Grum discusses his recent releases on Anjunabeats, being compared to his idols, and putting his spin on classic tracks!
While he may not conform to the typical sound that comes from Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats label, Grum has become one of the most beloved artists on the roster by Anjuna Family members worldwide. Known for his heavy vibes that pack a lot of emotion in both his releases and sets, he consistently blurs the line between Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep with his signature sound.
Grum continually offers jaw-dropping productions to the table like “Price Of Love”, reworks of classic tracks like “Shout”, or even his remixes of powerful releases like “Higher Love”. These tracks regularly find their way into the sets of other artists who are looking to incorporate something fresh and atmospheric.
Taking the stage at major festivals around the world like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, and more, his sets are some of the most sought-after. Next month, Grum will be heading to AIM Festival in Montreal to bring his style to the decks, and we had the chance to catch up with him ahead of the show. Grab tickets to AIM Festival via AIMExperience.com!
Stream Grum’s Endless Summer 2018 Guest Mix:
This season you are playing at EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland and AIM Festival, among many other high-profile events. What does it feel like to be booked for those festivals, and do you have any tricks up your sleeve for those performances?
It’s nice to get that recognition and play at these sorts of top-level events as it’s something I’ve been aiming for over the last few years. At the moment, I have a lot of new tracks which people haven’t really heard yet, so I’m trying these out at upcoming events.
Your latest release, “Hourglass” / “Mirage” is a bold, shimmering triumph. Can you walk us through your creative process in creating those two tracks?
Hourglass – This started out with the arpeggio sound at the start. I really like how it goes from individual arp notes, into a filtered pad, and sort of morphs around as the track plays. It works really nicely as an intro track, so I’ve been starting a lot of sets with it recently.
Mirage – This one was built up around the big trancey chords in the breakdown. Other than that, it’s quite simple – the bounding rhythm carries it along.
“Hourglass” was selected as the Record of the Week on Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy radio show. What has the response been like from the industry and fans?
My fans seem to really like it. It’s been around for a while now before released, as I played it as an ID track at ABGT200 a couple of years ago. It’s not the most obvious or commercial track, so it’s nice to see it doing the damage in my sets.
Your remix of “Shout” was without a doubt one of 2017’s iconic tracks, and you’ve remixed other standouts in the past such as David Bowie’s’ “Fashion”. How do you choose which tracks you want to put your spin on, and do you have any plans to put your signature spin on any other classic tunes in the future?
I’ve always loved 80’s music and my earlier sound was heavily influenced by that. The “Shout” cover was an idea I had been toying with for a couple of years beforehand and couldn’t quite get it right. In the end, it all came together in a couple of days, once I’d worked out how to make it decent! After “Shout” and “Price of Love” I think I’m done with the retro covers for now. I’ve done my own version of “Enjoy The Silence” which sometimes comes out in my sets, though.
You’re playing the Trance Arena at AIM Festival this summer alongside Jody Wisternoff and a number of trance’s heavy-hitters. As one of North America’s top restaurant cities, are you planning to indulge any specific food cravings in Canada?
Yes, the well-known gourmet dish – poutine!
With the recent news of Avicii’s passing, there is heavy scrutiny on the DJ lifestyle and the toll that being constantly on the road and away from friends and family can take on a person. What are your views on what the industry can do to better support artists, and how do you keep yourself balanced when you’re traveling so frequently?
It’s a terrible shame what happened to Avicii. It’s a tough industry, and always has been tough on artists, although I think it’s down to the individual really – we always have the option of saying no to shows and tours. As long as I get a night off every so often – be that at home or on the road, then it’s enough to recharge my batteries and keep going. The nature of the business means that when success comes, you have to make the most of it. But there is a balance between maximizing opportunities and burning yourself out.
You joined the Anjunabeats family in 2015, and since then, you’ve been consistently releasing exceptional tracks that make their way into the sets of many of your label-mates, including Above & Beyond themselves. What has it been like being part of Anjunabeats, and how has your sound evolved since coming into the fold?
Anjunabeats is a really nice organization to be a part of. They have a trance bias, but the whole sound encompasses so much more, which really suits what I do. I count most of the other producers on the label as friends and I have met some fantastic people through Anjuna. I think my sound probably has gotten a bit more ‘trance’ since I joined the label, but that was a direction I wanted to explore, so it has worked out really well.
You’ve mentioned in the past that Eric Prydz is one of your number one inspirations, and I’ve recently seen a few members of the AnjunaFamily Worldwide group refer to you as “The Eric Prydz of Anjunabeats.” What does it feel like to be compared to a person that you’ve so long been inspired by, and does it increase the pressure on you as an artist?
It’s really nice to be compared to one of my heroes. To me, he was always one of the producers who kept doing things “right” when everyone else ran off towards EDM with dollar signs in their eyes. I wouldn’t say it increases pressure, although I hope we are distinctly different enough despite being in a similar genre.
Okay, let’s close with a fun question: you and two of your favorite DJs in the Anjuna stable have been selected to go b2b2b for an epic, 24-hour-long performance at a major festival. Who do you choose to accompany you as you attempt to last for an entire day while still putting on an incredible set?
I’d say Genix and ilan Bluestone. Genix also loves the more progressive stuff and is a good sport. ilan has the big tunes and would get the crowd going!