By: Seamus Fay
As one of Boston’s most interesting and exciting names in music at the moment, Donald Grunge is an artist that I personally connected to from the first moment I heard him. Something about his personal yet universal lyricism struck a chord in me, and ever since, I’ve been a fan of the Chelsea-native from that day on. This young talent’s clear creative vision and even better execution, matched with a notable work ethic, has consistently made for high-quality releases, and under the array of infectious melodies that he has to offer, it only made sense that we had to sit down with Grunge at some point for an interview.
With that being said, you can read the conversation that we were fortunate enough to have with him below. Enjoy!
To get things started, where are you originally from?
Born & raised in Chelsea, MA. I moved to Everett for high school cause my moms thought I was getting into too much trouble. But I’ll always be from Chelsea.
How did you originally get into music?
Music has been around me my whole life. My grandfather played guitar & my mother is an amazing singer. I used to sing in church when I was like 9 cause my mom was mad religious. But by 11, I wasn’t with singing gospel music. I actually sang a lot so I had an amazing voice, but I wasn’t recording my vocals or anything yet.
When I got to high school I started actually rapping. I was mad good at freestyling – I could rap for days. I used to just sit in a car, smoke weed, and rap for an hour straight lol. Senior year is when I dropped my first song & it got like 140k plays. I always felt that like that song wasn’t really me, but fuck it. It motivated me to keep making music.
What were you listening to back in the day?
Anything that had a groove, really. My family had the biggest influence on what I was listening, too. My house always had a wide variety of music to choose from. If I was to list everyone I listened to we’d be here forever lol, but I was listening to anything from Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, & Cher to 50 Cent, Usher, & Lil Wayne. So growing up I was literally listening to anything. A good friend used to call me a human iPod lol.
What kind of kid was Donald Grunge back in the day?
A fuckin weird one lol. I was very to myself, considering I was an only child until the age of 12. I liked Legos, puzzles, & painting. I played video games a lot cause my older cousin was into it, and I lived with him for a good part of my life. I was also really into breakdancing from ages 8-12 which helped with understanding rap/hip-hop.
It was just me & mom majority of my life. My dad was in & out of my life from ages 7-12. I bumped into him my senior year and he stuck around for a little that year, but I haven’t talked to him since. My mom has supported me in anything I’ve ever done and is the reason why Donald Grunge is who he is today.
What is your creative process for making music? How/where do you tend to find inspiration?
Melodies are the most important to me. If I’m humming something all day it’s probably going to be a song eventually lol. For me, figuring out the best melody comes first & the words come second. Doesn’t matter what you say, it’s how you say it. Pharrell taught me that.
As for finding inspiration to make the music, I’m my own inspiration. My room is all white & very plain on purpose. It allows me to think openly and not be distracted by anything.
How did The Grunge Effect come about? How have grown as an artist since then?
I couldn’t exactly tell you how me & TheseVibez met, but I believe it was through our mutual friend, FabzAbove. I was actually going through a break up lol, and I was really depressed. The Grunge Effect is showing how I got through the pain & it changed me as a person (the reason why I used a butterfly for transformation). I always felt that project was rushed & not exactly how I wanted it, so just making it made me grow as an artist and I’m still growing every day.
How does it feel receiving so much love from Boston and Massachusetts as a whole for your work? What inspires you to keep creating music?
Lol, it’s funny you ask that. Personally, I feel like I don’t get enough love from Boston. I always felt like Boston could show more love. Not just towards what I do, but as a whole. Cliche to say, & I’m sure everyone says it, but Boston needs to come together. Not saying be a friend to everyone and listen to everything, but support each other and respect everyone’s aspirations in life.
As for inspiration to keep me going, it’s the love I do get. The support I do see. Hearing someone genuinely love my song is good enough for me.
I’ve seen in the past that you’re a big fan of Kurt Cobain. What do him and Nirvana as a whole mean to you as a person and an artist alike?
Kurt birthed grunge. I owe him the world. I think I was like 15 when I first heard Nirvana. Didn’t know who they were, or what it was, but I loved it. It’s deeper than music.
Lastly, what can fans expect from Donald Grunge in the future? Any projects aside from music?
Truthfully, the fans won’t expect what’s coming. I’d love to get into acting, photography, or film directing, but as of right now, music is my only priority. What I will say is you guys can expect at least 2 projects in 2018 with some singles for sure. I’m excited to share what I’ve been working hard towards all year.
As we head into 2018, Donald Grunge will most definitely be an artist to keep an eye on. His keen ear for intoxicating melodies and overall compelling creative vision will surely keep the stocks rising as time goes on, and I’m excited to watch the bright future of this young artist. With that being said, thank you to Donald and his team for the interview – Best wishes moving forward.
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