When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Cali’s Coachella Valley, the La Quinta-based electronic talent Gryffin (aka Dan Griffith).
What’s it like where you’re living? I’m out in La Quinta, Calif., and have been here since last summer. I occasionally spend time in Venice Beach to do work, but have mostly been out here during lockdown. I’ve been
golfing a lot in the mornings, and then in the studio making music in the afternoon and evenings.
Have you learned anything during the downtime? I’ve learned how to play golf! It’s a very calming, soothing activity, which I’ve really enjoyed during this time period. I’ve also read several books and have loosely begun teaching myself Japanese.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? Yes, my latest release is “I Want Love,” a collab with Two Feet. I think still releasing music, even during this time period, is important. You just want to stay creative and keep moving forward, instead of just hitting the pause button. I have target goals and deadlines I give myself to hold myself accountable and finish projects. Also, with the pandemic I’ve enjoyed the time I have been able to spend at home with my wife and dog, and cherish these moments.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? Ableton Live is my DAW. I’ve been using my [Dave Smith Instruments] Prophet Rev2 a lot lately for hardware. As far as
plug-ins, I’ve been using u-he Diva, [Spectrasonics] Omnisphere, and [Xfer Records] Serum most frequently.
What’s your creation process in the studio? It depends on the day, but usually in the mornings or afternoons I’m doing more mixing and evaluation of my music from the previous day or sessions. Then, in the late afternoons and evenings, I dive more into creative ideas and composition. I write a lot on the piano and guitar, and then once I feel good about the melodies I go into more experimentation mode with sounds and ideas on the computer.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? For my DJ set-up, I’m pretty basic – just four Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 players and the DJM-900NXS2 mixer. I think I just chose that route because when I started getting gigs, most clubs had Pioneer gear and I just grew an affinity to the gear and equipment.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? How much I really miss live shows and being with people. Sometimes, as an artist, you’re so busy and have so many shows that it can feel tiresome and hard to always get 100-percent excited for each and every show. I will never take that for granted ever again. I miss it more than I ever thought I would.
Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I’ve done a few live-stream sets, which were really fun. Planning to do another one sometime soon. I liked Martin Garrix’s sets – I thought they were good sets and in fun environments.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Wallows’ “Are You Bored Yet?”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Try to pick up a hobby or learn something that you might not have done without all the time at home. Whenever I go to bed, I think of three things that occurred that day which were positive for my life, and it really helps put life in perspective and gets me in a better mental state.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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