Soho Rising: Griff

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As the first act of this year’s Soho Rising series, we sat down with singer-songwriter Griff, ahead of her performance at Shoreditch House, to discuss her journey so far

Filmed by Nas Abraham   Words by Gisselle Babaran

Introducing our latest Soho Rising series – an initiative that aims to champion and uncover emerging talent in the music industry by providing a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform across our Houses. Soho Rising creator Dom Chung, Soho House’s Head of Music, explains, ‘We are backing ourselves to go on a journey with these artists, as they become headline stars in their own right.’ Since its inception, notable past acts have included Arlo Parks, Moses Boyd, Ego Ella May, and JGrrey.

To kick off this year’s run is 20-year-old British singer-songwriter, Griff. She won The BRITs’ Rising Star Award and has become one of the biggest breakout pop acts of 2021. On the night, Griff performed her single ‘Black Hole’ from her upcoming debut mixtape One Foot In Front Of The Other in an outfit that she designed and made by hand. Set for release later this month, the electro-pop star is credited as the project’s principal songwriter and producer – a rare feat, with women making up only 3% of the UK’s music producers.

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Woman singing into microphone on stand in front of panelled window

'Don’t be too precious about your art. You’ll get better without realising it. Just keep making more, creating more’

Building on her success at The BRIT Awards, Griff’s abilities in songwriting, singing and producing – paired with a strong visual aesthetic – recently caught the attention of Spotify. Chosen as one of the newest additions to their emerging artist programme, Radar, the Warner Records signee is the first artist to be selected with the support of both UK and US markets. With more than seven million monthly listeners on the platform, she’s garnered an ever-growing transnational fanbase, with a sound distinguished by sparse electronic production, emotional lyrics, uplifting beats, and big pop melodies.

Born and raised in Hertfordshire, England, Griff cites singing at church, her father’s partiality for soul and R&B, and Taylor Swift’s 2008 Fearless album as key musical influences growing up. As a teen, she taught herself how to produce using her brother’s copy of the music software Logic. Now, her success over the past two years under Warner Records has been nothing short of meteoric. Speaking with Soho House ahead of her first live gig post-lockdown, we asked her what advice she’d give to artists starting out: ‘Don’t be too precious about your art. You’ll get better without realising it. Just keep making more, creating more.’

The young star already has an impressive string of accolades under her belt, but is arguably still just hitting her stride. Set to embark on her first tour across the UK and Ireland to support the release of One Foot In Front Of The Other, it’s safe to say there’s still so much more to come.

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