INTERVIEWS

Bear Grillz Shares Making of ‘Friends: The Album’ in Interview

"Friends: The Album" comes as Bear Grillz's sophomore album release.

Bear Grillz emerges this week with his sophomore album release, Friends: The Album out via Dim Mak.

Friends: The Album is packed with bass and energetic tunes for any fan to fall in love with. Alluded by its title, the album is a full-length work between Bear Grillz and his closest friends and collaborators in the industry.

Several of Bear Grillz’s previously released singles make appearances on the album, including “Where We Are” with Adventure Club and JT Roach, “Run It” with Riot Ten featuring Bok Nero, and “Scumbag” with Dion Timmer.

Bear Grillz’s personal favorite from the album, “Taking Over” features the production and vocal prowess of Tisoki and Sam Nelson respectively. Grillz shared his comments on the song, saying,

“My good friend Micah Martin introduced me to Sam Nelson. Once I heard his voice I knew I wanted to work with him on a track. I had the idea to combine our elements and get Tisoki on the track and just all came together so smoothly.”

From the reggae-inspired “Give Em What They Want” and “Sad Story,” to the aggressive drops in “Vortex Engine,” Friends: The Album is a cumulation of Bear Grillz’s best sounds so far, featuring some of EDM’s favorite bass names.

Check out the album below or stream it via Dim Mak.

Jillian Nguyen: Congratulations on your second album! How are you feeling about it?

Bear Grillz: I feel like it is the best body of work that I have ever put out and I am so proud about it. Being able to bring so many talented artists into one release is the coolest feeling. 

How would you say Friends: The Album differs from Demons in sound and its production process?

I think I tried to push the envelope a little bit more as far as going with the direction of the music. I really wanted people who not only love dubstep, but also any EDM lover to want to listen to this album. I also incorporated a few live acts into the album with the Iration and Katastro collabs. 

Since the release of Demons, how would you say you’ve evolved as an artist?

I think like I said earlier, I am really trying to maintain my dubstep roots, but also explore more genres at the same time. The Friends album to me is just an extension of the Demons album, just pushed a bit further. 

Has there been anything that especially impacted your growth as an artist?

I don’t think so to be honest. I just believe that artists have to evolve as they keep going. I don’t think I could just stay stagnant and keep putting out the same music time and time again. 

When you first started working on the album, what goals did you have in mind for it?

I just wanted to create an EP with a few collaborations from friends, and this thing turned into a full fledged album. I think because of the pandemic and everyone basically being home it was so much easier to work with everyone as opposed to us being on the road non-stop. 

What was it like working on the album with some of your closest friends and collaborators?

It’s always fun to work with your friends. This album was especially fun because we had the necessary time to really make everything the way we wanted. 

Since you were working with friends on this, were there any significant memories that came about as a result?

I loved watching and seeing all of us being drawn as superheroes for the cover art, but also seeing their reaction when I showed them their character for the first time. 

What’s next for you?

Not sure at this point. Just waiting and hoping this pandemic comes to an end so I can start playing shows again. Until then, I’m kind of in a holding pattern of making & releasing music until I can get back on the road. 

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Jillian Nguyen

Jillian Nguyen is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and a self-proclaimed EDM aficionado. She loves to chase DJs to music festivals where she also shows off her shuffling. Her favorite genres are deep house and bass house, with her favorite DJs being Moksi, Malaa, Valentino Khan and Skrillex.

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