Grayson Repp talks Djing, his creative process and dedication and time put into the preparation of Mike and his creative agency. He's a go getter and as he says, "Right now, I’m focused on putting in the work to set myself up for the rest of my life."
Q: Where were you born/Currently live?
A: I was born in Vancouver at Grace Hospital – However, I moved to Lancing, Michigan shortly after birth as my father coached hockey at Michigan State University. I currently live in Vancouver with stints in Phoenix, the Kootenays, and Victoria (which I would consider home).
Q: Where did you go to University and what did you study?
A: I attended Arizona State University on a swimming scholarship my freshmen through Junior year – I retired in 2011 and moved home to Victoria where I finished at Uvic in the Economics program.
Q: How did you get into DJing?
A: Good question! Growing up and being heavily involved in sport, I always made mixtapes for the hockey and swimming dressing rooms, alike. But my “ah-hah” moment came right before my departure at ASU. It was Halloween and one of my teammates was throwing a party. There was a guitar amp with an auxiliary cord on the roof of the house… believe it or not. I plugged my blackberry (RIP) in and played “Throw some D’s” by Rich Boy and that was that, full turbo rager – and I fell in love with that feeling instantly, my best friend, Riley, turned to me, also on the roof, and said, “I think you should be a DJ”, I haven’t looked back. The following October, on Drake’s birthday (lol) I purchased all the necessary gear and just ran with it, I mixed back and forth in my basement for hours, nearly causing me to fail out of university. Luckily, I have very supportive parents and they helped me get through. Upon conclusion of my undergrad, I started a residency at LED on Fridays with Access Events, a subsidiary promotions group under Blueprint (shout out Petro and Joe). After a year of commuting every Friday I decided to make the move to Vancouver from the island and set the goal to play for Blueprint and make music – four years this October since I made the move over.
Q: You are part of the DJ duo Khøst. Can you talk about how you formed this duo and what the meaning is behind the name?
A: Khost was a collaborative effort with one of my best friends from Uvic, Tyler Mead – as of right now Khost is on a hiatus, Tyler is pursuing music with his solo project, Fairlane, and is absolutely killing it. 10/10 would recommend listening to his stuff. We had a great run together and I hope in the future we’ll have a chance to create together again! As for the name, we had 3 or 4 titles that changed, I saw Khost in the American war film – Zero Dark Thirty, and we agreed that was the one. It played off of where we met, the west coast, and finding inspiration within our surroundings – I always said our music sounds like the fall and we’re at our best when the cold comes. Pure emotion.
Q: What have been some of your most memorable shows with Khøst and also individual performances?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to have a plethora of memorable shows – by far the most memorable for Khost, was opening for our friends, and probably biggest inspiration, sonically - Adventure Club at the Commodore Ballroom. Sold out, all of our good friends there, it was a special evening for us, and I think we’ll both hold onto that night for a long time. As far as solo shows go, A lot come to mind, but one that stands out for me is this annual party I play at UBC every year. It’s a party in a compound with about 1500 kids and it reminds me of that first time I plugged my phone in at ASU. Intimate, small venue, sweaty, and there for the music – gets me every time.
Q: What is your thought process when creating a track?
A: For me, it’s about learning to enjoy the process – for years you’ll struggle, and I still do – but when you learn to enjoy that struggle, you’ll be at your best, as a creative. Take inspiration from everywhere, write down how you felt after a decision so you remember why you felt like that at that time – good, bad, sad. If you can transfer that into sound, I think you’ll be satisfied with what you’ve made, whether or not others like it or not. My biggest competitor is myself, it’s a personal thing for me, and I think it always will be.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A: These next five years will be the most challenging, it’s truly buckle down and make moves. Right now, I’m focused on putting in the work to set myself up for the rest of my life. I’m looking towards being managing partner at certain spots, rather than being the talent itself – longevity.
Q: Do you have any exciting projects or performances coming up?
A: I’m working on a little project with my close friend, Mike. We’re working towards opening our own creative agency. Simply put, our goal is to harmoniously integrate both of our passions: Art and Technology. In hopes of creating well-reflected and unique products for brands, agencies and startups. As far as shows go, I’m playing with my good friend, Felix Cartal, this October in my home town – Victoria. I haven’t played there in years, Victoria and my friends there, are a massive part of me so I’m very excited to put on for them.
Q: As well as DJing, you are a Marketing Lead at Drai’s Vancouver, how did you get into this industry?
A: I recently just stopped running the marketing over at Drai’s – but I’m continuing on there as a resident DJ, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Previously, I held a resident DJ spot at Celebrities under the Blueprint umbrella and I think my presence at the club, essentially being the face, and handing out an insane amount of vodka sodas (kidding, kinda), led me to being an ambassador of the club and the brand, so the transition into DJing as well as doing the marketing was an organically streamlined thing.
Q: Can you talk about a day in the life of Grayson, what are your daily tasks?
A: I wake up reasonably early, something I’ve had since my swimming days. I try to get a workout in first, it gives you that competitive edge for the day, I am extremely competitive. Then coffee, and a treat of some sort - right now I am obsessed with chocolate croissants from Theirry or Prado, take your pick, they’re both exceptional. Right now, the bulk of my day is taken up with hours dedicated to the creative agency I spoke on earlier, a lot of reading. I am one of those people who will always ask, “teach me something." I try to allocate a few hours (months) into learning the process of things and not getting ahead of myself which would lead to a uneducated result and/or decision. One of my past coaches always said, “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." I carry that with everything I do.
I always make time for music, there are SO many talented people out there and I truly want to feel it all, I don’t hear things, I feel them. We’re in the golden age of music, no debate.
Last but not least, I’ll make sure some time is spent online in the groupchat with my brothers in Victoria, some sort of dialogue with my parents (phone or text) and if I can do this all whilst a Kanye record is playing in the background and I’m reasonably cozy, I’m content.
Q: What is it like constantly being involved in the nightlife scene; do you ever get sick of it?
A: I think we all do, but we chose this – so I’m not going to complain. I’m a people person, there’s no denying that. I’ve made some relationships doing this that will last a lifetime – Vancouver has a small scene, but a strong one – and I’m grateful to play a role in it and share experiences with likeminded individuals.
Q: Has working in marketing helped you expand your audience within your music career?
A: These days it’s one in the same – I’ve been able to navigate positively and have created and small and loyal fan base. I think the best marketing asset you can have is being a good human being, my “fans” are truly my friends, the love goes both ways.
Q: Do you have anything else you want your viewers to know about you?
I’m here for you, always.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/graysonrepp?lang=en
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/khostmusic