A native of Richmond, Virginia, Grubbs began playing piano at the age of five, impelled by maternal instruction and inspired by the works of Brahms, Bach and Beethoven. An artistic sensibility was formed and later augmented by his teenage discovery of a more contemporary canon, including Billy Joel, Elton John and Led Zeppelin, gradually evolving into WakeyWakey’s singular sound.
After 10 years of tending bar and playing open mic nights in NYC, he’d just about had enough. That’s when Grubbs met Mark Schwahn, chief writer and executive producer of hit American TV drama series One Tree Hill, performing a brief set for him helmed by a then recent composition, ‘War Sweater’.
Schwahn used the song in the finale of One Tree Hill’s sixth season and gave Grubbs a small recurring role in the show.
“Literally a day after ‘War Sweater’ debuted on One Tree Hill, it was number 13 on the iTunes chart”. There followed a rapturously received debut album, the impossibly tortured Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You, and the devotion of a fan base whose fidelity to their idol led to the crowd-funding of a second album, 2014’s Salvation.
In advance of Overreactivist, WakeyWakeyreleased the 3-song digital Homeless Poets EP and embarked on a European tour, making special one-off appearances in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and London, including the prestigious Courtyard Studio in Hoxton.