The Intercollegiate Student Magazine

Interview — Musician Grey Dugan

Hey Grey, great to meet with you. Do you want to take a second to tell us your story and what you’re all about?

Sure. I’m a 20-year-old student living in LA that goes to USC. I’m an aspiring musician… well, that’s kind of a corny term. I am a musician, and I record and self-produce and distribute all my music. Really just trying to get my name out there and explore the scene. 

I saw you’re at 30k listeners a month on Spotify; how did you get that following?

I put in a lot of legwork when I was just getting started, cold emailing tons of playlist curators on Spotify, ya know? I reached out to people who had playlists of my genre, and it worked. People would start adding my music to playlists and there was natural growth from there. The Mecca, so to speak, are the “Spotify editorial playlists.” Those got me in people’s “Discover Weekly,” which helped me reach so many more listeners. 

At our age, kids struggle to decide whether to pursue their creative side or to go down a safer path. Do you ever feel this conflict?

One hundred percent. When I first got to college, I thought to myself: “If I’m going to go to school, I should go to school – and music isn’t school.” I started studying philosophy with the plan to go to law school. Recently, I realized that I don’t want to do anything if it isn’t related to music. So, my academic side and my artistic side have been converging. I’m taking a lot of music business classes – one of my classes is taught by the former tour manager of Foster the People. For the class final, we had to throw a show in LA and sell tickets and market it. I learned so much. 

Who are your influences?

I’d say my genre is indie rock or indie pop, but I have many psychedelic influences. The Beatles, in particular, have had a huge impact on me; I’m sort of obsessed with their songwriting process and their recording techniques. They really pushed the boundaries on how to use echo and reverb and other trippy effects. 

Are you trying to express anything through your music?

My songs have subtle commentary. It’s a hard line you gotta walk on — not being preachy and alienating people but also wanting to say something. I definitely veil social commentary in my lyrics. You know, lyrics that might not seem like they make sense, but I had an intention when I wrote them. In my last ep I had some discussion of the political divide and the post-Covid America. I didn’t come out of the gate and be like, “America’s so fucked up,” but I tried to convey meaning in more subtle ways.

You can listen to Grey Dugan on Spotify here.  

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