UA student polishes his first EP

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UA student polishes his first EP

Joseph Daniel, Contributing Writer

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Garrick Griffin II might seem like many other college students.  He picks up shifts at Tuscaloosa’s Mellow Mushroom weekly, but he brings more to the plate than just pizza.  A knack for lyrics, hooks and beats sets him apart from the rest. 

His stage name is GRIFF. WHITE and he has been writing music since his sophomore year of high school, although he did not begin recording until his freshman year of college. 

“I have always used music as an escape to help me push through stagnant parts of my life,” Griffin said. “This project was more so me freeing myself from everything that has happened in the past year and moving forward.”

Initially, Griffin’s five-song alternative rap album was a small EP concept that included three songs: “Hyenas,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Jimmy Dean.” He wanted to call it What’s on TV, but after adding “Cavities” and “HD,” he realized this project had new elements that added a new aspect. After talking with his friends, he decided to turn this smaller concept into a complete mixtape. This meant adding a new name. 

“I took my stage name and expanded on it,” Griffin said. “I have a clear vision of my career and an aesthetic I am trying to uphold and the White EP fit inside that palette.”

Griffin’s vision for The White EP is precise, including a thoughtful layout of the tracks. Each song plays a role in his vision, including a track that “introduces” him to listeners.

“The track listing is specific, “Griffin said.  “‘Jimmy Dean’ is an introduction to me, which is why there is no feature on this track. I wanted the audience to focus strictly on who I am as a person and artist.”

The strategic placement of these tracks continues from the introduction into the second tune on the EP, “Hyenas.” 

“People’s attention spans are short, so I knew I had to put ‘Hyenas’ somewhere in the middle. I could see the concept of this track getting lost if it were placed at the end,” Griffin said.

He put “HD” as an interlude leading to “Tom Sawyer” and “Cavities” to finish off the EP. Griffin’s music is reminiscent of some of his biggest influencers, some of which he considers to be inspirations to his art.

“Focused writing is what I have been trying to be better at. Having an idea and remembering that idea and staying true to it through the entire song is important,” Griffin said. “Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator and J Cole are lyrical masterminds that have played a huge influence on the way I write music and the vision I have throughout.”

He accredits countless friends that have helped along the way, as well. Griffin was relieved when the EP was available to the public and is already looking to the future. Now, his goals are to expand on what he already created and continue growing in his craft.

“I am thankful to be a part of Wondercamp, a music collective with my friend Justin Speegle, who is featured on ‘HD’ and helped with some of the hooks, Armstrong WW, who is featured on ‘Tom Sawyer,’ our producer Gunner Cargile, my friend Spencer McCray, and our manager John Bennett,” Griffin said. “Also Bethany Mills, who made prints to help promote my album and Bake$ for producing some of the album, also.”

The White EP is available on all streaming platforms. Follow @Griff.ii for updates on upcoming shows, concerts, and information for the future.