Interview with Iona Griffey
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
When I was 8, I began guitar lessons. In addition to this I had taken part in many theatrical shows. It was only since I was 13 and when started listening to amazing singer-songwriters such as Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes, I combined my two passions and began to cover their songs. Eventually I started songwriting after many heartbreaks, it was a way for me to release my negative energy into something positive. Songwriting definitely has allowed me to get past difficult periods of my life.
If I was not into music, I probably would be doing something else creative, such as creative writing, poetry or art and design. I am also really interested in science.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m such a creative person. I am a passionate Skier and scuba diver, I also love to read. One of my tracks ‘Scarlet Woman’ was influenced by a character in ‘The Couple Next Door’ by Shari Lapena. The actual drama in books excite me so much because I can base a song off an emotion a character is feeling. I can connect to so many different characters in different ways. Maybe I could relate to a villain when they feel like they want to get revenge to someone who has hurt them. Then that could inspire me to write a song about revenge.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing music since I was 13, but then I would write lame songs about lame things. As I’ve grown older, I’ve written about things that seem more important. I guess when I was 13, all I did care about was Moshi Monsters.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in Suffolk, the home of Ed Sheeran. I would definitely say that I’m a huge fan of Ed Sheeran, and he definitely influenced my music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
In 2014, I sang at Wembley Arena with my school choir, singing with 2010 X factor Winner Matt Cardle, who also went to my school in his day. I was very young, and It was very cool. It was one of my first singing performances ever, felt like a Rockstar.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Cabin in Haverhill. I’ve played there a few times. It’s a very new venue, but the whole atmosphere is adorable. It’s such a unique balance of everything a music venue should have. It’s intimate and comforting, I love how close it is to home.
I would kill (metaphorically, of course) for a spot at a big festival like Glastonbury or Latitiude. I also dream to play some big stadiums and arenas. But for now, I would love to just gig as much as possible to get my name (Iona Griffey if you forgot aha) out there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If I could have a lineup of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo and yours truly, that would be amazing. All of them have influenced my music so much, so I owe a lot to them really.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Write, Gig and Practice as much as possible. Post regularly and keep going. Even if there are some hate comments, we unfortunately all get them. But the most important thing is to ignore what everyone thinks. If you truly want to make it in this industry, you must really dedicate your time and money into it. I would definitely tell my younger self the exact same things. Fortunately, hate comments have never really got to me, but I used to ignore them and they went away by themselves.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
One More Time is one of the first songs that I properly wrote. It means a lot to me because it was my first heartbreak. Especially when I was so young. The song is stripped down, and on the track, there is just Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, the song is very vulnerable and delicate. I will always feel the same pain when I wrote it, every time that I sing it.
Which songs are your favourite to play, and which get requested the most?
Scarlet Woman is my favourite song that I’ve ever wrote. It’s so groovy and I’m impressed how fast I wrote the song and how good it turned out. I’m very proud of that song. My friends really like my song ‘Shirtless’, when I played them all my songs they all agreed that it was their favourite.
There’s not necessarily one song that I get requested to play, Valerie by Amy Winehouse is a fun cover to sing.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I jam with some cool chords, and honestly just close my eyes and feel the music. I usually get so lost in the music, that I forget that I’m there and then suddenly the songs there. Sometimes obviously I have writers block, and that’s perfectly normal too.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? if so please tell me about them.
You do not need anyone to make you happy. Make yourself happy first. Notice your worth and appreciate yourself. You deserve so much. If you are going to give someone your heart, make sure they deserve it first.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
My DEBUT single ‘Colourblind’ has now been released on all major streaming platforms. The song is about showing someone your love and realising it is not being reciprocated or appreciated. The ‘Colourblind’ music video has also been released. Defo check it out!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My Debut album ‘Lovers & Strangers’ is out later this year as well, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m sooooo excited! *Jazz Hands*
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Youtube: Iona Griffey
Facebook: Iona Griffey Music
Spotify/ any streaming platform: Iona Griffey