Griff: How my gap year turned into a pop career
As millions return to school this week and ponder their futures, singer Griff talks about how following her passion for her extra-curricular led her to tour with Ed Sheeran.
She only released her first single three years ago, just after finishing her A-Levels. But now, Griff, real name Sarah Griffiths, is a BRIT Award-winning artist fresh off a set of international shows.
It’s been a hectic summer for the Black Hole singer, who has been touring with Dua Lipa, made her debut at Reading and Leeds Festivals, and opened a gig with Coldplay at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
Not that long ago, Griff was studying for her A-Levels, but she kept her musical aspirations under wraps at school.
“I always just feel like there’s like one kid in your year who’s trying to promo their music and no one really rates them,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
“I would rather keep it a secret.
“And then if it does really well, then that’s cool. And people can find out but I didn’t want to be the one that spoke about it too much.”
Griff says she juggled her studies and love of music with an exhausting schedule of “traveling into London, writing songs, coming back, doing essays [and] turning up to school really tired”.
Despite realizing where her real passion was, she vowed to stick it out at school and ended up getting three As at A-Level.
But she realized education wasn’t for her.
“My teacher’s like: ‘Sarah, we haven’t seen your personal statement’,” she says.
“I was like: ‘Miss, please – I’m gonna take a gap year’.”
Griff spent about a year putting out music before the pandemic hit – but it didn’t stop her from finding success.
“I kept releasing music and didn’t know if anyone was listening and then I got a Brit Award, which is crazy,” she says.
Her packed touring schedule with Ed Sheeran will take her through until the end of the year when she plans to take a break from the stage.
“I’m gonna need to take the time to write more music. So that’s kind of like my, my downtime, but I’ll still be working on writing,” she says.
“This gap year has turned into a bit of a long-term job. So I don’t think I’m going to uni anytime soon.”