JGrrey is a star. Or at least she feels like one based on her excellent showing so far, including her latest belter Growing. She oozes confidence and her songwriting has always caught the attention of big names such as Lily Allen. We caught up with the young London talent to find out all things JGrrey…
Hello, hello. Firstly, how are you and where are you in the world right now?
Hi, I’m currently on my way to Nottingham to see my parents. It’s been a while since I last saw them. I’ve had better days (I’ve got a cold and a sore throat) but the sun’s shining, and I remembered my headphones for the journey so life’s good.
The name JGrrey – is it a nod to your real name (or as we’re secretly hoping – is it a tribute to the greatest X-Men character, Jean Grey)?
Haha! J is the first letter of my real name, and grey is my favourite colour. The two r’s was just because Instagram had no other option when I was creating an account, and the name just stuck I guess.
Growing is a tremendous song. How do you feel like you’ve grown since you’ve started out in this business?
Wow, no one’s described one of my songs as tremendous before, that’s a first, thank you. I’m constantly growing in every aspect of my life, if anything I wish I could unlearn when it comes to music – there’s suddenly a lot more pressure on me to get the melody or structure or harmony right on the songs I’m writing. Before it just happened naturally, and it was perfect.
The video is definitely one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while. Where did the theme and aesthetic stem from?
The video was a real collaboration of ideas between a few different people – myself, my manager and Anna Radchenko who ended up directing it. It’s a real honest video, true to who i am, nothing fake and blingy. The song is nostalgic for me, and I think it made sense for the video to be too.
We’re assuming that’s your younger self in the video with you. What would you say to junior JGrrey?
It’s meant to be, yeah. She was amazing when we filmed the video. Her name’s Scarlett, and I wish I was more like her when I was younger. She oozed everything I’m trying to be now! She was confident, clever, sure of herself and just really cool. She made shooting the video real fun. What would I say to a younger me? Wow, what wouldn’t I say. I’d remind her to hang out with mum more, let her know the popular kids don’t stay popular forever and let her know she’ll prove herself eventually, and maybe tell her smoking isn’t cool.
We all know about the Colors video, but how did you first get started in both music and the music industry?
To be honest it was kind of an accident. I have been singing my whole life in stage school etc. But when I posted a little singing video to Tumblr, Manga Saint Hilare brought me to the studio. I was so nervous and we made a song called ‘Zoning’ produced by Nana Rouges (later produced Drake’s ‘Passionfruit’). After I heard myself on that track, I wanted to keep on doing it. I felt I sounded nervous and pitchy on the track I made with them and wanted to get better, so Nana came over to my house and helped me set up a studio. If it wasn’t for Manga and Nana I wouldn’t have started writing songs or recording.
You’ve recently written with Lily Allen. Can you tell us about the song you guys worked on together?
I’ve only written with Lily once, and it was a short session. She reached out to me after watching my Colors video. We started a song, and she recently reached out to me to finish it but she’s been busy on tour. Hopefully it will get done soon. It was sounding good.
What can we expect from you in the coming months?
More singles, more visuals, an EP but not too soon, and a headline show at the end of the year maybe.
Finally, the question we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?
Ring The Alarm.