Talking to girli, a girl’s girl

is a singer-songwriter from London. The 26-year-old produces music that is described as a blend of bubblegum pop, pop punk, and rap. Her lyrical themes are mostly about feminism, sexuality, queer culture, and mental health, making her a thought-provoking artist. She has already released several singles, five EPs, and two studio albums. girli’s newest album ‘Matriarchy’ was released in May 2024. We caught girli just before her tour stop in Berlin. 

DER ALBRECHT: Congrats on your new powerful album ‚Matriarchy‘. 

On June 11th you will play your new songs in Berlin – right in the middle of pride month. How are you celebrating pride? 

girli: It’s funny because I didn’t plan my tour to be in the middle of pride month, it just happened – which is very apt considering the themes on Matriarchy. So, I guess my pride celebrations are my shows! I’ll also be hosting a sapphic movie night called “The Matriarchy Movie Night” in London in a few weeks to celebrate pride, which I’m super excited about.   

Who are your favourite queer artists? Did one of them inspire your music style particularly?  

Gosh, there are so many, too many to count… But I’d say one of the biggest influences on me has been Tegan and Sara. They were one of the earliest queer artists I discovered and one of the inspirations for me to go into music myself. Around this album, queer artists I was listening to and inspired by a lot included MUNA, Boygenius, Troye Sivan, 070 shake, and I can now add Billie Eilish to that list. I’m so happy for her that she’s come out and is feeling really confident and happy in herself.  

Which challenges for queer artists do you notice? 

I think the challenge has always been breaking the glass ceiling into a music industry that is very much ruled over by straight cis-het men. I think the huge shift that we’re seeing now is that queer artists are breaking through from the underground, where they’ve lived for decades into the mainstream, and the visibility we’re seeing pop at the moment is so so exciting. It’s a long time coming. 

We couldn’t help but notice that you have several tattoos. Which one is your favourite right now, and does it have a meaning? 

Yes, I am slowly but surely becoming a bit of a tattoo addict ha ha! My favourite right now is a mermaid on my right upper arm with hairy armpits and her boobs out. She’s sassy and I love her – I wanted to take a traditional sailor tattoo and turn it into a modern version living for herself. It was done by one of my favourite tattoo artists in London, Jessica Rubbish.  

In the song „Feel My Feelings“ you sing about an inner conflict. To what extent do you process your everyday experiences in your songs? 

Songwriting is the main way that I process my emotions. Journalling is a big thing that helps me a lot and writing songs is like journalling. A lot of the time after I’ve written a song, I will feel a huge release like I’ve gotten more perspective on something, and I’ve also been able to unload. When people listen to my songs it’s kind of like volunteering to listen to my trauma dumps! 

Your music videos are colourful, playful, and sometimes quirky. What is the most fun part of shooting music videos? Is there a moment that comes to your mind, that you would like to share? 

I love worldbuilding and the visuals really being a big part of who I am as an artist. My favourite part of working on music videos is getting to work with so many amazing inspiring creatives. For the Matriarchy album, I worked with pretty much exclusively women and queer people, and that was such a magical beautiful thing to be so inspired by these people and be able to collaborate with them to make ideas come to life. 

In your new song „Nothing Hurts Like a Girl“, you sing about the emotional depth of a lesbian relationship. Do you believe that women are the more emotional creatures? 

I don’t want to generalise and say that women are more emotional, but I personally have found that my sapphic relationships have a deeper emotional bond because there’s a shared experience of being othered and a deeper understanding of each other, because of your experiences as women and queer people. 

Credits: Claryn Chong

The cover of your new album ‚Matriarchy‘ resembles an art piece with its Greek column, the opulent golden frame, and the way you are portrayed. Do you think it is time for a new artistic era?  

I’m a bit of a history buff, and I was really inspired, when thinking of the album cover, of all of the stories that we were never told from history of queer people and women and sapphic women. I have been doing a series on TikTok and Instagram for a few years now about historical LGBTQIA+ people that you didn’t know about. I realised these stories have been erased, but there are so many of them. The same with art. So much art from marginalised groups has been erased because of the erasure as a form of control from the men who have ruled for hundreds of years. I was fascinated by this idea of reclaiming an image and kind of harking back to those times and all the people who didn’t get remembered who had incredible stories. I think there’s this fascination for queer and feminist artists to draw inspiration from the Renaissance and Regency eras because those were typically very homophobic, sexist times and it’s kind of like reclaiming this beautiful imagery for ourselves. 

What advice would you give to young women? 

Be bold, don’t make yourself small for anyone. Take up space because you deserve it and find people who really listen to you. 

Lastly, when will you play a show in Kiel? We are waiting for you! 

I don’t know, but I would love to! I love playing in Germany. Germans are proper music fans, and the shows are always super fun!  

Veronique Ebers
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Veronique studiert Soziologie und Politikwissenschaft. Ihre Freizeit verbringt sie gerne in der Natur und auf Reisen. Aufgrund ihrer Liebe zum Meer ist Veronique in den Norden gezogen und entdeckt ihre neue Wahlheimat für sich.

Ressortleitung Kultur

Lena studiert Deutsch und Englisch und ist seit November 2020 Teil der Albrecht-Redaktion. Sie schreibt gern Kultur-Artikel und leitet seit Januar 2024 das Kultur-Ressort.

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