There was a time in Griffin House’s life when it looked like he would be earning paychecks on the links, but following a Troy Bolton-esque storyline (ask your kids about “High School Musical” if you don’t get the reference), the gifted golf star happened into a starring role in his high school musical, and he discovered a natural talent for singing.
House proceeded to turn down a golf scholarship to Ohio University to follow his new dream of becoming a musician. He bought a guitar, taught himself to play and enrolled at Miami University to learn how to craft his music.
“I was just ready to try something new with my life,” he says. “Sometimes in life maybe we have to be fed up before we’re willing to make a change and I just got fed up. And music was the door that was waiting to open when the other one closed.”
It wasn’t long before House began writing and recording and issued his first independent release, “Upland,” in 2003.
“It just made me feel really alive I suppose,” he says. “Powerful and inspired and in touch with emotions and spirituality. It was a great release for my mind.”
His music attracted attention from Nettwerk, a Vancouver-based management company and record label, and House partnered with the label’s American branch to issue the critically acclaimed “Lost & Found” in 2004. Over the next decade, he would release a series of popular recordings on his imprint label, Evening Records.
The hardest part of his journey has been getting out of his own way.
“I’m a hard worker, but often times maybe a little too high of expectations and hard on myself. Today I feel really lucky to be right where I am,” he says. “Being able to make a living doing something that I love and being my own boss is everything I could have wanted.”
His latest album, So On and So Forth, came out earlier this year and was dedicated to his grandfather, the man he says “taught me about storytelling.”
“A lot of the album is about recognizing the ego in one’s self and letting it die, or at least allowing it to start to become right sized,” House says. “I’ve gone through a lot of personal life changes in the last five years or so and a lot of that is reflected in these songs.”
On Nov. 6, House will be playing many of his new tunes at The Hamilton in D.C. He’ll mix in tunes from his other albums as well, and looks forward to returning to the venue for the second time this year.
“For the person singing these songs, holding on to one’s own individuality in order to remain special or important in the world has started to become far less important than being content with being a good, decent, and loving person,” he says. “But old habits die hard.”
Although it is still relatively early in his career, House already feels as if he has “made it” in what can be a tough music industry, and he aims to get better and go on to bigger things.
“I think even when people know they ‘made it’ they naturally want to do the next thing. People that have a Grammy or a hit song want another one,” he says. “I would love to grow even more in making music and reach even more people, but most days I just feel really lucky to have been able to do as much as I already have.”