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An interview with artist GIRLI

Aug. 16, 2017
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GIRLI is one of those artists who just gets you. Each of her songs contains more bottled-up energy than a can of Red Bull, with zinger after zinger settling into the back of your brain with such ease and brilliance it’s almost criminal. As Lorde is the poet laureate of our generation, all smooth satin and spilled Sambuca, GIRLI creates art that is much more punk and raw, but all the more compelling for it. Lines like “Remember when I talking about being high / ’Cos we didn’t know what it felt like” are blunt in their speech, but contain within them worlds of singular, personal experiences: that sweaty night in your best friend’s bedroom when you were 15 and gave zero fucks.  

Add to this the breakneck pace of GIRLI’s flow, and what you get is single after single of stream-of-consciousness badassery. Crybaby virtually sat down with GIRLI to try to get an idea of where she stands now: with her art, with her influences, and with the future.

SPENCER GELSBY: You have an extremely distinct personal style. How did it develop, and who are your influences? 

GIRLI: A mashup of love for Japanese Harijuku girls, ‘90s riot grrl, 70s Kings Road punk style, ‘90s hip-hop, noughties girl bands.

SG: What drove you to begin writing music?

GIRLI: A hate for school and a need to express myself in a way which could help me make sense of the shitshow of life. Also, my idols were all in bands, so it made sense for me to make one.

SG: You've done some shows with OSCAR, who also made an incredible remix of “Girl That I Met on the Internet”. What brought you together?

GIRLI: Mutual mates and Twitter! We were both friends with the band Kero Kero Bonito, so when they did a DJ set for one of Oscar's EP launches, I went along and said hey. After that is where Twitter DM came in.

SG: Are there other artists you want to collaborate with?

GIRLI: Oh, loads. The latest Gorillaz album had me drooling for a collab.

SG: How did you come to embrace your current sound?

GIRLI: I think my sound is constantly changing and evolving, like my personality and the things that matter to me and that consequently go in my songs, so I'm always embracing new ideas.

SG: Some parts of your songs, especially the pre-chorus to "Fuck Right Back Off to LA" ("if you wanna teach if you wanna preach if you wanna fuck with me"), remind me of melodies. Was this intentional? what are some of your greatest musical influences?

GIRLI: Spice Girls and big pop bangers in general are definitely always a subconscious inspiration to me. Musically, Lily Allen, The Streets, Metronomy, Kate Nash—are all big influences.

SG: One of the first things that struck me about you was your music videos. Do you have a favorite one?

GIRLI: “Girls Get Angry Too” is visually my favourite. It makes a hell of a statement, I think: proper in your face. Girl I Met On The Internet for the mems—all my closest friends were in it, and I know I'll watch that when I'm older and think, aww.

SG: How does it feel being included in the PC music genre?

GIRLI: I don't feel that I am, to be honest. I definitely took influence from PC Music at the start of GIRLI a couple years back, but I think I've moved away from it now into a slightly harder sound.

SG: What is GIRLI listening to right now?

GIRLI: Lorde’s Melodrama and Partie Traumatic’s Black Kids. 

This story was photographed by Natalie Baxter.

Adolescent is psyched to be able to bring this and other articles from the pages of Crybaby Zine to our readers. This piece was originally written for their Fame Issue—if you like it, check out their store to buy this or other issues!