In The Eye, music’s brightest up-and-comers take to a minimal studio space for intimate performances that let the songs speak for themselves. Next up is Canadian-American singer/songwriter Grandson (real name Jordan Edward Benjamin), who performs three of his biggest successes so far: “Rain,” “Dirty,” and “Blood/Water.”
It didn’t take long for Grandson to start seeing success. Benjamin started performing under the moniker in 2015, and not long after, he began dropping singles that racked up millions of plays online. His biggest hit so far is the 2017 single “Blood/Water,” which would go on to appear on his 2018 debut EP, A Modern Tragedy Vol. 1. The song found its way near the top of the US rock charts and is certified Platinum by the RIAA. He had a big song this year, too, as he teamed up with Jessie Reyez on “Rain” from the soundtrack for The Suicide Squad. Beyond that, he has also collaborated with Vic Mensa, Travis Barker, Kesha, and others.
While the studio version of “Blood/Water” is built on a foundation of acoustic guitar, its production expands beyond that to include electronic influences. For Grandson’s The Eye performance of the song, though, he takes it back to basics. Accompanied only by a guitarist, Grandson puts the focus on the relationship between his vocals and the six-string, which works wonderfully and shows off the songwriting behind the highly produced original studio recording.
He does the same thing with his rendition of “Rain,” for which he was not accompanied by Reyez. He delivered a strong solo rendition of the track, though, showing off his vocal range by letting his falsetto take center stage. As for “Dirty,” a highlight from his 2020 debut album Death Of An Optimist, Grandson succeeds in adapting the upbeat rhythm of the original song to this more stripped-down setting.
Aside from The Eye, Grandson finds himself in a great spot now. As for when he got started in music, he said in an interview with The Eye that that’s not something he can specifically pinpoint, as music has always been a significant factor for him. All he knows is that it has become a potent tool for him to tell stories, both his own and those of others who may not be able to as effectively get their points across: “As early as I can remember, music was a vehicle with which me and the people around me expressed ourselves, both the family I grew up in and the family I chose later on in life. We have all been artists, we have all sought to tell our story and amplify the voices of those who aren’t as fortunate and privileged to tell theirs.”
Watch Grandson perform “Rain,” “Dirty,” and “Blood // Water” for The Eye above.
Grandson is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.