“I make soul music… its food for the soul. I will feed you something you haven’t been fed in a long time. You need music that’s going to stick to you”, Gritz declares as he explains the meaning behind his name. This singer/songwriter provokes emotions with the intent to restore and infuse the essence of classic soul music with modern R&B. A task that he knows one day will solidify him as a premiere artist, with the likes of legendary Chicago musicians Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway. Gritz was born in Chicago on June 27, 1985 and was raised on the west side by his mother. His grandmother would continue to care for Gritz and his brothers as they grew into maturity. He recalls, “It was a blessing…My grandmother took me and my brothers in, so I was always in church, in the choirs. Being brought up on the west side of Chicago, I grew up in rough areas and atmospheres. I came up growing out of it in a positive way”. Surrounded by soul stirring gospel and unforgettable R&B dusties, Gritz developed an immense love for both genres of music.
When he was 15 years old Gritz decided he wanted to be an artist. Before then he never considered himself a singer because he devoted time to becoming a rapper. He spent a year writing rhymes and advancing. Tragically, during his sophomore year in high school, he arrived home to find his house burned down from a fire. All of the work that he established as a rapper perished in the flames. Discouraged, Gritz reconsidered his future as a rapper and was about to stop the pursuit of his dream. Then by chance, Gritz’s grandmother heard him hum along to a song on the radio. Impressed by what she heard, she decided to help her grandson improve his newfound gift by having him perform at various church events across town. Inspired by his older brother’s musical endeavors and embolden by his grandmother, Gritz regained confidence. When Gritz participated in his first talent show at his school and won first place, he knew that singing would propel him to stardom. “On the inside, I realized I had a passion for R&B, because I love old school music, dusties from Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Anita Baker. So it was always there, but I never tapped into it. Since the fire situation happened, I wanted to give R&B a try. Then it just clicked; it stuck with me” he reveals.
Since 2008 Gritz has contributed to Twista’s independent label GMG. He was introduced to the company through mutual friend, and producer John Boi. John gave some of Gritz’s material to GMG co-founder Rawle Stewart. The demos would exceed expectations and Rawle would then arrange a meeting between Gritz and Chicago’s elite rapper Twista. Providing vocals on a number of GMG artists’ tracks for some time, Gritz found a place in the GMG family and was signed in August of 2010. Gritz explains, “It felt real good. I did some hooks for Twista, and he called me on the phone while I was in Atlanta. About two days after we talked, he got me a ticket and flew me back to Chicago and we made a deal”. From there he went on to collaborate with artists such as: Trabeats, Jeremih, Skooda Chose, Ben One, Slique, King the Hood Savior and Draft Squad. On describing his sound and what it brings to the GMG label, he says, “I’m in my own lane; I don’t really have a definition for my style. I’m out the box... I’m writing things that people may not have the frame of mind or insight to write about. I want people to remember my music”. Finding influence from current R&B artists: Brian McKnight, Donell Jones and Carl Thomas, Gritz is driven to be the next Rhythm and Blues sensation.
Gritz first mixtape to be released is called “Soul of a Hustler” and is currently a work in progress. He wants to be heard and he understands that this work is the first of many that will build his legacy. As Gritz continues to make power moves in the industry, he is driven by the desire to be one of the greats, while providing the best for his family. The music, he believes, will allow him to accomplish these goals, and more significantly connect people. “Everyone has a story to tell, so I’m here to tell mine because I’ve been through a lot of stuff and I going to use my music to talk about it and speak through it and relate to other people. My music will be around for years even when I’m gone”. He concludes with this, “The music, talent and message I’m putting out there will speak for itself. It’s going to capture so many hearts, and people will love it. I’m trying to reach people because there’s a message in what I’m doing”. Everyone take notice: Gritz is making his debut in 2011.