I had the privilege of catching up with Nick Chiari, who goes by the stage name Grabbitz, and got to pick his mind as he prepares to launch perhaps his biggest work: Better With Time on December 11th.This is going to be a 21 minute EP released via indie dance label Monstercat, intended to be listened to the full way through, as opposed to skipping around individual songs. His first live tour is coming soon after the EP, and he could’t seem more excited.
20W: What inspired you to get into producing?
G: I first started producing with hip-hop beats, my main inspirations were guys like Timbaland, Dr. Dre, and Swizz Beats. Ultimately, what got me into the dance/electronic scene was definitely Skrillex. I think there’s nothing that guy can’t do, and love absolutely every record he puts out.
20W: What do you think separates you from other artists?
G:I feel that I have a more traditional approach to song writing, and recording my vocals. I’ve been immersed and influenced by so many different types of music, that (I think) the combination of which are rarely listened to, or at least in the order I listen to them. A great deal of my tracks have an alternative rock influence, which is why I like to consider the music I make to be “alternative dance.”
20W: Why make the EP continuous?
G: Back in the day when an artist would release a full record (album), one had to sit down and listen to the whole thing rather than just skipping around for the favorite 30 seconds. The art in this was that one could truly hear what the artist had to say, and the album itself was an art form, rather than a collection of singles.
20W: Are you the singer on all feature-less tracks?
G: Yes, on all featureless tracks (which are most of the tracks), I am the vocalist. I have been singing my entire life, and wanted to step it up a bit and make my vocals more prominent in this EP. It was a very tedious and elaborate process, but I’m confident that the hard work payed off.
20W: Why was “Float Away” the chosen single?
G: Everyone that I had privately showed the EP to always responded with their top two songs being Float Away and Cold. Float Away had the most pop-feel to it, and therefore it could appeal to more people outside of my specific niche, and it gave me an opportunity to open up to a much larger audience.
20W: Is float away your favorite track?
G: No, truthfully I’m totally in love with every track on the EP in their own way. “Cold” is one of my favorites to listen to, and if I absolutely had to pick a favorite, it’d probably be “Cold.”
20W: Who is your role model in the industry?
G: Trent Reznor, the conductor behind Nine Inch Nails. He’s the won academy award for best score for the movie The Social Network, and he never seems to let anyone tell him whats right or wrong with his music. He has a huge catalog, is constantly creating what he wants to, and I admire that.
20W: Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
G: In the next 5 years, I see myself continuing to build, and always turning out new music. Its always been about the music and building by catalog, fan base, and the ability to tour. In the next 10 years, I’d like to have influences in writing for all facets of the industry, no matter what genre, and even music in television and film.
20W: What’s your ideal show or collab?
G: There’s nothing I’d love more than to get in the studio with Skrillex or Trent Reznor.
20W: Do you hope to be doing an album anytime soon after the EP with monster cat?
G: Yes, absolutely, I’m always working, and putting songs in the bag day after day. I find myself buckling down as much as I can when it comes to doing what I love.