The Playlist: Griff On Heartbreak, Taylor Swift and Coldplay

"Do I go down the sensible route or do I do something creative?"

Griff Pic: Javier Castan

Griff is as bubbly as ever when we sit down to chat ahead of her EP Ver2igo Vol 2 drops. She’s just about to wrap her tour when we chat and she is flying high.

Griff has had a whirlwind few years since releasing her first single in 2019 to getting several shoutouts from her idol Taylor Swift to supporting Coldplay on tour. She’s really making a name for herself.

And we couldn’t be more delighted to find out what’s on her playlist…

Talk to us about your new music!

The new music, I’m really excited about. I decided to do it all in parts. So I dropped Volume One last year, which were four super heavy, not obvious commercial pop songs. But for me Volume Two, is still desperately heartbroken, but with a new energy and a new sense of euphoria. That’s very exciting to me. They’re all very emotional. This whole project was very emotional to me.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Random things. All the lyrics are autobiographical in some shape or form. But you have to be inspired by other mundane, random things. Like I wrote Vertigo after seeing the word on a spiral staircase. You have to observe the small things and create music around it!

Did you always plan to be a musician?

I didn’t think I knew it was possible! I just didn’t think it was a job! I know the attitude now is a bit more ‘do what you want’. But with my parents, it was like you do a proper job and creative jobs weren’t really a thing. But I love music and I spend a lot of time playing and writing music. But before I signed my record deal, I was looking at economic degrees or fashion degrees. It could have gone either way! [Laughs] There were two sides of me fighting – do I go down the sensible route or do I do something creative?

Back in 2020, when you were starting off your career, you got a shout-out from Taylor Swift, what was that like?

It’s crazy. She has done it a couple of times now, which is a crazy thing to say! She did it with Vertigo a few months back. So I just stared at my phone and thought, “This is nuts. She never posts! Why would she post that? Has she made a mistake here?!” But it’s really surreal.

Growing up who did you listen to?

Obviously Taylor Swift! But I was raised on Soul and R&B music. My dad’s Jamician so that was his main taste. It was a lot of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston. So I had a mix growing up.

Who is your biggest musical inspiration?

It’s so hard to say. I feel like a commitmentphobe just picking one person! I got into this more because of writing songs. I was never really an artist girl, I didn’t go to gigs until I was older. I just liked songs here and there. I more fell in love with songwriters like Julia Michaels or Sia or Jack Antonoff. It was never as much about the artist.

What was your first gig?

Melanie Martinez! I was 16, she was performing at Heaven in London and I dragged my best friend there. It was really cool. I didn’t realise how cult-following her fanbase is. I turned up and everyone was dressed as babies with dummies in their mouths. It was really into the deep end for the first concert!

What is the album that shaped you?

It’s got to be Fearless by Taylor Swift. My cousin, who is a bit older than me, gave me an iPod nano and it had the album on it. It was my first introduction to pop music and it was mindblowing. I was around eight years old…

Griff Pic: Javier Castan

Tell us about the best gig you’ve been to?

It has to be a Coldplay concert! There is so much joy in it. It’s so special to see 100,000 people scream those Coldplay lyrics with this incredible light show. It feels pretty heavenly. And they make such a great effort to do things in an eco-friendly way. It’s so cool to see artists at their level take charge in that space.

What is one song you would never get sick of?

There are a few. I think Royals by Lorde or Issues by Julia Michaels.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

I don’t know…maybe just that Taylor Swift likes my song! There are all the accolades like the BRITs. But I feel like artists have such a weird relationships with awards because you want them and you aspire to them but you don’t want to obsess over them because that’s not this is about. So I think when artists that you really respect and love also respect and love what you make, it feels like a really big achievement.

What’s on your bucket list?

Oh…what is on my bucket list? I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it! I’ve just made peace with what I’ve done. That sounds so morbid! I am at peace at whatever point I leave this earth, I am fine with whatever I’ve achieved and done! [Laughs] I’m pretty chill, I think all the time, if it happens today that’s okay!

Did you do anything exciting when you were in Ireland?

We got dinner in The Winding Stairs, which is a cute little restaurant. And then I just went to Templebar! Classic! Next time I come here I’ll spend more time.

Ver2igo Vol. 2 by Griff is out now