Jordan Benjamin is angry, and he wants you to hear that in his music. The artist, known as grandson, isn’t afraid to describe his sound – which blends electronic production with more aggressive rock and hip-hop elements – as “angry, urgent and, for me, very cathartic.”

Its urgency, which can be heard all over his latest EP, a modern tragedy, vol. 1, is a result of the politically divisive landscape in which we currently live these days. It’s reactionary and in-your-face, but grandson isn’t trying to push listeners away; in fact, he wants to do the opposite.

“In a society where we’re being force-fed ignorance and apathy, stuffed with cultural Big Macs with no nutritional value, having even one voice enter the conversation can change a kid’s life,” he says. “It can make them okay with who they are, encourage them to think differently than their neighbour, or family member, or pastor, or teacher – empower them to want to participate in the shaping of their world… That’s pretty cool to me. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.”

So far, his music has won over a lot of fans, most notably Linkin Park member and solo artist Mike Shinoda. “I still can’t believe I get to say that,” says grandson, after calling Shinoda his good friend and mentor. What started as an Instagram follow (“I thought it was a fake account”) quickly turned into an invitation to the studio, where grandson says he begged to be on one of Shinoda’s songs. The result is not only a guest spot on Shinoda’s song “Running From My Shadow,” but also much public praise from the music veteran who said grandson has a lot of potential.

At the root of it all, whether it’s in his music, or his newly-formed relationships with other artists, grandson has one goal in mind: continue connecting with people and, as he says passionately, “empower the grandkids in their communities.”