Emerging Artist Greek Opens Up About Growth and Gratitude


Michael Davie is greek. Not from the country but lowercase, as the artist. Soulful, with some unexpectedly dangerous twists, turns and drops into distortion. Transcending the “bedroom pop” genre, the best use for that word is in describing the downright sexiness of the LA transplant’s jams. (There’s also the fact that he actually makes music in his bedroom.) Reminiscent of James Blake and Frank Ocean with a little Leonard Cohen thrown in, greek wishes to remain uninhibited and genre-less, when it comes to describing his own work. And though brand new to the scene, and fresh in the world at 21, greek is coming in hot from North Carolina by way of Virginia. 

Back then, starting at age sixteen, Davie learned to play guitar and began making trap-like music in his bedroom closet. First recording on iMovie and cutting vocals on an iPhone before working his way up to a “shitty laptop” and a free download of FL Studio. Like many teenagers of the time, he began uploading his work onto YouTube. “I must have uploaded 150 songs in a year,” Davie said. “I was going crazy.” Still, given his upbringing in the blue collar town of Martinsville, Virginia, he managed his expectations. “[Martinsville] is maybe the last place you’d ever expect fame to happen.” 

Then there was his song “when the world is on fire”, released on YouTube in 2020 with a description that read: “This is the type of banger you play the whole day before the world ends.” And while the world was on fire, it also met greek through this song. He’d recently moved to North Carolina after being discovered by a crew of local artists—Marco Luka, Weston Estate, and Maasho—who picked him up spontaneously after hearing his music at a party. “This guy, Felix Wood, drove two hours, picked me up and I met everyone,” Davie said. “It was quick. We were all like-minded people.” 

During covid, Davie worked at a grocery store. “A strange blessing,” he says, “giving me time to perfect my sound.” Crashing with his new friends, he lived in the garage, covered in blankets and making songs like the now popular, “karma”. “There was no heat, no anything. That was in the midst of a really shitty winter. I was sitting in a garage, in 30 degrees, with just four blankets on. It was kind of absurd.” 

Still, this move led to his first nationwide, 12-city tour playing as a member of Weston Estate, a project composed of his new North Carolina crew. “It was like a perfect storm, perfect timing,” Davie said. “The first show of the tour was so memorable. Sold out at [NC venue] Cat’s Cradle and it was my first time performing for a huge crowd.” Finally, it seemed as though things were falling into place, after years of quiet. “It was a holy shit moment,” Davie says. “Holy shit!” 

Adding to his momentum was a chance meeting with current manager, Lamaar Jaswal. “He’s the best manager I’ve ever seen,” Davie says. “Someone helping me thrive. I feel seen and heard. He boosted the situation for greek by tenfold.” He mentions other early supporters such as his hometown good friend, Christopher Chance. “He understands the art world and music. He’s had a humongous role in my career.” And above all his mother, who he gives credit to for the ability to be true to himself. “I don’t know, she’s…the definition of a mother. She’s been able to help me understand what it means to speak freely. I can be comfortable expressing myself because of her. And I owe a lot to her, personality-wise and character-wise.” 

While honing his stage skills on the road, he was quietly working on what would be his debut album, EXTC; writing and tracking, piecing it together bit by bit. While admittedly genre bending, he gives context to the sound, classifying this album as alternative, R&B with hints of alt-rock and psychedelia. It’s composed of nine carefully selected, emotionally driven tracks, that are the culmination of hundreds of songs, and two years of incubating. Self-produced (with the exception of two songs co-produced by his friend Max), he’s confident in his work, having honed his particular sound over the years. “Everything I make is very loose and I think that helps me creatively to just kind of make whatever the fuck I want.” 

According to greek, it starts with the beat. “I’ll take a feeling and harbor it for a few months, a lot comes with the beat first…from one moment in, I’m like, ‘oh that’s what the song is’! One of my favorite things is song structure. That’s where the long-lasting value of something is. I feel like people have heard a million songs from the same structure. But if you can figure out a way to shift the beat around, that really interests the listener. It becomes something that can stand the test of time.” 

EXTC serves the kind of drama that holds your attention. This is not a safe, sappy, soul record. greek has a defined edge. “I’m very big on very theatrical moments. Very big drops. It’s stuff that catches people off guard at that moment. Heavy. Ass. Distortion.” Now living in LA, Davie is still making music in his bedroom but he’s also exploring his new city and indulging in its wonderful culinary options, “There’s this crazy Jamaican spot next to my house. Maybe it’s my favorite food place at the moment.”

As for his newfound attention from industry and fans alike? “It’s wonderful. I’m not used to it, but at the end of the day I’m just happy that people want to listen to the music, that they can find it and enjoy it. If it can make someone’s day better… just hearing something that I spent a week, a few months, on my own just making in my room, I’m grateful.” @idkgreek