SINCE revealing himself on the Jerry Springer show back in 2016, Bear Grillz has gone above and beyond his bear persona.
In 2019, he released his debut album, Demons, through Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak.
Featuring collaborations with Jared Watson and David Foral from Dirty Heads, Sullivan King and Kabaka Pyramid, the groundbreaking 12-track album established Bear Grillz as a producer willing to take big sonic risks, showcasing a musical cohesion of dubstep, future bass, bass house, hip hop and reggae. Bear Grillz refined his sound even further in 2020 through a pair of back to back EPs, Reanimatedand Ground Zero. In a print review of Reanimated, DJ Mag gave the work a flawless 10/10 rating, noting that the release is “technically almost perfect.” Bear Grillz’s carefully designed soundscapes and high energy concerts have made the Colorado-based musician one of the most in-demand performers in the dance music scene.
With new long player Friends: The Album he has enlisted some of bass music’s finest artists.
The twelve-track collaborative work is aimed at uplifting and uniting us amid all the current trials and tribulations. The album title aptly describes the main theme of the release. Bear Grillz enlisted some of his closest friends and collaborators in an attempt to find meaningful connections within the uncertainty of isolation. Whether it’s reggae-pop melodies on Give Em What They Want alongside Iration, high-charged bass on Run It (feat. Bok Nero) with Riot Ten, or dreamlike soundscapes on his Adventure Club and JT Roach collaboration Where We Are, Grillz’s skillful synthesis of a diverse ensemble of musicians shows what friends can accomplish when they come together.
As we all dream about live music events again in the not too distant future, we caught up with Bear Grillz and asked him to talk us through a playlist of influential music that relates to his life and touring. The new single Where We Are and the album are out now.
“Music can always bring you back to that specific moment when you heard a song for the first time, or that time in your life when a certain artist dominated your playlist. For me, listening to these artists & songs below always evokes special feelings. No matter if I’m down, home sick, lonely, or whatever, any of these songs just brings me right back to where I was in my life when I first loved them. They will always be special to me and I will always use them when needed. Thank you for reading and listening to my list.”
City & Colour – I’m Coming Home
“I have toured most of the places that he speaks of and have felt most of those feelings that he feels. The road can be a lonely place but this song always makes me feel so much closer to home. If there was ever a song I relate to the most, this is it.”
Skrillex – With You, Friends (Long Drive)
Sublime – Santeria
“I grew up in Southern California (Long Beach) and Bradley Nowell was always one of my fav vocalists. His genre bending music and soulful voice made me fall in love instantly, and it also helped I went to the same high school. Unfortunately the story of Bradley Nowell is a tragic one with his passing but I use his story as motivation. I could listen to this album on repeat forever.”
Bob Marley – One Love
“His message is one of the most powerful messages to me in my life. I try to live by the principles of loving everyone and trying to do the best I can. Nobody embodied this more than Mr. Marley. His music and passion will always live inside of me, and not to mention his music is some of the most recognized around the world.”
Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark
“Death Cab was the only thing I listened to for a period of a few years. Everybody has dark times in their lives and this song just seems to take me out of my somber mood.”
Dave Matthews Band – Lie In Our Graves (Live at Red Rocks)
“I used to listen to this record and dream of just being able to go to Red Rocks one day. Little did I know I would headline and sell it out years later. This record always gives me that feeling I felt when I was just a kid that was full of hopes and dreams. I’m thankful to be living them out now.”
Iration – Summer Nights
“This record brings me back to my childhood days of growing up on the beaches of southern California. Listening to this one, no matter where I am in the world, will always give me the feeling of being back home with my toes in the sand. It’s another song that I relate to so much and as I grow older, this record only means that much more to me.”
Rebelution – Feeling Alright
“Once again, just like Bob Marley, Rebelution’s message and music speaks to me. This album has been on repeat since it was released and it always brings inner peace to me whenever I am traveling. This record just brings me back to those days I loved on tour.”
Chicago – Hard to Say I’m Sorry
“I found the band Chicago when I was in my teens and I have loved them ever since. Peter Cetera’s voice has always spoken to me and this song just evokes so much emotion. Any time I hear music from Chicago, it instantly brings me back to my high school days and being happy amongst my loved ones.”
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
“One of the most innovative and influential artists to me and I’m sure a lot more people. Listening to Freddie & the boys always puts me in a better place. This is another band that brings me back to my younger days of feeling carefree.”
Bear Grillz – Friends: The Album is out now. Stream and buy HERE.