After a long year without live music, the Brit Awards is making up for lost time.
This year’s ceremony is one of the first indoor music events to have a crowd since last March, and they have got a star-studded line-up to celebrate.
Coldplay, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd and Olivia Rodrigo are all confirmed, with a lot of talking about whether Taylor Swift and Elton John could also take to the stage (Elton was in Hertfordshire just days ago, of course).
Amongst some of the biggest names in music is a 20-year-old from Kings Langley who has had a huge breakthrough year.
Griff, whose real name is Sarah Griffiths, taught herself music production with her brother’s computer which got her going with music – and now counts Taylor Swift amongst her fans.
In an interview with iD, she said that she’d always been aware that her background was not typical for someone growing up in Kings Langley but hasn’t let that stop her.
Her grandparents on one side were part of the Windrush generation, and her mum was originally from China, she said: “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 the same interview, she also said that she kept her music career quiet while at school because she didn’t want to jinx it or embarrass herself by talking about her ambition.
However, it’d be impossible to keep it hush anymore.
Her breakthrough ballad Good Stuff was released in February 2020, setting the wheels in motion for a massive year.
However, the piano track doesn’t do justice to just how varied her music is and the dark pop that critics have fallen in love with this year.
If you’ve listened to Radio 1 at any point this year, you’ll be well familiar with Black Hole, which has racked up 3 million views on YouTube and has also been performed on BBC’s Later with Jools Holland.
It was also her first song to make the Top 40 of the singles chart.
Her music has also appeared in Disney’s Christmas advert last December, giving her another huge boost around the world and means you may have heard her music without even realising it.
Being successful in the music industry while the world is on lockdown is strange though, and has happened while not being able to play any shows at all.
Griff told Sky News that her last show was in front of 250 people, but now has admitted it’s “nerve-wracking” to play in front of 4,000 people at the O2 as well as millions on TV across the country.
Amongst those who can’t wait to see her play is Taylor Swift, who ordered flowers to the popstar’s hotel room ahead of tonight’s performance.
A handwritten note with the flowers said: “Griff, good luck with your performance tonight! You’ll be incredible up there!
“I hope I get to say hi! Your friend, Taylor”
That’s only the latest show of approval from the megastar, who said she loved a cover Griff and Maisie Peters produced of her track Exile.
Swift, tweeting to her 88 million followers, said: “I’m a huge fan of these two already, but seeing them create magic in the studio together just makes me even more excited to hear what they do in the future – absolutely love this, what a gift.”
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With backing like that, Griff will have to get used to playing bigger shows soon, with an October tour already almost sold out even before her biggest performance yet.
The strange year she’s had is not lost on the future popstar either, saying: “In my head, I’m still screaming from the phone call when I found out. It’s honestly such a miracle: how on earth did we manage to win a BRIT and breakthrough during a pandemic?”
Griff is in good company too, previous BRIT Rising Stars (or previously Critics’ Choice) include Adele, Florence and the Machine and Sam Smith.
There’s no doubt there are big things in store for the Kings Langley musician, who will pick up her award during the ceremony tonight.
It doesn’t stop there, though, Griff will the release of her new mixtape One Foot In Front of the Other on June 11.
More information on Griff can be found on her Instagram.
The BRIT Awards air on ITV at 8pm on Tuesday. May 11.