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Meet Henry Gritton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Henry Gritton.

Henry , let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Henry Gritton. I’m a 22 year old saxophonist, keyboardist and producer from Louisville, Kentucky. I just moved to LA to purse my dream of being a touring and session musician. Over the last four years, I have recorded and performed with artists of nearly every musical genre from Jazz and Hip Hop to Latin and R&B. I’ve had the honor of recording for artists such as Jack Harlow, Jalen Santoy, and Jackson Lundy. Music that I’ve contributed to has been streamed over one hundred million times and is internationally popular.

I would not have these skills if it weren’t for the incredible training that I received in high school and college. I went to the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) in Louisville, KY for high school where I was pushed every day to be a better saxophone player in classical and jazz music. I rigorously studied the technique of the saxophone and learned the importance of blending my sound with others to create one texture. This is a skill that I put to use in countless instances from blending my sound with a sax section in a jazz band, or blending my sound with a singer on stage.

I also graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA this May. My four years at Berklee were incredibly influential on my artistry and musicianship. At Berklee, I was exposed to and fell in love with many different styles of music from Salsa, Gospel, Hip Hop, and music for film. I befriended musicians who grew up playing these styles and later performed alongside them. The rich diversity at Berklee allowed me to learn about the world’s music both inside and outside of the classroom. Over my four years in Boston I recorded more than one hundred student projects and played as many gigs both on and off campus. It was the best college experience I could have asked for. 

I’m so excited to be living here in Los Angeles and continuing to collaborate with other talented artists and musicians!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The life of a musician certainly has its ups and downs. I am lucky to have had such positive experiences in learning and performing music during high school and college. I am so thankful for the opportunity to play and produce music for a global audience. However, we are currently living in a different world than the one for which I prepared.  

Many of us are used to a life full of live performances, large audiences, and of course playing and learning from one another in person. Our world has been completely turned upside down due to Covid-19. Like many other Americans, musicians are struggling to find income where large groups of people cannot gather safely. We are having to find creative ways to bring our art to the community when it is not being performed or displayed. Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, there are some slivers of hope. 

During quarantine, I’ve participated in a number of video collaborations where each part is recorded remotely at home, then stitched together to form a virtual band. These videos actually work surprisingly well but are missing one crucial element, the real-time feedback from the audience. Actors, comedians, and musicians alike all rely on the energy of the audience to propel us through a show. The roar and excitement from the audience is the reason that many musicians chose performance as their career.  Even though we are still able to mimic live performances through Instagram and YouTube, we are very excited for the day that our normal work can return. 

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Henry Gritton Music story. Tell us more about the business.
When I’m working with an artist, I always try to enhance the musicality of their project by adding saxophone, flute, or keyboard parts. I look for a melodic idea that can add a new element to the song without getting in the way of the artists’ vocals. When I’m producing a record for an artist, I always try to enhance the story the artist is trying to tell through instrumentation, texture, and arrangement of musical ideas. The music that I’ve produced is a unique blend of musical styles that I grew up listening to from jazz, country and R&B.   

Musicians today can profit in a number of ways, but most of my income comes from live performances and royalties for songs that I record in the studio. In a few years, I hope to have enough clientele and income to start my own LLC; but for now, it’s a one-man operation! I believe that my individual musicianship, personality, and professionalism help me stand out from other musicians and producers in the industry and keeps me in demand.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’ve definitely had a little bit of luck so far in my career, but I’m hoping there is a little bit more left! So far, I’ve worked with artists and musicians that I have met naturally and in person. With each piece of original music that I put out, I’m always hoping for some luck in terms of getting the right people to listen, enjoy, and share it. So many opportunities in the music industry come from a friend of a friend, so if I keep impressing everyone I meet and creating great work, one of these days I’ll get lucky.

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Image Credit:

Ben Pu, Alexander Kawasaki

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