Griff Always Travels With Her Taylor Swift Mini Guitar

“I want to be that romantic songwriter that writes everything in a journal, but I just don't find it practical.”

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The recording studio is often a sacred space for musicians, but for Griff, that can be anywhere. When the 23-year-old pop singer-songwriter isn’t at home in the comfort of her DIY bedroom setup, she’s no stranger to transforming an Airbnb kitchen, a hotel room, or even her tour bus into a makeshift workspace because “you really don't need a whole setup to make good music,” she tells NYLON. In fact, her upcoming EP, Ver2go, Vol 2, was almost exclusively recorded in non-studio spaces as she wrote its songs while on tour.

Below, Griff, who’s also Bose’s latest ambassador, details all her must-haves when she’s creating on the road, including her favorite “Game Boy”-sized synth to a treasured Taylor Swift baby guitar.

Akai Mpk

“My must-haves involve, obviously, my laptop. I've got Logic, and any kind of MIDI keyboard. Usually when I'm traveling as well, the smaller the better, so I kind of always carry one that's really tiny, probably no bigger than an A4 size piece of paper just so I can always make stuff on the go.”

OP-1 Synth

“It looks like a little Game Boy, and it's like a little toy, but it's so useful to sing in it and sample your voice and you can use it as a MIDI keyboard as well. On ‘Into the Walls,’ I sampled a lot of pianos with it. There are quite a lot of [arpeggios] in ‘Vertigo’ that I used both [the AKAI MPK and OP-1 Synth] quite a lot in.”

An upright piano

“I feel like in a session when you're writing, if ever you feel stuck or you’ve heard the track too much, going over to a real piano that you can play is really helpful. At any point when I'm trying to flesh out a chorus or a lyric, I'll always try and flesh that out on the piano. I started to play [the piano] around 7 or 8 because my brothers were also getting lessons, and I think I was getting very jealous and competitive. I would Google piano tabs of Alicia Keys or Taylor Swift and try and figure out how to play that.”

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

“One of the best things I found with songwriting is to have some space from a song, reflect on it and listen to a demo going about your life, whether you're on a bus or on the train. I've been enjoying [these Bose earbuds] in that sense, just to listen to demos and check that things still sound good. It was also amazing using them in the music video [for ‘Miss Me Too’] because they were so slick and nice and literally didn't fall out at all.”

Diptyque “Baies” candle

“A lot of the new project I’ve written that's coming out, I've written between tours — hardly any of the songs were written in real studios. I would book Airbnbs and pack up all my studio equipment and drive. And so the challenge was always like I’d arrive at an Airbnb and try and figure out how to rearrange it in a way that felt like homely and studio-y. So a candle is always in my bag [and] a Diptyque is always good. I've got Baies burning in my dressing room at the moment.”

The iPhone Notes App

“In my head, I want to be that romantic songwriter that writes everything in a journal, but I just don't find it practical. When you're thinking so quickly and you need to get thoughts down, I go straight to my Notes app and my Voice Memo app. My Voice Memo app is loaded with thousands of random ideas.”


“Coffee is a must, always. If I'm out and about, it's a cortado. Or if I'm at home, I just make a black stovetop.”

Builder’s tea & shortbread

“Food becomes very secondary when you're trying to write songs, funnily enough. I think a good snack and a good tea break when you've hit a writer's block after a few hours is good. [I’ll do] a good Builder's tea and some shortbreads.”

Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar

“[Taylor Swift] did a collab with Taylor Guitars and I bought it in lockdown, and now it's been my best songwriting friend. I find guitars are made for traditionally big male hands, so I had to buy this small child's guitar so I could actually play at ease with my small hands. A lot of people that follow me will probably know [this] or see it in bits of content.”

Fujifilm Instax

“I'm not so sentimental, [but on] the road I collect a lot of Polaroids, and friendship bracelets so I'll [have them] in some kind of pocket or bag. I've got an Instax that does the mini ones. I try to keep it quite streamlined.”