Meet John Grvy: A 2016 Take on Sammy Davis Jr. Soul

Spain-bred John Grvy‘s influences are about as eclectic as they come; the crooner cites everyone from Animal Collective to Robin Thicke as stylistic references. His blend of R&B and moody house makes for a catchy, dark, and soulful discography. A former rapper (he gave up at age 16 after becoming disillusioned with the art form), Grvy has cited Ernest Hemingway, Friedrich Nietzsche, and (of course), women as inspirations for his art.


Background: Hails from Madrid.

Sounds like: With vocals that evoke TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, John Grvy’s take on R&B floats somewhere between Prince and Frank Ocean. Slowly meandering, downtempo house and psychedelic chill vibes swarm his debut EP 199X, which inspired a remix EP from the likes of M∆T∑, BSN Posse, and more. It’s clear Grvy is widely influenced by both traditional and “alternative” R&B, slower-moving electro tunes, and hip-hop.

Why you should see his showcase: Grvy’s moody, falsetto-laden future-soul is a force to be reckoned with – alternatively relaxing and thought-provoking. As so-called alternative R&B is taking over the mainstream (see: The Weeknd), artists like Grvy prove that the genre is capable of offering depth. Plus, Grvy’s Sammy-Davis-Jr.-for-the-2010s stage persona is charming.



SXSW Music Opening Party
Tuesday, March 15
7:35-8:00 p.m.
Maggie Mae’s Rooftop

Wednesday, March 16
9:00-9:40 p.m.

Perreo Comes to Austin (Remezcla)
Friday, March 18
8:00-8:40 p.m.
Swan Dive Patio