In the Groove with Griz

Hailing from Detroit, producer and saxophonist Griz stops by the WDET studios to talk about the music that has influenced him the most over the years.

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Click on the audio player to listen. CultureShift airs weekdays at 12 p.m. on 101.9 WDET FM Detroit public radio.

In The Groove is WDET’s award-winning series that brings to life the music that matters the most to influential figures from all walks of life. Past guests have included street artist Shepard FaireyMC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer“Broad City” actor and comedian Ilana Glazer and more.

On this edition of In The Groove, CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with GRiZ — a saxophonist and producer from Detroit making national waves with his funk and soul sound.

Track #1: GRiZ Disregards the Parental Advisory Sticker in Middle School

According to GRiZ, Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the first album he remembers buying as a middle-schooler.

“There is that difference between…the music my parents were playing and that I was around versus… my music choice,” he explains. “(Californication) is the first album that I chose. That was the music where I was like, ‘this is what I want to listen to.”

Track #2: Weed Introduces GRiZ to Electronic Music

During eighth grade, GRiZ was introduced to marijuana. Unlocking a whole new genre of electronic dance music via Aphex Twin and Squarepusher wasn’t far behind.

“It was unlike anything I had ever heard,” he remembers. “You could close your eyes and go on some, kind of, musical journey.”

Early in high school, some of Griz’s friends showed him Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest—which led to an interest hip hop and soul samples.

“(Marauders) was everything,” he says. “I just didn’t know music could be so cool sounding. And then I found a lot of other music through that. That hip hop and electronic music moment in high school…completely changed my life.”

Track #3: Swimming with Mac Miller

Currently, Griz says his most-binged album of 2018 is Swimming by Mac Miller.

“Lyrically, I can connect to that album,” he says. “The instrumentals on it…they touch my soul and I connect with that album in a very special way.” 

Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation with GRiZ about the trio of tracks that has influenced him the most over the years with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper via CultureShift’s award-winning series In The Groove.


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.