V Girls: Griff
Pop's prodigious powerhouse
Pop's prodigious powerhouse
Griff is something of a prodigy. The English artist, born Sarah Griffiths, taught herself how to produce music on her brother’s computer at the precious age of 11. She messed around with Logic Pro software, making beats and recording vocals so she could harmonize with herself. “I didn’t realize it was a huge thing until I started to meet industry people, because [then I saw] it wasn’t a thing for girls to produce,” she says. As with most of her early dabblings in music, she saw it as a form of self-expression first and foremost. The daughter of a Chinese immigrant mother and a Jamaican father, Griff had always struggled to find her place in her predominantly white hometown of Kings Langley. “I wonder sometimes whether that’s why I threw myself so much into music,” she reflects, “because it was a place where I felt confident and good at what I was doing.”
Her natural passion and aptitude for music, combined with a fierce work ethic, helped her catch the attention of high-profile music executives while she was still a teenager. “I’d go to lessons in the morning and then travel into London, meet a new producer and write a song, come back, finish my homework, and do it all over again,” she recalls of early efforts to get her name out there.
And that unwavering persistence was eventually rewarded. When she was just 17 years old, the budding singer-songwriter inked a record deal with Warner Records, but put off releasing music for the first year of the deal to finish her A-Level exams. In 2019, she made good on her promise with the release of her highly successful debut single “Mirror Talk.” The euphoric vocals and sensitive, honest lyricism immediately struck a chord with listeners. A stream of playlist-worthy tracks followed, from the sparkling alt-pop song “Paradise” to the immensely catchy R&B-influenced “Forgive Myself.”
Before she knew it, Griff became one of Britain’s hottest young artists, winning the prestigious Brit Award for Rising Star in 2021. But despite having her share of award show invites, powerhouse performances, and celebrity encounters—she lists playing Monopoly with Ed Sheeran on his private jet as one of the most surreal. The 21-year-old artist is still figuring out the whole pop star thing, but as we know from her prodigy status, she’s a quick study. Her career has accelerated nonstop since “Mirror Talk,” but as she’s proven before, she has the talent and drive to keep up with the best of them.
She’ll spend the majority of 2022 on tour, first with Dua Lipa and then Ed Sheeran, along with a few festival appearances. After that? She’s ready to tackle her next project. “I need to try to write an album,” she says. “A really, great album. It’s my debut album. So, that’s the next challenge I’ll face.”
Makeup Mona Leanne (The Wall Group) Hair Ernesto Montenovo
Photo assistant Alex Kim Stylist assistant Mao Miyakoshi Location Quest Studios