By: Arya Afshar
I have always found it fascinating the way we use music as part of our identity. On a date, it’s probably one of the first 10 questions couples ask each other. I personally made most friendships in my teens on the basis of music taste, and I bet some of you reading this are in a similar boat. Similarly, there’s a special kind of joy we derive from having parts of our music taste be somewhat unique to us. We like to be in small exclusive clubs and we like expressing unique parts of ourselves. This is why you can go to any venue (remember those days?) and find hipsters telling you that they were at so-and-so’s first show!
There’s a special feeling in being among the first 1000 fans of any musical act, but for me, it’s a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, yes, I am not above hipster-esque statements like “I discovered Grichu before she was big!” but also, I always wonder how amazingly talented artists like her go undiscovered, and I wonder why the average person is so content getting mediocre B-grade music with an A-grade coat of paint shoved down their throats, while people truly trying to make paradigm-shifting music are discovered posthumously if they’re lucky.
The world of music is oversaturated with musical acts. Most are so-so, some are incredible, but shuffled in the mix are diamonds in the rough: People making music who barely fit into any of the molds, or match the labels and descriptions that average consumers put on musicians, like style and genre. The reality is that we are in an age of true musical fusion. Musicians of today listen to and get inspiration from a broad genre base, and the music consumers of today are more receptive to this type of experimentation than ever. In many ways, it’s the golden age of musical fusion and I’m here for it!
At the same time, the job of people who review music has become harder than ever. It’s physically impossible to even attempt to listen to to everything that is out there, and it’s very tough to describe with words the musical styles of today’s emerging artists. 10 years ago I could hear an emerging band, and guess 3 out 5 of their biggest influences, slap a couple of genres on their records, and they would reach the fans of those genres. Today, none of that is possible.
All of which is to say, it’s tough to describe the sound of Grichu. If I were to take a crack at it, I would say it’s a mix of Bats for Lashes, M.I.A. and Icona Pop with a hint of grunge, Indie and Industrial rock, but again, that barely scratches the surface of what cocktail of styles lead to the sound of Grichu. Like a masterfully brewed spirit, her music is infinitely complex while being incredibly accessible.
Furthermore, as amazing her music is, it’s only a part of what makes Grichu so appealing to me, because she is also a brilliant video producer, and her music videos are in many ways mandatory watching for anyone trying to get the true Grichu experience!
Grichu is a Montreal-based Producer/Songwriter/Singer/DJ and truly the definition of an indie artist. She writes and produces her own music, directs and stars in her own videos, and takes care of the painstaking aspect of promoting her own music. Apparent in the imagery of her video work is her roots within the queer community, and in a poetic way her music is similarly inclusive and non-binary. Her music and videos display an authentic style of insanity that is impossible to fake, one that only comes from years of honing one’s craft, and an inherent open-ness to any and all musical styles. In a world of cookie-cutter music made for cookie-cutter people, it’s amazing to find stuff so…handmade.
Grichu is authentically crazy, inspirational, and authentically in love with what she does, and merely existing in her musical spaces inspires you to get crazy, and dance like no one is watching, and be your authentic unapologetic self. Common among every art genius I have ever known is that special something, something I can’t describe, but I can recognize it when I see it, and I saw it about 15 seconds into ‘Porn Romance’, the first Grichu song I heard.
The preface to this article is not meant to indicate that she will be a diamond in the rough forever. Her journey, long as it has been, has only just begun. There is no doubt in my mind that her perseverance in tirelessly pursuing her art, something she has been doing for 10 years, and her unique perspective on the creative process, will one day have her rise to the ranks of the very artists that inspire her, in turn inspiring many more young artists to express themselves fearlessly and unapologetically. This, and she is more aware than anyone, doesn’t happen overnight.
When that day comes, you’ll find me at a random venue, telling whoever’s willing to listen that I discovered her before she was big!
Check out Grichu’s music here: https://www.grichu.com/
Arya Afshar is a musician/film composer/Sound Designer and founder of IDDQD Sound. In his spare time he makes Youtube tutorials, occasionally does some standup comedy, and rants against the rise of fascism and terrible recycling habits.