Last weekend, the MusicFests squad made their way to the city of brotherly love for a night filled with some amazing music and unearthly satellite communications. Blessed from tunes of both rising stars and cemented OGs like Mystic Grizzly, Jantsen, and CASPA, the infamous Union Transfer in Philadelphia housed a raucous crowd that stayed roaring start to finish.
Mystic Grizzly brought the crowd on a truly beautiful and transformative ride. He greeted listeners with a perfect mixture of interest piquing yet unfamiliar sounds that provided as much texture as it did melody. It is easy to see why Jordan has been picking up steam on the festival circuit; the spirit runs deep in this artist.
After his set, MusicFests journalist Kennedy Crump was lucky enough to catch up with Jordan Hoffman, aka Mystic Grizzly, for a quick talk. Just ahead of his new album, Satellite work, releasing May 14th, Mystic tells us a little bit about himself, his journey, his music, and how he produces the transformative sounds that are, Mystic Grizzly.
Mystic Grizzly Exclusive Musicfests365 Interview
by: Kennedy Crump
Can you tell us about how you got into music? I know you started out playing the guitar and then harmonica + ukulele, how did that come about?
[ Yeah so I have been playing guitar for 10 years and then picked up other instruments like those (ukelele, harmonica) music has always been my passion i was always in band growing up in high school and middle school, and then i got to high school and someone showed me dubstep and showed me skrillex, and it changed my entire life and thought process and i’m like this shit exists!? I used to listen to heavy metal too so that heavy dubstep originates from heavy metal, so I really connected with it. And i’m like what the hell are these robot monster sounds, this is honestly the gnarliest thing i’ve ever heard. And i really got into that for a few years and then as i got older i started to formulate my own songs in my head and i just kept thinking like damn if i learn how to do this i know i can probably make some awesome stuff because i kept hearing it in my head and then finally over years and years it finally called me and said start producing this is your purpose, and mission and passion and then i started producing electronic music and it’s just been a completely immersive habit since then and it’s my life now, literally.
Do those instruments have any influence on the sound you produce now?
100% I’m actually about to release an album that is mostly downtempo stuff and it features a bunch of guitar work and some ukulele stuff. This is the first time i’m actually incorporating that and putting it out. I’ve been playing those instruments and then focused on all electronic production for three or so years and just now i’m starting to really combine the two and now my whole albums gonna be organic and instrumental.
Thats awesome to kind of see your production evolve to where you started out.
I wanted to learn electronic music first, before incorporating live sounds, because I already have the instruments down, i needed to learn the software and learn the electronic part before i could combine the two.
I bet your fans will really be excited to hear and explore that new part of your sound and productions.
Yeah it’s more downtempo, this set tonight was a bunch of heavy stuff, but my whole album upcoming album is a different vibe for sure!
Can you tell us about your sound? What would you say a “mystic grizzly” signature sound is?
I would say a blend between heavily psychedelic, tribal organic, very experimental, you could even call it ‘Space Bass’. We’re really channeling from higher realms with this kinda stuff.
When producing new music and playing a show, what do you hope fans take away from your music?
That’s a pretty big question because there are a lot of intentions that go into all of this and why I do it. I don’t just do this just to DJ. This is my passion and every song I make has a different intention behind it, but i guess overall what i want anyone to take away from it is a new found perspective on frequencies and music and understanding that i try to provide with a journey – I may take it slow for some parts of my set and we might go up and down and really go on a journey together.
Also to open and expand their minds because when I produce I sit there until I find a sound that I know I’ve never heard before and I know damn well that no one else has heard it before, and that’s when I’m like “this is the sound I’m using!” Then I find a few of those sounds and put them into context. I freak out when I’m even making these sounds, so then when I play it live, I know they are probably losing it as long as they’re tuned into the set.
That’s another thing, I want my audience to be tuned it and to really listen, because there is a lot of depth behind what I put into my music, a lot of emotion and a lot of love, I want them to come out with a higher vibration and really pick up what I put into my music which is so much love and time.
And lastly, to heal. I want them to come out feeling different and refreshed and also to feel a release. Because that’s why we all come to these things, that’s why we do this, because people want to come and dance to release, you know it’s a Saturday night, a lot of these people they go to school and work and this is their release, this is their passion, so it’s very important to create a fun, safe environment where someone can release whatever their holding on to or carrying.
So to answer the question, it’s all of that, for fun, for release, to open the mind, for pleasure. Pleasure is another big point, i know that’s a long answer but there’s not just one answer to this, it’s a lot. So adding in there pleasure and enjoyment too because it’s all fun and it’s all love and that’s why I do this.
The eclectic sound effects within your music are so unique and intricately placed – when crafting a production, where do you begin? What does your creative production process look like?
It’s a lot of trial and error and I think most producers would probably give you that same answer. However, there is also the intention of what I want for that track and if i want more of a loose, dance floor track it will be a bit more easily digestible, a little more simple. i make a lot of music that i don’t even play out live because it’s just more for at home listening. i really try to create an entire world in my music and i barely even play that stuff out live. That’s for the listeners at home that are maybe taking psychedelics and enjoying their time and really tuning in. But yeah a lot of trial and error a lot of experimentation and trying new things, it’s gonna be 50/50. Sometimes a track comes out in 48 hours and sometimes it comes out in 4 months. It’s all a channel for me so if it’s really flowing it will just flow out but if not, it might take some time. That doesn’t mean it’s any less, or any better, or any worse, it’s just that process is I still haven’t been able to put my finger on the science behind that it’s more energy based.
In your opinion, what artist is making music unlike any other and revolutionizing the electronic scene right now and what do you think got them there?
Two artists come to mind – charlesthefirst he has an insane blend of beautiful, melodic, organic, immersive music, but also he has a balance of really grimy and distorted sounds. The dude is like 22 and completely soaring just from his music alone. that’s his art and its taken him so far and what has gotten him to that point? I would say all the years of practice he’s had and love and emotion he puts into his music.
Another artist thats doing some wild stuff is – Hullabaloo – he’s an extremely psychedelic and extremely experimental artist. super glitchy. His stuff is quite literally some the most absurd music, I guess you can call it music but its barely music, but its outstanding. How he got there – also years and years of practice and experimentation with psychedelics because the average mind does not just think of that and the create that haha. It’s so beyond its time and i feel like so many people sleep on him and don’t understand him because its very next level and advanced. Almost non recreational, you put it on if you’re really trying to dive into some deeper realms.
Do you have a dream venue/festival/stage you hope to play one day, a place where if you were playing there, you would be able to tell yourself that you made it?
Number 1 is Envision Festival in Costa Rica. I attended and it was probably the most beautiful festival that exists. It’s half on the beach, half on the mountains and you can walk out on the beach and look at the mountains and all the people in Costa Rica are amazing and the music is incredible.
Of course I’m trying to play Shambhala just because every artist says it’s the best party on earth. We’ll see, I’m manifesting that I feel like it will happen within the next few years.
What do Mystic Grizzly fans have to look forward to, what’s next?
My upcoming album as I mentioned earlier. What that whole project is about is not just music but also community. We’re doing a whole podcast series called Starseed sessions. We have three episodes out so far, we’re doing 1 a month, definitely look forward to tuning into that. I feel like a lot of people may of not got around to listening to that because it’s still a newer project, which is okay! I’m still finding my own sound, and so I guess just look forward to more of an evolution. All of my fans are growing with me because I started this and i’m also young and my career and my production is still early on and immature in the sense of that other people have been doing this for 10+ years and I haven’t been producing for that long so as I grow organically, we all grow together and i guess just be excited for a more evolved sound, a more neuro-inspired sound.
Also another thing definitely some live music performances. I think me and G-Space are going to do a tour soon and we’re planning for each of us to have a DJ set and then me and him are gonna do a little jam session for like an hour. So not anything electronic, all just instruments. Very excited for that! ]
Stay tuned for Satellite Work coming May 14th; we will 100% be posting the project on 365 as soon as it is available.
For additional exclusive Mystic Grizzly content: https://mysticgrizzlymusic.com/