stations as a kid with a microphone and a tape deck so it’s cool to see it evolve into something like this.

How was the recording and writing process?

Really interesting. I had a few of these songs I’ve written since 2018 and then a handful which were written 4 months before the album was released. I recorded nearly all of it in my bedroom, bar Do You Feel Like This with Andrew Threlfo in Brisbane, QLD. 

What role does Miami play in your music?

Distinctly 80s. Especially within 80s America, it’s a sign of opulence and fantasy. Miami Vice, drugs, crime, women, fast cars, sex. It’s the whole package.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Some songs some naturally, maybe subconsciously. Other times when I’m struggling to write a song, I’ll put on an 80s film and score to it. A lot of my lyrics have this love song slant to it, but I’m often disguising the true meaning behind this facade of romance.

What else is happening next in Gryff’s world?

I think I’m just relaxing and enjoying Calypso Drip FM’s release before starting to write the next album with a few collaborations. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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