He works in the music industry with bands in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and all around the world. He is a co-founder of a record label, Exploding in Sound Records, and he also runs his own music promotion and advocacy website, “Escaping the Ordinary.”
Although music is Ty Griffin’s first passion, the college he attended is a close second. He got his start somewhere all current and former Red Raiders can relate to, and he proudly wears his Texas Tech ring to prove it. Griffin is a 2008 Tech alumnus with degrees in marketing and management.
“None of this would have been possible if I didn’t go to Texas Tech University,” he said. “Tech is every bit a part of what has made this happen for me.”
Griffin has returned to Tech and will deliver a five-minute presentation to Bob McDonald’s personal selling class today at 2 p.m. in Room 155 of the Business Administration building.
“I’m going to display as many forms of marketing in five minutes as I can, and I’m also going to promote the concert I’m having at the Granada Theater in Dallas on Dec. 23, where I’m going to give out free CDs and T-shirts,” Griffin said. “I’m going to show them how I utilize every single type of marketing that’s at my fingertips.”
Griffin’s love of music started at a very young age.
“I literally went from buying Ninja Turtles to CDs,” he said. “No lie. I was obsessed with them.”
He said he was a born-and-bred Tech fan and that he started attending classes at Tech in 2004.
“I was going to merge my passion with my major, or that was my plan,” Griffin said. “I was always told throughout college that I was eventually going to have to move to Austin, Los Angeles or New York, and that is not true.”
During his senior year, Griffin became the outreach officer for the Tech Marketing Association.
“That job put a new perspective on things since I got to work with other students who have leadership qualities and do more than just go to school,” he said. “It also helped me to form a personal relationship with Dr. (Robert) McDonald, the head of the marketing department.”
In the spring of his senior year, Griffin did a record showcasing internship with South by Southwest for a week. After his graduation, he did another internship with Kirtland Records in Dallas for about six months.
“Eventually, I just had to leave because when you’re making a $5-an-hour contract after you graduate, eventually you have to do something that you can at least provide for yourself with,” Griffin said.
His first job was with a small web development firm in Dallas and after half a year he said he began to have an itch to work with music again, so he started a blog with a domain under his name.
Then, he came across explodinginsound.com, for which Griffin said he released a free-to-download compilation of 19 bands called “Bands You Need to Know” in 2009, which had a big influence on him.
“I was sitting there thinking I knew music and that I’ll know most of these bands, and I only knew three,” Griffin said. “It was a humbling experience, nonetheless. All of them were quality bands I had never heard of before, and it was all free. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.”
He said he got in contact with Dan Goldin, the creator of the compilation, and that he began helping him interview bands for his site and with the compilations being released. Goldin eventually inspired Griffin to start his own compilation.
“He was steering my path without even knowing about it,” Griffin said. “That’s when I came up with ‘Escaping the Ordinary.’ I named it this because I feel like everyone is trying to showcase what makes them unique, and even if you’re not into music, I can still bring people in because it’s not, ‘Check out this band. They’re badass.’ It’s, ‘Check out this band because they’ve worked their butts off for something and they don’t care how much money they make.’”
Griffin then hired a web developer to create a quality website. He created the compilation “Escaping the Ordinary Vol. 1,” which consists of bands from all around the world as well as those from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
Griffin said he only planned to do one compilation in launching the site, but he recently released a second volume featuring 23 bands and he is working on his third.
He then began his record label, Exploding in Sound Records, with Goldin, when he also began managing four different bands.
Griffin is also in the process of writing a book, “Griffin’s Theory of Musical Influence,” which is set for publication in 2012.
“You can do anything you want as long as you’re not basing your self-worth on how much money you’re making,” he said. “You’ll be able to make it happen and you’ll be a lot happier when you’re going through the tough stages when you’re not making the money you know you’re going to make. It just takes time.”
Griffin still cherishes the years he spent at Tech as a Red Raider.
“When Michael Crabtree caught that pass, I was there and rushed the field and cried like a little girl,” he said. “Nov. 1, 2008, was the best night of my life. I don’t care if I marry the hottest girl ever. Nothing will ever top that night.”
Tyler Hendricks, a 2009 Tech alumnus with a business management degree, was one of Griffin’s friends during his college years.
“At the heart of marketing and everything else, Ty loves people,” Hendricks said. “He loves people and he loves Tech. That’s all true. He gets passionate about them and it’s contagious. All of his bands can tell you that.”
Griffin offers the following advice to those who will soon graduate from Tech:
“You’re going to go through times that suck after you graduate, and if you don’t, you’re part of the lucky few. Don’t hold back on what you’re passionate about unless it’s breaking the law or doing something you shouldn’t. Whether it’s music, writing, basket weaving or sewing, I don’t care. You should be happy about it and embrace it. Everyone is different and everyone is weird, whether they like it or not.”