Mystic Grizzly, also known as 22-year-old Jordan Hoffman, is a musician and electronic music producer from St. Petersburg, Florida. Widely known for his spiritualistic and experimental approach to bass music, Mystic Grizzly has hit the ground running in the electronic music scene by performing in more than 20 cities across the country on his latest fall tour.
Mystic Grizzly started the evening’s festivities on Friday at Gem & Jam 2020 with an immersive set at the indoor Onyx stage. Personally, his music sticks out to me by blending heavy bass and wubs with a higher dimensional attitude. The atmosphere during his early evening set was electric to say the least.
I had the opportunity to meet up with Mystic Grizzly after his set Friday evening at Gem & Jam 2020 to talk about intention, inspiration, and new music on the horizon.
CV: How would you describe the energy here at Gem & Jam 2020?
MG: The energy here at gem is very high frequency. Obviously all of the gems bring in all that energy, then all of the people that attracts. I was only on site for maybe like an hour before my set but the vibes were amazing already. Saw all these beautiful people walking around and everyone is super happy. The energy here is definitely very beautiful.
CV: That’s awesome, I’d have to agree. It’s a very unique vibe out here. In the realm of experimental bass, your style really stands out for me. Can you tell me a little more about the intention behind your music?
MG: Yeah definitely. Truly the intention is several things. I definitely want people to have fun and release and be able to enjoy the music and dance and move their body in weird ways as a form of release. Also, with my music, very intentionally trying to spread a lot of messages. Truly love light, so we can evolve. And this is the perfect place and the perfect crowd. They’re all already open and receptive to these messages. So I think the set went great.
CV: Do you have a favorite crystal?
MG: I think fluorite.
CV: Any reason why?
MG: Yeah, it cleanses a lot of negative energies and also the purple and green, physically, that combo definitely resonates with me.
CV: Yeah it’s definitely unique among a lot of minerals.
MG: Yeah that purple and green combo, that’s what gets me.
CV: I read you play guitar, harmonica, and ukulele. What made you switch over from being a traditional musician to more of an electronic producer?
MG: Right around 7th, 8th grade, my friend introduced me to dubstep, specifically Skrillex. I had never heard anything like that in my entire life. When I was introduced to that it blew my mind. I was like, what are these sounds? Who is doing this? How are they doing this? This is unreal. These are monsters and robot sounds. I was like, what is going on.
But it was so well crafted that it was shocking for me and I actually shed a little tear of happiness because it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. From there I fell in love with electronic music. And I kind of stopped playing guitar and listening to traditional music for the last three years. I’ve only listened to electronic music because I was so into it.
CV: Very cool. I definitely feel that. The first time you hear a really good dubstep song, you really can’t forget it.
MG: Yeah, exactly. It hits you in the soul.
CV: Over the course of your musical career, what would you say your biggest influences or inspirations are?
MG: Definitely Tipper, is a huge factor in my project. He helped awaken a lot of things inside, as he does with everybody. Definitely people like CharlesTheFirst, insanely inspirational. Supertask. Desert Dwellers. My dude Pathway.
CV: Can you tell me a little bit more about Manifest Gang?
MG: Manifest Gang is a movement, a collective, and also a way of life. It’s kind of like an all encompassing overarching thing that starts with music. A creative collective of musicians and also artists. We also throw events and go to festivals throwing renegade stages. We are ultimately here to all work together to help evolve our human race. Power in numbers, too. When you can get more people on it and focusing their energy onto a goal or intention then it amplifies that energy into something more powerful.
CV: How did you come up with the name Mystic Grizzly?
MG: It’s funny, it was also during a Tipper set. I was always attracted to bears and had a connection with bears but I never really put two and two together. Then literally during a Tipper set three years ago it just hit me. Like woah, I’m a bear. That’s one of my main spirit animals. I feel extremely connected. I’ve had a lot of encounters with bears in the past but it never clicked until then.
CV: Would you care to elaborate on your experience with bears, if one sticks out for you?
MG: Yeah, I was staying in a log cabin in North Carolina at one time with my good friend and his family. It was a cabin with a walkaround patio. There was this one morning, and this bear was circling the house and went into the trash can. We were all kind of scared but it was kind of cool at the same time.
Then the bear kind of went down the mountain and we all went outside and looked down. Then, the bear was staring up at us and it had its two little cubs with it and just stared at us then walked away. It was kind of a close encounter. The bear came to us which was the interesting part and circled the house a few times. You could look at the bear right through the window. A very interesting, cool experience.
CV: Who are some of your favorite artists to collaborate with?
MG: One of my favorite artists to collaborate with is my good friend Serious Jeorge, we’re starting a side project.
CV: Yeah, I heard your shoutout during your set. Can you tell us more?
MG: It’s all instrumental based, island vibes tropical vibes more-so. Still tribal too, but he’s one of my really good friends to collaborate with. My boy Leet, we have a bunch of songs. I just started a song with Freddy Todd. I love working with him because I’ve learned a lot from him.
CV: Yeah, he’s been around for a while, he was making a lot of experimental stuff before it was so popular.
MG: Yeah I remember listening to Freddy Todd way before I even produced music thinking, “Wow. This dude is insane. This dude is so interesting his music is so unique. And I was always attracted to it and now years later, full circle, we play shows together and we’re homies. Last week we started a track at his house which is like wow, crazy how it all works.
CV: Yeah, how’s it feel collaborating with one of your inspirations?
MG: It’s really amazing to try to comprehend all the factors that lead up to allowing that to happen. You attract what you are and what you put out. So it was pretty wild to watch the attraction, over the course of years, that brought us both together.
While it’s happening you’re kind of unaware of it, you’re questioning it, you don’t really know what’s going on. And then, finally, that full circle hits and you can look back like “Oh wow, now I get it. This is why that happened”
CV: When your fans expect some new music to drop?
MG: Later this month I’m coming out with a downtempo EP and I’m also releasing my Manifest Gang mixtape Volume 2 which is going to be close to an hour of all unreleased music I’ve been working on for the past year, year and a half. Compiled into one mixtape. A lot of things are coming out soon.
CV: When you’re not touring or making music, how do you like to spend your free time?
MG: Usually it’s with my friends. At this point, everything is music to me. When I’m not making music I’m probably still involved with something related to music. I love nature, I like fishing a lot. I haven’t gone fishing in a while because of my career but I do enjoy fishing. Traveling, being with my family as well as my friend family.
CV: Where do you gain inspiration for your vocal samples?
MG: Those come in different forms. Sometimes they’re self-recorded like when me and my homies play around, like Serious Jeorge, a lot of my vocal samples are from Jeorge. The other ones, I dig deep and find these deep messages from different sources and I ask them if it’s ok if I can use them. Everything I’ve used I always make sure that it’s cleared. A lot of them are from YouTube channels that push higher messages and that’s awesome. So I hit them up and ask if I can use some of your words to put in my music and they’re like, “Sure!” So that’s kinda like how that works.
CV: Again, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you want to talk about or anything I didn’t ask you about
MG: One other thing I’d like to retouch upon is the new side project with Serious Jeorge. We already have an EP and it’s all instrumental based and we plan on launching that doing live sets with live instruments.
CV: So branching out into the livetronica genre?
MG: Correct. So that’s going to be separate from the Mystic Grizzly project. It’ll be like live instruments and we perform that live. Which is something I’ve done only twice.
CV: Any particular instruments?
MG: I’ll probably be mostly on guitar or ukulele. Also down the road we are going to start a Manifest Gang live band, and that’s something that’ll be full spectrum. We have a bunch of friends who play abss, flutes, saxophone even. But that’s probably 2021, but we’re gonna spend this year really honing in on that and building that.