Being able to take every musical influence since childhood and wrap it up into one perfected sound is a task many artists strive for in writing an album or an EP. That’s where 22-year-old Nick Chiari, better known as Grabbitz, has found himself. Being a lover of hip hop, electronic, and punk rock was his inspiration of ingredients boiled down into his forthcoming Friends EP.
After a hugely successful Twitch stream from SXSW, Monstercat provided us with another wild showcase night filled with some of their biggest acts in their hometown of Vancouver, Canada. Grabbitz was the first to hit the stage and he rocked it with his hard-hitting bass-heavy set. Prior to the show I got a chance to sit down with Nick and talk about his career, his new EP, where he’s headed next, and where he’s been…
Did you know Grabbitz used to be his rapper name?
“Growing up I started with guitar and song writing when I was 7, I wrote my first song at eight or nine and I had a whole catalogue of songs. When I was about 14 I moved my production to computer and I got Garage Band. I started making hip hop beats which I was hugely into. I used to rap over them too. That’s really where Grabbitz started from; it used to be my rapper name. Once I had discovered dance music and how you can shine as a producer rather than having to be the rapper in order to shine, I decided to make that switch. Maybe one day I’ll rap on one of my tracks, but for now I do all my own vocals.”
His musical influences shine through everything on his EP… From the vocals to his production techniques.
“I grew up heavy on Nirvana. Some of my biggest influences are Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Alice in Chains. Whatever they did to me musically at a young age, it’s never gone away. Everyone expects you to follow a structure and it becomes impossible to make your own thing. So by incorporating all these genres is how I can really express myself. That’s what I’m focusing on with this EP; it’s more creatively expressive. The EP has been in the works for a really long time. I did another one before, independently; it wasn’t as much of a cohesive project like this one. So this is my first step towards having a full-fledged project and having all the same theme and timing.”
He wants to use his production skills in a more comprehensive way. Not only is he creating art, but he’s also providing sounds for hit TV shows… Bringing dubstep to audiences of millions!
“I was connected to the creator of CSI by a random family connection. He liked my music and called me one day telling me about CSI Cyber. He needed techno music, dubstep, all my stuff. So I sent him everything! About half of the songs they picked up I wrote specifically for the show. The other half were adaptations of other works I’ve done. I want to score movies, visuals, television, that’s what I want to do more than anything else.”
The Friends EP follows his successful first single, Here With You Now. No release has shown his breadth and capability in this way before.
“I wanted to make the EP because I wanted to find a way to blend my song writing with electronic music. Almost all of the songs have vocals on them and if they don’t, they focus around my production, which is equally as important to me.
After I made the first single, Here With You Now, people were really into it. I realized I have so much music and I needed to finish my songs and put them into a package that shows what I can do. It has to be cohesive though. It has to flow seamlessly.”