In the heart of Utah's vibrant music scene, there is an artist whose essence intertwines seamlessly with the rhythm of the mountains and the melodies of the desert winds. GRVNOLA, a name echoing through the canyons, represents more than just a musical entity; he is a soul deeply immersed in the soundscape of Utah's natural wonders. Imagine if intricate rhyme schemes and dense wordplay was not confined to the stage but instead ventures into the untamed beauty of the mountains, finding inspiration in the majestic landscapes that define the 801 music scene. With a spirit that resonates through every note, GRVNOLA is a man driven by vulnerability, honesty, and an unwavering commitment to broadening perspectives. Armed with a slick pen he weaves spiritual threads into his music, creating a one of a kind journey that transcends boundaries and enriches the lives of those fortunate enough to listen. GRVNOLA invites listeners to explore the depths of their own lives and the vast landscapes of the human experience. Continue reading our interview below to learn more.
RIPDAYDREAM: You want to know something that is rare when I interview artists? Having an EPK. In most music hotspots like LA, Atlanta, and New York it is almost mandatory to have. This like so many other things is something we hope to shift in the culture of music in Utah. Typically for an artist here you are backed by your own strong will and the fans you have around you. You seem ahead of the curve in some of these aspects so where did you learn to market yourself and was it a lot of trial and error?
GRVNOLA: Wonderful question. In short yes it came with a lot of trial and error. I think I felt the need to get an EPK in the last couple of years when I started more actively shooting shots with larger venues and concert opportunities. As well as feature opportunities and things of that nature. Helps establish the image on a more precessional setting I think. Marketing I think is the biggest hat a successful artist has to wear outside of making their own art. This day and age. For me, it’s something I really try to have a growth mindset around, and just keep trying to listen to different perspectives and gems and learn. Try new things and see what sticks more than other shit.
RIPDAYDREAM: Tell our readers your story. The good the bad and the ugly of your background, who GRVNOLA is, and why you chose to be a music artist.
GRVNOLA: Music has had a profound effect on me ever since I can remember. My parents would often road trip with us as kids be it to southern Utah or the sawtooth mountains in Idaho, all sorts of places and there was always music to be digested. From the Grateful Dead to Bob Marley, classic rock, to James Taylor and Van Morrison. My father always particularly had a big influence on my interest in music. He was the first person to put me on Hip hop. Most notable in my head was 'Get Rich' or 'Die Trying' by 50 but he also really appreciated even more lyrical jazzy works like Jurassic 5 and the roots or groups like Trybe Called Quest… I could go on and on. I have one particular memory with my father and music that I think had a profound effect on my future writing career and artistic path. We were sitting in the parking lot of a Home Depot when I was really young like I musta been younger than 5. And some Bob Marley was playing and pops, paused the music turned around from the front seat and asked me what I thought it meant. I was a little confused but he continued like “What do you think he saying or talking about in this one?” For some reason when I reflect on my love for lyrics and music this memory always floods back. I never in my young mind had really thought about the lyrics of music or the message and it changed the way I listened to music and appreciated music from then on. I chose to be a Hip Hop artist on accident. I was a sophomore in high school with my buddy Channy p, messing around on this software he had on his desktop called mix craft. We made a lil beat with an awful tacky piano plugin then I started to fuck around and write a rap to it with my buddy Channy featuring. We dropped it as a joke and called it “white boy rap”. It was silly and awful. But weeks later listening back Channy p and me kinda were like “Oh shit, a couple of these bars are tuff” haha so then it just slowly took off. And I began the journey of finding/developing my voice and sound. As well as obviously sharpening my pen. Grvnola was “born” when I decided to just push me being me. I’m a white kid from Salt Lake City, I don’t be selling drugs or concerned with bitches or silly money and the material. My music and message stand on that. I’m a man pushing vulnerability, honesty, and perspective. I’m a spiritual dude with a slick pen and the gift of gab. I make music with the intention of widening folks perspective and enriching their lives in some way. And I feel like I’ve rambled a bit on this question so I’ll be brief but the other part of GRVNOLA is me honoring and sharing the other most important thing to me in this world, outside of music and that’s nature!
RIPDAYDREAM: Coming back to your EPK something that I love is it reads, "GRVNOLA is Salt Lake City", which is honestly such a powerful message. I preach and preach to artists I meet in Utah to stop focusing on what other states are doing and showcase what we are about. Be authentic to our state and what we have to offer because that's what creates a music scene. What is your opinion on this and how do you stay authentic to your brand?
GRVNOLA: Yup. Love your ethos g. I think that’s everything. I used to think I wanted to move out to NYC to live with some family to really give my Hip Hop career a shot. But as time passed and I matured as well as my content did. I kinda realized how silly that was. If I didn’t have big numbers of fans and an audience here in Salt Lake. Why would I want to go to the capital of Hip Hop where everyone and their dog raps and is tryin to make it, to essentially start building a fan base all over? On top of that, I really care for this city and state. I think it helped turn me into the open minded man I am today. And If I’m Grvnola and my shit is hiking being outside and being thoughtful. Where else is that message going to be heard any better than by the people around me who live right here? And once they catch on we get to share it with the world then. I stay authentic to my brand because I built a brand around ME. I’d like to think the values of my brand reflect most of the same values I uphold for myself. Transparency, openness, vision, passion, hustle… GRVNOLA is about seeing more for yourself and actualizing it.
RIPDAYDREAM: Listening to your music you remind me of MF DOOM with your flow and beat selection. What draws you to this sound?
GRVNOLA: That’s a dope comparison thank you. I have often had my sound kinda compared to generally more of an East Coast style. I don’t know if it’s more my voice/cadence or the jazzy/classic samples and beat selection. But all homage and respect to DOOM. I definitely studied his craft as a younger cat.
RIPDAYDREAM: Can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or collaborations you're working on?
GRVNOLA: I got a lot of really big things coming… this last year I did a number of features with industry cats… few big names 😎And I’m about to be wrapped up filming a 25 minute film highlighting five songs off my album that’s currently releasing, “ Outside the Norm”. It’s a fictional backpacking trip taking place throughout Utah that includes five music videos. Also got merch coming in hot.