It’s been a swift rise for UK artist Griff, who’s been making music and performing since she was 10 years old and signing with Warner Records at 18 while still in high school. She recently won the prestigious Rising Artist Award at this year’s BRIT Awards, an award that Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and many other notable artists have won. Growing up in a small village in England, Griff never quite felt like she fit in. Her mother is Chinese, her father Jamaican, and as a young person she often felt as if she were caught between these cultures, trying to find where her identity fit. She turned to music to find that sense of belonging, borrowing her brother’s Logic software to teach herself how to record and produce her own songs, all while voraciously consuming the discography of Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Lorde, and Aretha Franklin. She learned to form her own sense of community through music, which has carried into her burgeoning career. Griff often takes pain and translates it into pop music that is ready for the dance floor, connecting people through melody and a love of music. Her debut EP, ‘Mirror Talk’ was released in 2019 and impressed many as she captured the insecurities and experiences of being a teenager. More recently, Griff released her mixtape, ‘One Foot In Front of the Other’, which is filled with these clearly defined, immaculate pop tracks, notably with the lead single “Black Hole”. Of the title of the mixtape, Griff stated it was inspired by having recently turned 20 years-old and the uncertainties that come with getting older and working in the music industry as an artist. “Especially as a young girl, your selling point is your age. I’d been so used to walking into labels and people going ‘she’s 17, oh my god she’s a teenager!’ and then suddenly you as you turn 20 and that appeal dwindles.”
Griff spoke with B-Sides host Pete Mar about her musical journey, the making of ‘One Foot In Front of the Other’, her experience at the BRITs and more.