New Music Heaven : Griffin Oskar
At 21-years-old, Griffin Oskar packed his bags, grabbed his guitar, and moved from Portland to Los Angeles. At first glance, it might sound like a familiar story, but he had no intentions of chasing the spotlight. Rather, he wanted to be behind the scenes. “I didn’t plan on becoming an artist at all,” he admits. “I thought the skills I had were that of a songwriter or producer.”
In Portland, he had written a song called "Hostage". In 2015, as he began working with a myriad of artists around Los Angeles, he returned to that track to properly finish it. Rolling the dice, he uploaded it online under the name Småland, named after a small village in Sweden—the country of his father’s birth. “I wanted the focus to be on the song,” Griffin goes on. “I didn’t want it to be based on what I look like or anything else but the music." The song caught the ear of Swedish electronic dance music producer Danrell, who reached out to do a remix. The remix has since amassed over 6 million Soundcloud plays and gone #1 on the US Viral and Global Viral charts, while an unofficial Spotify upload has over 8 million streams. After seeing the positive reaction, Griffin said he "felt like it was okay to go by who I am." We'll say so.
About his music, Griffin says, "I feel like people have had their fill of party music. I think there’s a desire for something a little more soulful, [but] there are enough sad things as it is. Why write songs that remind people of that? You can spread a little happiness a different way. That’s the take away.”
"Hostage" is this week's New Music Heaven, which means you can hear it on 94/7 every day at 9am, 11am, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm! Whew! You can also listen below, and check out his debut EP by the same name on Soundcloud.