Ryan Powell, also known as Gridlok, is an American drum and bass producer and DJ.
Gridlok was raised in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and trained as a classical violinist. He soon found himself edging away from the constraints of a traditional musical education. He began picking up other instruments, familiarizing himself with methods and techniques outside of the cloistered world of classical music. In his early teens, he began his first experiments with primitive recording gear, using a four track tape recorder, a drum machine and a Radio Shack microphone. Taken in by the possibility of being able to theoretically translate any musical idea into a recording, he found himself drifting further away from traditional music and further into the seemingly limitless possibilities of electronic music production.
Influenced by electronic rock, Gridlok was drawn toward the style of dance music known as drum and bass. He helped to establish the record label Technorganic Recordings that would host his first twelve inch releases, and became involved with artists DJ Dread, Mr. Mendez, and DJ Redcoat. Gridlok and DJ Redcoat were the original members of a group called Project 51. After a string of singles on his own imprint, other labels including Zero-G, Audio Blueprint, and Sudden Def began to feature his music. It was during this first creative push that he founded his new label, Project Fifty-One, that would go on to play a major role in his future.