It’s time to get into Sarah Faith Griffiths – or GRIFF, for short.
The 18-year-old Chinese-Jamaican singer-songwriter-producer’s been making waves within the blogosphere, on the streaming playlists and beyond over the past year, beginning with her debut Mirror Talk EP in 2019 – and she’s only just out of school.
The vibe is thoroughly modern and sleek pop production, equipped with very accessibly catchy melodies, bringing a bunch of fellow female scribes – from Bebe Rexha to RAYE to Nina Nesbitt to Julia Michaels – to mind. Her urgent, soulful voice is prime for a Top 40 radio takeover. And impressively, you’ll frequently find her name credited as both the sole scribe and producer of her songs.
“I didn’t realize how rare it was for women to produce their own stuff, until people started telling me,” she explains of her skills, taking the helm on self-produced tracks on her EP like “Didn’t Break It Enough” and “Sound of Your Voice,” as well as 2020 standout, “Forgive Myself.”
GRIFF’s collaborations with producers prove successful too, including her insecurity-exploring, “Issues”-esque debut “Mirror Talk” with The 23rd. There’s also her piano-led “Good Stuff,” co-crafted with David Stewart, a fragile display of her emotive vocals, accompanied by a music video that has racked up nearly a million views already since its release in February.
“It came naturally…but writing music, actually, is kind of a ridiculous thing. Every day you’re expected to reinvent eight notes and marry them to a new concept,” she says.
GRIFF grew up in the “super middle-class, super suburban” garden town of Kings Langley in England, teaching herself to play every inch of Taylor Swift‘s Fearless.
Her experience is partly informed by growing up mixed race, and “kind of not feeling like anything. I’m used to being around white girls but I’m so obviously not. I am a bit of a white girl but I never will 100% be because I look so different and I am so different. The Chinese family would come around and I’m obviously so westernized and removed from that. Then the black side comes round and I’m not really in touch with that, either. You’re always in this weird limbo.”
The P2J-produced “Say It Again” is GRIFF’s latest release, and perhaps one of her most immediately engaging triumph yet. The delicately encouraging, gently grooving jam recalls a bit of early Jessie Ware, as she sweetly croons some reassurances to a troubled soul: “How ever many times that you need to, baby / Just tell yourself it’s gon’ be okay.” The song comes with a music video directed by Stephen Isaac Wilson, supplying surrealistic scenes, reflective surfaces and some interpretive dance moves near the British seaside.
With just a handful of songs released thus far, GRIFF’s already got big plans for her music that extend far beyond this moment: “I don’t want to be an artist who’s around for five minutes and people forget about. I want my music to be remembered in ten, fifteen years to come,” she declares.
As long as she keeps this kind of good stuff coming, she won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
This song is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist. Subscribe!
You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.
Photo credit: Cal McIntyre / Warner Records