If you can’t recall Girli in her hot pink Adidas tracksuit in her debut music video for ‘Girls Get Angry Too’, it goes to a greater injustice that’s taken place in our industry.
Standing for being a young person living in the modern world, the UK artist is an advocate against the bullshit that this generation continues to come up against. As much as we’d like to believe that we live in an equal society that wants to take care of everyone, that’s not in line with the reality of our day-to-day. Some assholes at the major label that Girli was on for a few years clearly didn’t get the memo she was trying to distribute in her music.
“I definitely had some really nasty experiences,” she explains to BLUNT. “I think, especially being a woman, you find yourself in rooms full of men a lot of the time. And that can be really intimidating and really weird. I just had weird things said to me that I look back on and I’m like, ‘Why did I put up with that?’ You know? Like being on photo shoots and being told to shave my legs and just stuff that’s like, One: Get off my back. Two: You would never say this to a male artist, as well.”
She goes on to say that she is proud of the album that she released on her major label, which she’s since moved on from, but definitely would have done things differently. Odd One Out saw her compromise on videos, artwork and even production of songs, which diverged from the vision that she originally had. We’d all like to think that we’d stand our ground in her situation, but no one teaches you in school to expect to be pushed down by the people who have promised to make your dreams come true.
“Being raised as a woman,” Girli echoes, “You’re taught this level of submission or politeness where it’s like, you don’t want to upset people. So you’re like, ‘Okay, Fine. Sure. Yeah.’ Not every person who’s raised as a girl, obviously, but mostly across the board, so many women just feel like, myself included, ‘I guess I just have to please these people’, you know? And it’s like, ‘Please yourself.’”
“One: Get off my back. Two: You would never say this to a male artist…”
While it made for some gnarly growing pains, Girli is more comfortable with where she is now. On a new label, with a new EP coming out this week, she’s packed her Adidas tracksuit away (metaphorically, she actually gave it to her sister) and is embracing her identity without giving pieces of herself away to major label scumbags.
“I think this era of Girli, my style is definitely more influenced by ’90s grunge and ’70s punk, kind of mixed in together in a modern way. I think also, I’ve been embracing a lot of different sides of myself to come into my style. I think I’ve been embracing more of my queerness.
“As a person, I’m in a way better place than I was a few years ago,” she adds. “So I think that, life’s a journey. It’s obviously really hard to not think, ‘Why aren’t more people listening to my music? Why am I not famous? Why am I not this? Why am I not that?’ On dark days, I definitely feel that way. But it’s also really important to have a healthy perspective on it and just be like, ‘I make music, and people appreciate it, and that’s awesome.’ And I’m going to keep making music and maybe more people will appreciate it.” She concludes: “I’m excited for my fanbase to grow. That’s the way to look at it.”
With the rise of Tik Tok making ageing songs viral faster than you can say quidditch, Girli is seeing a resurgence of her older music, with more and more people discovering her and diving further into the rest of her catalogue. In her spare time, which doesn’t seem to be in generous supply, she’s been recording GIRLI IRL, the last episode of which featured activist and artist Nadya from Pussy Riot, “to talk all things politics, punk & being a badass in a patriarchal world.” That’s the Girli that we know and love, the Girli that fights the good fight for inclusiveness and equality. Less Adidas steeze, but one hell of a woman.