After approximately 20 years performing as a session musician, UK-based Mr Griff records and releases his debut album during the Covid pandemic. We speak with Mr Griff about Hey Friend, future plans and discovering new music.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Mr Griff: Apparently when I was a small child I used to be fascinated with the sounds of pots and pans and would play along with the music my mum was playing in the kitchen. This was normally soul or Motown. So, drumming and music have always been with me from a young age.
OSR: Why did you decide to pursue a solo music career instead of continuing work as a session drummer?
Mr Griff: After losing my mum at the start of the pandemic, then going into lockdown and losing all my work, I had to focus on something different and started learning the piano and discovered I could write songs. It gave me a great outlet and focus for my situation at the time.
OSR: Who influences your sound?
Mr Griff: Too many to mention but favourites are Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, George Michael, Jamiroquai, etc.
OSR: What can you tell us about your album Hey Friend?
Mr Griff: I was not intending to create an album initially, but as I wrote and recorded more material the concept of an album emerged. It is almost a culmination of the varying styles and genres I have played and been exposed to over the years as a session drummer.
OSR: Do you have a favourite and least favourite track on Hey Friend?
Mr Griff: Not really, they all mean different things to me for different reasons.
OSR: What do you hope people will take from this album?
Mr Griff: The songs are all about personal experiences of real-life situations, so if people can connect with that then great, but equally if they just enjoy the grooves that’s also great.
OSR: What do you think is the best way to discover nowadays?
Mr Griff: Going to live gigs and shows has always been my favourite way to discover new music, but as that has been more difficult over the last 18 months, I guess using YouTube or Spotify recommendations has been good.
OSR: What has been your favourite gig to date as a solo or session musician?
Mr Griff: Supporting Anastasia in front of 40,000+ in Germany.
OSR: Where do you hope to be in five years?
Mr Griff: Somewhere warm.
OSR: What are your plans for the future as Mr Griff?
Mr Griff: I’m excited to see how my solo career can grow. I’m working on album number two already and am planning a short run of gigs across Europe next year.