There's a new movement taking the world by storm, and it has nothing to do with Kim Kardashian or the word "fleek".
It started with a passion, some Ableton decks and a Michigan State University student. In 2009, Grant Kwiencinski was just beginning his music career as DJ GK, mixing together some sounds for fun. After putting in tons of hard work towards producing his own unique sounds, Grant found his calling in production and rekindled his love affair with the saxophone. Picking up the name GRiZ shortly thereafter, in 2011, he released End of the World Party. Two years later, Mad Liberation was born. Fast forward two more years, and GRiZ has found himself in an overwhelming sea of support, with two great acts to add to his new label All Good Records, and an army of peaceful warriors standing behind him. These warriors are known fondly as The Liberators, and they number approximately 3,500 worldwide.
The mission of The Liberators, according to Harrison Diskin, the National Street Team Organizer for GRiZ, is not just to share Grant's music and promote his label, but to build the bridge between artists and fans, to "set a standard for this interaction". Most importantly, The Liberators' main goal is to "Show Love, Spread Love" - which has been GRiZ's motto for quite some time. The Liberators organize volunteer events such as winter coat drives, food drives, and meet-ups for GRiZ fans in their respective areas across the United States and internationally. At each of GRiZ's headlining shows, there is a team of Liberators prepared to hand out plenty of water, maybe some candy, and plenty of good vibes to go around.
Noticing that there has been a shortage of positive energy in the world, Grant created The Liberators to foster this positivism. His vision, in the words of Harrison, is to "ignite this energy to inspire others to do the same." It becomes a cycle of inspiration - those affected by Liberators will ideally pass the positive energy onto others, thus becoming a perpetual cycle of nonphysical and limitless love. It is apparent that there is nothing but love in GRiZ's fan-base, or "family" as they call themselves. Drama-free, helping-handed camaraderie is how this "family" rolls.
The application process is very open - anyone willing to put in the time, effort, and love is welcomed into this society. There is an "open invitation" policy, and when one signs up to be on the street team, their email is immediately entered into the email list. From there, it is up to the individual to decide their own level of involvement, which could simply be participation in the Photo Challenges, "Liberating" GRiZ shows, volunteering in their community, or even just personifying "Show Love, Spread Love." Harrison hinted to me that there are plans in the making for the next tour ("Say It Loud", coming to a city near you Spring 2015!) to go above and beyond what has already been done.
What makes The Liberators unique is that each member is part of a collective consciousness dedicated to channeling creativity, non-judgment, and acceptance into the experiences of all of GRiZ's fan-base and the world community. These people set out doing work they love, and by doing so, they have made the world a better place to live each day.
Written By: Jaelyn Kohl
Photos Courtesy of The Liberators