Press photo of Muzzy Bearr

Making Moves: Muzzy Bearr Talks GRiZ, Red Rocks & New Music [Interview]

It’s a rare and extraordinary feeling to know what to want out of this short life. Some take years to figure it out, while some never do. 

For Detroit, Michigan-native Dan Hacker—a.k.a. electronic artist Muzzy Bearr—it was simple. He knew he wanted to make music his life, so he went out and made it happen. 

When I was a kid, I remember my dad and I went to Best Buy,” Hacker told MP3 MAG. “He bought some ‘Live at Red Rocks’ concert recording and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is Red Rocks?’ Since then, I always had this vision to make and play music in the back of my mind.”

Years later, while working at a summer camp before his freshman year of college, Hacker participated in a staff talent show. By the funny disco fates, this would be the first time he met Grant Kwiecinski, known affectionately across the festival community as GRiZ. 

At that moment, Hacker recalls having a vivid visualization of himself and GRiZ playing at Red Rocks, which sparked him further along his musical journey. Hacker immediately connected with GRiZ on a personal and creative level, and the rest, as they say, was history. The two became each other’s musical confidants, collaborating and touring together for nearly a decade.

When GRiZ was performing, more often than not, Muzzy would be on stage alongside him. In addition to his own support sets, he’d assist with live guitar and mixing. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced a pause on live music, it caused Hacker to put a pause on his chapter with GRiZ and turn a new page as Muzzy Bearr.

The direction that GRiZ is heading is a great one, and there’s always an opportunity for us to play together at some bigger events,” said Hacker. “But for now, I’m fully focused on Muzzy Bearr. COVID definitely put my priorities in order and I finally feel like I have something to really push.”

To quote Salt N Pepa, Hacker’s been pushing real good. Last month, he released “Move,” a funky, joyful and vibrant single that teases a glimpse of what’s to come. 

While many Muzzy fans might expect something in the funk lane of music, this latest project takes from none other than the house genre. After finding inspiration from the new Disclosure album and old Daft Punk records, the producer decided to work on a fresh genre for his catalogue.

It’s something that feels unique to me. Something sample-based, but it doesn’t sound like a sample. It’s a funky groove that’ll get you going. Hopefully, you all give it the toe-tap of approval.

As vital as it is for fans to enjoy an artist’s work, it’s just as vital for the artist to enjoy it themselves. For a long time, Hacker struggled to find contentment with his own art, but this new era of focusing on his own artistic career has provided him a breath of fresh air.

For a long time, I was looking at my music from a ‘glass half empty’ perspective,” he explained. “I thought that if I finished certain music, it would fill my cup and fulfill me. Then, I had this realization that being able to make music is the fulfilling process.” 

It doesn’t matter what that music is as long as it feels genuine to you.

What feels even better to Muzzy Bearr is sharing his new music with fans. Live shows are finally back and Hacker is ready to spread the disco fever, especially back in the birthplace of motown and techno, Detroit. 

He made it very clear that Detroit isn’t one of the luxe and lavish cities like Miami, Ibiza or L.A, but it is a magical, musical city all its own.

It all stems from the music history that exists here,” Hacker said. “Disco and house music are the combination of both [motown and techno], so I think we celebrate those sounds. There’s this trust in this city. We don’t do a lot, but everything we do is going to be dope.”

It was only a matter of time before Hacker would absorb his hometown’s history, vibrance and flair, and pour it all into his musical cup as Muzzy Bearr. Now, everyone is ready to have a sip.