Radio 1190 Presents Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble @ Lost Lake Lounge
w/ Kennedy's Cadillac, Goodnight Freeman, Nathan Cahoone and The Maykit
As the winds gust through the vibe-stained alleyways of Denver, Ethan Griggs looks out at the skyline from his quarters and gazes upon the colors of the sunset in fall. Pink and blue collide and conceive a beautiful glow of light that shines off the buildings, creating more color in the sky which reflect off the Cherry Creek and create a gigantic Droste effect of aesthetic. It feels like he's living in a rainbow. This is perhaps a good way to describe his music at this point...
Born and raised in the vibrance of Colorado, Griggs became obsessed with music at the age of 11. Discovering a knack for transcribing songs from ear onto a Casio 33 key keyboard, he aspired to begin piano lessons. After a year of training, he had developed a sense of basic music theory and was knee deep in the sounds of the pop and Broadway cannons (he was also an actor at this point.) From this basic skill, he taught himself how to play guitar. Although that instrument is now his main function, Griggs has also self-explored his music on bass guitar and drums. One could say that his main vehicle of expression, or the one he's most in control of, is his voice; Griggs has been singing since the age of 3. At his Denver Alma matter Denver School of the Arts, he studied in the Theatre major, earning many leading roles in the department's musical theatrical productions.
Just closing the door on the age of eighteen, Ethan further pursued a career in music throughout his teen years. At the age of 15 he formed his first band, Youth In Conflict, and frequentlyplayed around the Denver area for a total of approximately 30 shows in the band's year-long life span (on top of homework, of course.) The group gained acclaim in the Denver music scene by entering in annual Battle of the Bands competitions and playing venues such as the Ogden, Oriental, and Marquis theaters. In one of the annual battles judged by Grammy Award-winner Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, he called Griggs's sense of song structure, melody, and lyrics "instinctive." He gave the group second place in the competition.
Ethan later was involved with creating the Denver folk-collective ClusterFolk. The group also gained moderate notoriety around the Denver scene, having the opportunities of playing at the prestigious Bluebird and Gothic Theaters. In the same BOB competition, the year after Youth In Conflict won, Isaac Slade of the Grammy Award-nominated band The Fray gave the group third place, stating that band "sound drunk, but in the best way possible." Using prize money from the event, the collectiverecorded their debut EP Brighter & Brighter at Maxwell Studios in Highlands Ranch, with Griggs contributing two of the four songs and arranging all of them. The EP was released independently in February of 2012.
After winning the competition as a solo artist in the summer of 2012, Griggs is now a Chicago resident studying Guitar in the Instrumental Performance major of Columbia College Chicago, as well as minoring in Music Business. He is in the process of recording his debut solo record and is busy at attempting to develop a distinctive sound he can call his own. In songs like "Unity" and others, Griggs uses his music as a vehicle to promote social justice throughout the world. Perhaps one day he'll be able to accomplish this goal on location, in person, with guitar in hand.