At a recent performance, DJ Brown, aka Our Griffins, quietly spoke to the audience saying, "I'm only talking as a favor to my friends." It was nice to hear the twenty year old singer/songwriter speak, but there really was no need. The delicate turn of phrase, and ringing chords of his songs, already had his listeners in a temporary state of receptive grace.
A bit of an enigmatic personality, Dennis Joseph Brown, known as DJ, left high school after three days and opted for home schooling. It seems to have been a good move for the Easton, PA native. The past few years have been a journey in coming to a place where his love of music, coupled with his skill at guitar and songwriting, has blossomed. It started when he was ten years old, on vacation at Disneyworld and first really listening to the Beatles, after having bought a record for his sister's boyfriend. He says, "I fell in love with the music, the experience was so intense I can still recall the smell of the bed sheets in that hotel." From there, through the internet, he discovered and explored different types of music. Of mixed race, and struggling with his individuality, he gravitated towards the blues and Motown. "I'm light complected, and I wanted to get a sense of my identity, I never really fit in with my peers." Taking up the guitar seriously at fourteen, he practiced blues licks and pentatonic minors for hours.
DJ's first encounter at playing in a group came after Nazareth area rock band, The Wailing Waters, notable for having singer/American Idol contestant Tyler Grady as a member, asked him to join. The experience was a mutual pleasure but it became apparent that DJ should be writing his own songs. A new found love of poetry, and the wordplay of Dylan inspired him. "So long as I can make chords, on a guitar or piano, and just start singing whatever comes to mind, I find it easy, one of the easiest things I do, " he explains. With a wealth of his own material written now, DJ is ready to start his own career as a musical artist.
Recently back from Dallas, DJ has had tracks mixed by Grammy award winning producer/engineer Stuart Sikes at Elmwood Studios. Known for his work on Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose", Sikes has also worked with other highly regarded acts such as Cat Power, and The White Stripes. Sikes and DJ have created a sound that is entirely his own, and Our Griffins is now set to release its debut recording. With introspective lyrics and a voice that resonates pure emotion, Our Griffins has sonic elements in common with indie folk artists Sufjan Stevens and Alexi Murdoch. Truly, DJ emanates the raw power of an emerging artist, without letting too much of the world intrude on him he has been allowed to create his own, and it is compelling.