Detroit Funk City

Conventional wisdom says there are only three true genres of music: classical, jazz and pop.


Grant Kwiecinski, aka GRiZ, is a 24-year-old DJ and producer from Detroit. Watch his concert footage and find crowds donned in neon and screaming over thunderous bass with beach balls sailing everywhere. Many deem this pop, and it’s certainly popular: 2012’s “Smash the Funk” already has more than a million listens on Spotify.

But GRiZ constantly blurs genre lines, and when he starts to cut his sound with vinyl from the ’60s and ’70s, his identity becomes more refined in his “old-school” aesthetic. Perhaps that’s why GRiZ (who runs computers, controllers and plays saxophone during shows) defines his own style as “electro-soul” or “future-funk” rather than EDM or dubstep.

A great introduction to GRiZ is “For The Love” with Talib Kweli from 2015’s Say It Loud. His self-described “collage of music” and “clash of sound” come alive with the horns, adding new textures and emotion. It also speaks to the mantra of his “GRiZFam” fan base: “Show Love. Spread Love.”

Kansas electronic duo The Floozies and Detroit’s Muzzy Bearr join GRiZ 8 pm Thursday, May 7, at McDonald Theatre; $15 adv., $20-$25 door. 16-plus.