Griff is on a trajectory to be the breakout star of 2022. The British singer-songwriter had a huge 2021 with the success of ‘Black Hole’, which introduced her to a global audience. And now she is ready to continue that success story with the infectiously groovy ‘Head On Fire’ featuring Norweigian indie-pop star Sigrid.
The anthemic track finds a contrast between emotion and euphoric freeness. Allowing the listener to pick their own adventure, the lyrics tell a story of meeting someone in a whirlwind way and being left continually dreaming of them and questioning when you’ll eventually run into them again. This can also be interpreted in a way of missing an ex and being left dreaming of the memories you shared with them. The vivid lyricism allows the listener to get lost in the storytelling and simultaneously dance to the groovy beat.
I recently chatted to Griff about collaborating with Sigrid on the anthemic ‘Head On Fire’, explored the feeling of wanting to cross paths with someone again, and discussed her previous releases ‘Forgive Myself’, ‘Remembering My Dreams’ and ‘Black Hole’. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: You and Sigrid recently teamed up for the anthemic ‘Head On Fire’ which is already a 2022 music highlight. It is such a powerful and ethereal track, so what was the actual mood and feeling in the studio that day while you were writing it?
GRIFF: We just wanted to hang out, to be honest. We met briefly at this fashion show, but it was too loud to talk, so we ended up organising a studio session as an excuse for us to hang out. When we got in the studio there was no pressure. I don’t think we expected to really write a song, or a good song anyways as we were just messing around. A few weeks later I was listening to the demo of the song and I decided that I really liked the song and wanted to put it out, so we asked Sigrid if she actually liked it too and would be keen to release it.
TB: What is a random fun fact that you can tell us about the creative process behind the song that people might not know?
G: When we were in the studio, Sigrid was just playing these cool chords with these crazy references. And then I took control more of the production side of it and was working on it in my music room. We then got together again when she was back, and revocalled the track. There was a lot of back and forth with this song, and I was constantly texting her new versions every night for like 2 weeks asking her what she thought of a particular snare or kick. It took a lot of refining, but it was a fun process for sure.
TB: What would you say is the most different version of the song you created?
G: Probably one of the first demo’s. Right at the beginning my initial inspiration was ‘Kiss’ by Prince, so it was way more small with nothing on the track. But when I got further into it we decided to make it more anthemic and big.
TB: There is a bit of a Paloma Faith meets HAIM feel to the production. What was actually inspiring you both sonically with this track?
G: Sigrid came in with all of these weird rock references that I had no idea about. She was like “have you heard this track?” and I was like “no girl, I haven’t heard that track. I listen to pop” *laughs*. It was quite funny.
But the fun thing is that there weren’t many references flying about. We were just trying to write something fun and new. However, HAIM is always an inspiration for me subconsciously.
TB: “I’m trying to find you in a crowd again. You were there then you were gone. Now I’m tracing all my steps to you” is a lyric that immediately hits the listener right in the chest. When you hear that lyric back now, where does it take you mentally and physically?
G: That lyric came a bit later when we changed the pre-chorus. The whole song is about that physical feeling of wishing someone was there and they’re not. That lyric in particular suggests that it could be someone you’ve just met. And what I like about this song is that it’s open and could be about anyone or anything. But that lyric is about being out and you meet someone and have this crazy connection with, and then you’re like ‘woah, that was so fleeting” and suddenly it’s taken over your whole head.
TB: Letting go of someone you love is really hard, and even though you can try everything in your power to forget them, you will continually find yourself picturing them in places you want them to be, which is another way to interpret this song. So what are some of your biggest personal break-up remedies?
G: Oooh, you just have to feel the pain, don’t you. I don’t think there is any remedy you can really do. You just need to have some funny friends around you. No one serious, no one who’s going to talk your ear off, which I preach to you. You just need some funny friends who will distract you, and make you laugh.
TB: The music video is a fun little capturing of you both running around amuck backstage at a theatre and trying on different outfits. What was one of the funniest or weirdest things that happened during the shoot?
G: I usut remember it got to 4:30-5, and we knew dinner time was coming, so we looked at each other and went “Pizza?” … “Wine?”. So we just ordered a couple of pizzas and bottles of wine, which made the whole end of the shoot way more enjoyable. In-between takes we were having cheers and getting a bit drunk which was fun.
TB: You both had a few different costume changes in the music video. So what was your favourite outfit?
G: The first one was fun with the trousers and t-shirt, as it was casual, and I made those trousers the night before. We were doing the fitting, and I looked at what Sigrid was wearing and made something to match her. And then I really love the last outfit as well, the black and white dress, because it’s from an up and coming designer who I love
TB: My favourite song of yours that I would love to talk about is ’Forgive Myself’. The sentiment behind the song is so important for anyone that is dealing with a broken heart. We all need to be kinder to ourselves in those moments, so where in your journey were you when you realised that sentiment and decided you needed to immortalize it in a song?
G: I’m someone who beats myself up a lot when things go wrong. The only person’s fault it is, is mine. Or my brain skips to the idea of “why did you ever trust that person”. I think it’s definitely something that is heightened in younger love where you question why it was so easy to trust them, and you think that in hindsight it was so silly giving everything to them. So it’s that feeling of beating myself up, and that overwhelming regret that led me to that song. At the end of the day, the only way you’re going to trust and love again is if you forgive yourself for falling that hard.
TB: “I gave my heart to the wrong somebody else, and I need to forgive myself”. How does that lyric make you feel now?
G: It makes me feel great! It still feels as true as it does back them. It’s still a common thing that I feel, and I think other people feel too. I’m still really proud of that lyric when I listen back to it.
TB: Another favourite of mine is ‘Remembering My Dreams’ which hears you explaining the idea of an ex creeping back into your life through your dreams. Can you explain the story behind this lyric; “It kinda seems to me that maybe you’re coming back for me just when you know that I’ve been running from you”
G: The lyric before that is like “of course you’ve found a way”, and I love that sentiment. I wrote that track with Felix Joseph and Alastiar O’Donnell, and everyone was having these weird dreams the night before. It’s just about the idea that obviously when you’re heartbroken that feeling follows you everywhere, and you’re trying your best to hide from it. Night time is the only time that feels like you can maybe escape from it, and then it’s like “damn, you’re in my dreams, like literally the only place I thought I could hide”. It’s a frustration with that person even though you know it’s not their fault, and it’s actually your subconscious. But there is that denial where you are blaming them and going “why have you done this?”.
TB: ‘Black Hole’ was a song that had a complete life of its own. Where is one of the weirdest places that you heard the song playing?
G: I actually haven’t heard it that much, and maybe that just shows you how much I don’t get out *laughs*. It’s mainly when people send me videos and they’re in the nappy aisle in a supermarket and they’re like “Black Hole’ is on” and I’m just like “great, thanks”. But it’s all weird, as it’s strange knowing that my songs are out there and being heard. I get the same feeling wherever it’s played.
‘Head On Fire’ is out now!