A Monday Night with Nana Grizol
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Written by Ida V. Eskamani
Last night Orlando hosted Nana Grizol, and Nana Grizol filled our tired hearts.
Hailing from Athens, Georgia and playing their first ever show in our sweet town, this is a band that has been making music for over a decade. Just as we all evolve over time in hopes of knowing ourselves better and pursuing our most fulfilling paths, Nana Grizol is not the same band Theo Hilton founded in 2007.
Hilton came to music as a young queer male residing in a small town. Through music, the artist found both a sense of solace and community. Queer struggle, love, and resilience-- lived experiences often neglected and stigmatized, come to life through Hilton’s songwriting. The personal is unequivocally political; therefore alongside queer lives and the intersections this existence represents come clear calls for social change. Nana Grizol executes this mission with emphatic folk angst paired with a fierce brass section. In short, this band makes magic.
In between sing-alongs and blaring trumpet solos, the artists reflected on ingrained white supremacy, and the indelible people of color challenging centuries of racism in the deep south. They spoke to the importance of community and grassroots organizing. They exuded immense gratitude towards the audience, an admiration that was lovingly reciprocated.
Similarly, the love among the two touring bands would warm the coldest hearts. Founded in 2015, Washington DC’s Bad Moves is intentionally decentralized, cultivating captivating harmonies and distinct perspectives. With the release of their debut full-length Tell No One less than a month ago, the foursome are forging their own path with power pop vibes and vulnerable themes. Central Florida artists Zap Dragon and Jordan Stokey set the stage for the touring bands; Zap Dragon played an eclectic set with all their favorite songs while Stokey banged his acoustic guitar in support of the sweet creatures that make our lives a whole lot better.
These are the Monday nights that keep us going. There are horrible things happening all around us, all the time. We are in the midst of constant chaos and what feels at times insurmountable trauma. But what is also proven true is the resilience of marginalized people, and the collective power cultivated in shared stories and spaces.
Nana Grizol puts this into practice not only in their their music. This year, Hilton charted new territory. Alongside Clyde Peterson of Your Heart Breaks, Hilton launched Cruisin’ Records, a record label catering specifically to the queer community: queer artists, spaces, movements, and accomplices.
Nana Grizol moves us, and is movement-making music. We can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Ida is an Iranian-American from Florida who grew up with the Beatles, and came of age in the pit. She will talk to you about music for as long as you will pretend to listen. She is founder of Bandifesto, a little blog with a big heart.