Utah native E. Groendyk was born into a traditional military family in 1995. He draws inspiration for his music from his rich background, varied spiritual, and social experiences, the experiences of those around him, and the complexity of everyday life.
E. began releasing music in Tucson, Arizona. He continued doing so in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he currently resides in Rapid City, South Dakota.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
E.: That one’s a weird question for me; I was raised in the military and I’ve moved around most of my life. I would call the Salt Lake City, Utah area home, though.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
E.: I sang in my church and school choirs as far back as I can remember. I picked up guitar and drums, but I was always a vocalist first. Along the line, I found hip-hop, and my interest in rapping started.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS:What are your songs about?
E.: Mainly, two things: My life and real topics. I feel like the genre has lost the element of addressing actual, important topics. There used to be a passion for a sort of activism in rap; people were telling it how it was about life in places they were from. Rap is such a specific art form. It gives the artist an opportunity to say a lot of things at once, and touch people’s souls through the music of the poem, at the same time. The problem is, I don’t feel like enough people respect that fact – I don’t feel like enough of these kinds of artists today are saying anything significant. I want to be remembered as one of the real ones.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
E.: My favorite song I’ve done is my first single, “Summer.” It’s a lighthearted, but actually somewhat serious, song about some difficult relationship times I went through last year. You can really feel the fun energy of the song, but there’s still that meaning to the words.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
E: The amount of patience it takes! It’s been interesting to see how long it takes to find the perfect sound for a song, the right connections, how often I have to take a break and come back to a project, keeping a schedule on promotion and meetings, or how exactly is best to get word out about my music. Those sorts of things take pacing, devotion, and consistency, and have been great learning opportunities.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
E.: This is the long answer for me.
My very first musical influence was actually the group 3OH!3 – their music and personalities as individuals were what got me into listening to music at all. Sean and Nat have a very specific, fun sound, and seeing them perform and live how they do because of their music is what got me interested in pursuing music as a career.
For rapping specifically, my first influence was Lil Wayne. He was followed by Drake, Tyga, and the rest of the Young Money crew. Somewhere in there, I started doing covers and remixes of songs. It was at that point that I found an appreciation for Eminem. Marshall is the top example for a lot of white rappers, but I found that him and I share some back story and views of the world. He was the driving force behind my love for rap music for the rest of high school. Him, along with Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Kid Ink, were my influences for the next two years. They’ve recently been joined on my Influences List by many other artists – George Watsky, Hopsin, and Childish Gambino, to list the most prominent three.
As for my major singing influences, Michael Jackson and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine have always been my personal idols. I started listening to Maroon 5 with my mom really young and I started listening to Michael in middle school. I’ve always had a passion for their music, especially Bad and Thriller, as well as Songs About Jane and It Won’t Be Soon Before Long – all absolutely brilliant albums.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
OFFICIAL E: I would describe it as genuine and complex. I want people to turn on one of my songs, listen to it, and then feel it. I want them to enjoy the sound, but also have actual subject matter to consider. I want people to think about the song until they feel like they understand me as a person better, as well as the things I’m talking about, after the music ends.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS:What makes you stand out from other artists?
E.: Who I am, what I’m about, and how I approach music. I’m just all-around different. I talk about things differently than other artists. I focus on different topics. I’ve also lived a lot of places; I represent a variety of areas and kinds of people from around the world, not just a single city – so, that’s different. I stand out, because my story and my specific brand of music are just simply different, altogether.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
E.: I’d like to see more diversity – more people approaching their genres in different ways, especially rap/hip-hop. I feel like everyone is a copy of everyone else these days. It’s not about who and what you are, it’s about all the same things everyone else is saying. They hooked up here and there this summer, they’ve got girls in this and that club, they got dumped and drank their feelings away this many times, they’ve got money that stacks to the ceiling, they’ve got the best weed, etc. etc. etc. I think it’s great to talk about the things that interest you and add substance to your life, but where’s the originality? It’s the same things over and over. And I shouldn’t have to say, “Ohh, that’s the next Snoop Dogg,” or, “She’s another Katy Perry.” I feel like people are losing their artistic side in trying to be the product they think fans want. The industry today is a lot of business and image, which is great. However, my opinion is that too much business and image destroys the essence of the artist’s musical soul. There needs to be a good balance.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
E.: I’m currently working on an EP and a handful of singles. I’m taking a trip to California in the coming weeks, so I plan to work a lot on those. I have a single releasing in the next month or so, as well as an expected release of the EP of spring or early summer, 2016. There’s a lot coming down the pike for me in the next year, hence part of the reason for this article. I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback. I expect that wave of support to grow and take me where I’m working towards right now.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
E.: In ten years, I expect to be drawing up serious plans to start a music label of my own. I can see myself having been performing and touring for several years with a few albums under my belt and the influence to compliment them. I expect to be living in the Los Angeles area, doing music-related business, raising my son near the beach.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
E.: I have a personal website that will be up and running soon. For now, my music is available on my SoundCloud account and my YouTube channel. I’ve provided those links here.