Who Is Griff, This Year’s BRITs Rising Star?

The singer is the latest in an impressive line of musicians to be tipped for success.


by Guy Pewsey |

Congratulations are in order for Griff, the young singer who is this year's BRIT Rising Star. The award is a seal of approval and often tips major talents for future success, so it's obvious that we need to be keeping our eyes on Griff as she takes her next steps in the industry. But as she awaits her inevitable ascent to A List status, here's what you need to know about her.

Griff, full name Sarah Faith Griffiths, is an Ivor Novello Rising Star award nominee and placed fifth on BBC Sound of 2021 list at the beginning of this year. That was an early seal of approval after years in music: she was in a band at the age of 10, and signed a deal with Warner Music when she left school with the support of her father, who's Jamaican, and her mother, who is Chinese. She is 20 years old.

'My Jamaican grandparents were part of the Windrush generation but passed before I met them,' she told iD. 'And my Dad was born here so a lot of culture has been missed on that side. I'm probably more in touch with my Chinese side because my mum is a first generation migrant. Her and her family came over during the Vietnam War. I see a lot more of my Chinese extended family, but it’s always been an unusual mix, especially in Kings Langley. In that way I've always looked different to my peers.'

'In my head I'm still screaming from the phone call when I found out,' she said of the Rising Star Award. 'It's honestly such a miracle: how on earth did we manage to win a BRIT and break through during a pandemic?'

After schooling in Kings Langley - in Hertfordshire - and after being given the coveted place on the BBC's list of promising young stars, she told the broadcaster that a love for Taylor Swift fuelled her desire to be a musician.

'It was such a contrast to all the stuff I'd been brought up on,' she explained. 'The pop sensibility, and the fact she was singing about teenage stuff: It was my first memory of realising I loved pop music.'

Griff released her first single, Mirror Talk, in 2019, but before today she was perhaps best known for singing Love is a Compass, the song from Disney's Christmas advert. Written by songwriting and production team Parkwild, it was released as a charity single, accompanying the company's charming tribute to familial love.

At the time, Griff told Metro that she was 'excited' to be the voice of the festive campaign. 'The theme of family and loved ones are so front of mind for many of us – especially this Christmas,' she said.

Griff follows artists including Adele, Sam Smith, Celeste and Florence and the Machine in receiving the BRIT Rising Star Award. In other words? She's the star of tomorrow. Watch this face...

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