From West Africa to Sweden and Beyond, BEAT100 Ultimate Musician, GrYoT, Spreads His Positive Message Through Music

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Hailing from West Africa and now living in Stockholm, Sweden, hip-hop artist and songwriter, GrYoT, combines his African rhythmic roots and experience in European music with the lyricism of American hip-hop to create an exciting and upbeat sound.

From West Africa to Sweden and Beyond, BEAT100 Ultimate Musician, GrYoT, Spreads his Positive Message through Music

“I like the vibe [of BEAT100],” says GrYoT, “People are really supportive, lots of talent is showcased, and it’s growing everyday.”

Hailing from West Africa and now living in Stockholm, Sweden, hip-hop artist and songwriter, GrYoT, combines his African rhythmic roots and experience in European music with the lyricism of American hip-hop to create an exciting and upbeat sound. With influences including Jay-Z, Andre 3000, and Linkin Park, GrYoT says he loves “powerful music and sharp lyrics,” and his music is just that. Uploading his newest EP, ‘Checkered Flag’ featuring Viktor to BEAT100, this recent BEAT100 Ultimate Musician shows his skills as he ‘breaks the chains’ on traditional hip-hop to introduce his modern and diverse take on the genre.

Growing up in Togo, GrYoT says he first began writing lyrics and poetry at age 15 while finding inspiration from other artists who similarly expressed their feelings via their art. However, it wasn’t until eight years ago when attending a Jay-Z concert that GrYoT decided: “This is what I want to do!”. He soon began collaborating and working with other artists while releasing his own mixtapes, including ‘Courtesy Flush’ in 2007, ‘From Florida to Sweden’ in 2009, and ‘Grand Riot’ in 2011. In the process of beginning his career, he also discovered his artist name. “A friend gave me that name [GrYoT] when I started rapping,” explains GrYoT, “He said ‘man, you are painting the picture and giving messages like a griot’, which, in West Africa, symbolized a messenger who speaks to the tribes-people and gives them advice on life matters, usually while playing an instrument, the Kora.” GrYoT decided to modify the name “griot” and make it his own. “I felt that it was perfect for me,” he says.

Completing a collaborative EP with three other artists from Sweden and Norway this summer, GrYoT is now working on his first album. His recent single and first track from the album, ‘Checkered Flag’, can now be purchased on iTunes and Spotify. GrYoT collaborated with fellow artist Viktor on the single, resulting in a great blend between rap and pop. “Viktor and I have sick chemistry when working together,” says GrYoT, “He actually called me one day, we got on Skype, and brainstormed. He was playing keys, I was mumbling words, and two hours later the song was pretty much ready to be mixed.” The result and goal of the song was to create “something anyone can relate to, something meaningful,” says GrYoT.

As he prepares his next single and album release while acquiring dates for a 2014 tour, GrYoT recalls his strongest memories as inspiration for the future. “I remember sharing the stage with T-Pain right before he got huge in Jacksonville, Florida,” he says, “[I also performed with] Trick Daddy, freestyled with Chamillionaire, Game, Freeway, and Dra-gon. [I have] many memories and empowering moments that made me feel I was on my way, but I’ll keep perfecting my craft.” As he continues, he advises other aspiring musicians: “Never stop, stay focused, and keep learning.”

BEAT100 members can follow GrYoT to view his music video for ‘Checkered Flags’ while staying up-to-date on his upcoming releases and tour dates. Fans can visit iTunes and Spotify to purchase ‘Checkered Flags’ and support this talented artist as he records his first album. Musicians can sign up to BEAT100 for free to upload their original and cover music videos to the BEAT100 World Music Charts and for a chance to join GrYoT as a BEAT100 Ultimate Musician. “I like the vibe [of BEAT100],” says GrYoT, “People are really supportive, lots of talent is showcased, and it’s growing everyday.”

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