When Griff was studying for her A-Levels, she faced a massive distraction: Warner Music had offered her a record deal. Before then, Griff, whose full name is Sarah Faith Griffiths, was a typical teenager hiding an atypical talent. Growing up in Kings Langley, the half-Jamaican, half-Chinese pop sensation taught herself how to operate Logic on her brother’s laptop and, while still at school, self-recorded a handful of Taylor Swift-influenced bedroom demos that reached industry bigwigs. The accidental plan worked: in July 2019, mere days after completing her A-Levels, Griff released her debut single, “Mirror Talk”, a sparse, slinky earworm that went into immediate rotation on BBC Radio 1.
Since then, Griff has continued her remarkable trajectory. With her debut EP, The Mirror Talk, the singer-songwriter showcased a wide, perplexing array of sounds, while her writing credit on Hailee Seinfeld’s chart hit “I Love You’s” suggests an innate knack for coming up with catchy hooks. It’s remarkable that Griff’s original, idiosyncratic voice has proven to have such mass appeal. This year alone, she ranked at number five on the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2021 list, and won the Rising Star prize at the BRIT Awards. Next up for Griff is One Foot in Front of the Other, a debut mixtape that will surely be the soundtrack of your summer – or at least something to play when studying for your A-Levels.
Text Nick Chen