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ALL EYES ON GRIFF

Following her impressive BRITs performance, Griff is being tipped as the next British star to make a significant impact worldwide. Warner Records U.K. President Joe Kentish tells us that bet is matched by ambitions at her label.

A BRITs Rising Star, Griff hit #4 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with her widely praised debut EP, One Foot in Front of the Other, last week. Lead track “Black Hole” hit the Top 20 in the U.K. earlier this year, reaching the Top 10 of the airplay charts. Her work has earned 170m global streams and 12m video views; she has 8.5m monthly listeners on Spotify.

Tom Corson and Aaron Bay-Schuck signed Griff in the U.S. and will be taking songs to radio this year. “They are as excited about her as we are,” Kentish says.

Kentish signed Griff in 2019 after hearing her material on SoundCloud, then courted her and her manager, Deleon Blake. She was still in school but would send over new music regularly.

“Every couple of months, there would be a song I thought was just incredible,” he remembers. “I kept asking her who she'd been working with and after a while, it got through my head that she really was doing everything from start to finish in her bedroom on her own. It took me a second to understand that because I’d not really met anyone able to deliver productions like these all by themselves.”

“I kept asking her who she'd been working with and after a while, it got through my head that she really was doing everything from start to finish in her bedroom on her own." —Joe Kentish

Since then, Kentish and Blake have paired Griff with writers and producers including Lostboy, AoD and Felix Joseph but are being selective to preserve the sound she’s cultivated alone. “I think the best Griff records will be those that have the most of her in them,” Kentish says. 

Griff is working toward an album set to land in 2022, with more songs released throughout this year. Her appearance at London’s 2k-capacity Shepherd’s Bush Empire in October—part of a U.K. and European tour—sold out in 24 hours. Blake hopes to expand her creative footprint into fashion (she makes all her own costumes). A U.S. tour is coming in February. 

U.S. TV promo has so far included performances on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Late Night With Seth Meyers, and the artist has enjoyed a global Spotify RADAR campaign (the first to cover multiple markets).

Kentish also signed Dua Lipa and has hopes for a similar trajectory for Griff. “There's so much they have in common in terms of their ability to keep pushing and get better, a quiet steely ambition and the confidence they inspire in the people around them. So absolutely, those are our ambitions and that's where Griff wants to get. I think the way you get there is by encouraging the artist to be as creative and as different as possible. That was a big part of Dua’s success—she always wanted to find a sound, a lyrical identity, a narrative and a look that was all hers and that's exactly the same with Griff.”

Griff is published by Universal Music Publishing, where she was signed by Pete SimmonsColette Goodfellow and Mike McCormack

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