This is Friday in Houston is the Savage Society 5 Year Anniversary. Presented by Space Yacht, Virtuosos, For the Musiq and ourselves. We wanted to introduce everyone to each artist playing this week, starting with GramGreene, lets dive in!
Trillvo: Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
“I was born and raised in Queens, NY. My parents are from Panama and Ecuador so I grew up in a very traditional Central American household.
When I was 10, I moved to Fort Lee, NJ where I spent the next 16 years growing up. I loved growing up here mainly because I had the ability to travel to NYC, Montreal and Philadelphia at my leisure since it was all so close together.
Currently, I have been living in Philadelphia for the past year and I love it here. The underground riddim and dubstep scene is booming out here.”
Trillvo: You got your start doing video work? Can you tell us a bit about how you started doing that and when you began shooting for djs/venues…
“Ahh yes, the first signs of recognition from the underground riddim and dubstep scene was definitely for my videos back in 2015. Technically, I started of DJing back in 2012 on a shitty Hercules RMX controller but that was always a hobby at that current time.
Bassment Saturdays at Webster Hall NYC was where I started doing video work back in 2015. Bassment Saturdays would be the only venue in the North American East Coast that would host some of the best riddim and dubstep shows around. At first I was a weekly attendee, always supporting my favorite artists but little by little I wanted to be more involved with the scene.
I remember finding my way onto the stage and took my phone out to capture some videos of Dubloadz playing. I ended up putting them on my Facebook page and the video did extremely well. After reviewing the stats of the video in one of my college lecture halls it dawned upon me that videos of the riddim and dubstep scene were seldom found on the internet.
I then remembered the countless hours I spent on the internet looking for any video clips of my favorite artists like Shiverz, Infekt, Obey, Bloodthinnerz, Ranga’, Deemed, Blankface, SVGmaze, Benzmixer, Akira, Badphaze, Crowell, Bommer, etc so I decided to change that. I bought a GoPro with the little money I had left to start recording and posting videos all over of the artists I looked up to the most.
As amazing as Bassment Saturdays was, they were not bringing out the underground artists I really needed to see so then I decided to start traveling to Montreal and doing video work there for many of my idols. Things took off from there and I have cemented my name out there in Montreal and that has helped bring more traction to my videos and help promote and help the artists that me and many others look up to.
The first artists I did work for included Crowell, Bommer, Ranga’, Shiverz, Infekt, Obey, and Berrix. All of these artist have remained good friends of mine and they have all helped me become who I am today. These and many other artists like the Bloodthinnerz, Blankface, SVGmaze, Deemed, Subfiltronik, Akira, Badphaze etc. have become family to me and I am forever in their service.”
Trillvo: You originated your “GramCam” style of shooting can you tell us more in depth about what exactly that sale is…
“The “GramCam” style of shooting kinda came to be after a lot of trial and error. I knew nothing of video work or video editing when I started in 2015. My brother Danny “Ranga’” gave me a crash course of what to do and without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. The “GramCam” is not only a style of video recording and editing, it’s a brand, an emotion it’s a moment in time that can be relived over and over again.
The “GramCam” is the best way of me showing others my perspective of the night and above all it helps brings the show to those who could not make it. Either due to age restrictions, money or life just keeping them away from the music. I am proud to continue to bring the most lit and epic content to everyone who tunes into my videos.
I am also proud to see other videographers coming on the scene and doing their own thing such as Shotya, Festival Finesser, Aspct Media and JVEmedia. These guys have their own creative insight on how to capture videos and I am so proud to have met them. Early on, I was the only one doing this kind of work so it is nice knowing I am no longer alone.”
Trillvo: When did you decide to make the transition from behind the lens to in front of it?
Very good question. When I decided to start off with my GramGreene project I had planned out what I saw my first 3 years looking like. I wanted to travel as much as possible putting out the best video content possible. I have always DJed. It’s not like I decided to pick it up after doing all the videos. DJing came first in 2012 so the transition was relatively easy. I wanted to help promote my favorite artists and make a statement with these videos. Once I felt comfortable with where my videos were, I decided to start focusing on myself and market my DJing skills to the masses.
With the support from many prominent artist and agencies in the scene, I was given opportunities to show off my skills on the decks while also providing videos for the night. 2 for 1 package that has given me a leg up to play shows and continue to grow.
I think the main decision that made me jump on the decks instead of staying behind the lens was the fact many people pushed and supported me to do so. They believed in my abilities and gave the chance to prove my worth. My first actual show was in Montreal in 2016 for the agency known as Alpha Squadron. They gave me the chance after I released a video of Berrix that went viral for the riddim community back in the day. Since then I can now choose to either just play a show, record video or do both.
Trillvo: You’re still very active videographer though, how is the balance between playing AND shooting shows?
“IT IS SO DIFFICULT. Especially at first, I could barely keep up with all the shows I was playing and also edit the footage from the night. Not going to lie, I definitely slacked in my early days of playing and recording. I lacked the video editing and time management skills to keep up with all the content and I would be constantly tired from my day job and traveling to shows on the weekend to play and record.
Over time I learned to manage my time better. I now go into a show kind of knowing the template of what I want my video to look like which helps with the construction of the clips once I am home. I generally spend around 5-6 hours a day working on my videos.
These videos actually help me a lot curating my live sets. I watch, study and observe not only my own footage but footage of the artists I have done work for. The editing process gives me a strong insight of how I could improve my sets for the future.
Finally, eating and living healthy has been one of the best moves I have made. Instead of partying all the time at these shows, I now focus on producing the best content possible. Also, I am not dead tired when I am traveling anymore so I am able to work on the go.”
Trillvo: You have a very popular mix series, GramGore, can you talk about its success and what you expected when you put out the first one?
“The release of my series GramGore came from a very dark place in my life. Life was in the gutter for me. I recently got out of a terrible 3 year relationship, I was lost, depressed, broke and unsure of everything in my life.
I remember for months trying to get a single mix down that could represent everything that I was feeling at the moment and also create a mix that would best represent what I can do on the decks.
I was at my friends house very drunk and sad. All my friends were talking amongst themselves when I started to get this feeling inside of me. Butterflies in my stomach telling me to take out my laptop and get on Virtual DJ. I did so and the next 12 minutes are history.
Danny Ranga’ helped me with the artwork and also editing the mix itself to give it a “Gorey” vibe. From there I put the mix up right before my first show in Montreal in 2016 and damn did that mix take off. I was just in Miami this past weekend and someone came up to me telling me how GramGore Volume #001 is their favorite mix ever. Crazy how after 3 years that mix is still changing things.
Currently I am in the works for GramGore Volume #888. Hopefully should have this released within the next month.”
Trillvo: Can you tell us the about saving the BloodChop mixes and collaborating the rerelease with Bloodthinerz?
“OMG YES! The Bloodchop series is what really got me into chopping and gave me a peek of what that OG real riddim life was about. I can confidently say I listened to that series probably over 200 times.
I remember looking for the mixes on the internet a few years ago to find that they were all taken down. I did some searching on all my hard drives and ended up finding some that I had previously downloaded. After meeting the Bloodthinnerz I asked their permission to release the mix on my Youtube channel to give the new listeners of riddim a crash course of what this music is about and how far it has come.
I actually have plans to continue releasing more Bloodchops and other amazing mixes that have been lost in the sands of time.”
Trillvo: In a time where mental health is becoming more and more important, what do you do to keep your mind healthy? Any hobbies, etc.
“I struggle with my mental health everyday. I am naturally a pessimistic person so it does get very difficult for me to stay afloat at times and continue grinding. I think the most important thing that has helped me with my mental health was stepping away from drinking alcohol and most party drugs. I loved to be under the influence. It would give me this sense of confidence I would not find anywhere else, but alas,this was only a temporary fix and I would find myself in a bigger slump once I sobered up.
Since July 2018, I have taken upon myself to be healthier so I cut all that stuff out and replaced it with healthy alternative. Instead of a bottle of Jameson and beer, I now prefer fruit smoothies and hummus. I think a healthy body is essential for a healthy mind and I have seen a big difference in my character from doing so.
Besides that, I love to hike and get lost in the woods. Early on in the GramGreene days, I would hike for hours talking out loud reminding myself what I wanted in life, who I wanted to become and what I needed to get there. I did this for a year straight almost 3-4 times a week and doing this constantly got me into a positive motivated mindset that has helped me get to where I am today.
It’s great that 2 of my favorite hobbies, mixing and video editing, have become such an integral part of my life. I am on a path that will hopefully one day give me the opportunity to make a living on these two things. I am constantly learning new things and incorporating them in my mixes and video edits.
I love to spend time with my girlfriend, friends and family. Especially now that I am super busy, I cherish the moments where I can just be me and not worry about what’s happening in the world of GramGreene.
Above all my favorite hobby is connecting with my fans because they are truly some of the most humble and genuine people I have met. I pride myself in having such a chill, kind and loving fanbase. It’s crazy, I have headlined a handful of shows and every time the promoters tell me how nice everyone is and how weird it is for them to see a group of people just being kind hearted individuals to one another. That is what the GramFam life is about. I do my best to surround myself with the most positive upstanding people in the scene and I think my fans gravitate towards this positive energy I do my best to give out to the world. “
Come get to know GramGreene even more THIS Friday at the 5 Year Savage Society Anniversary!