My Town out now
listen to Gemma's Music
Her sound, best described as acoustic soul, is prominent in her first EP ‘My Town’, released in May 2018. The record unravels layers of Gemma’s musical identity and leave audiences with palpable familiarity with this daughter of Africa whose sound is as eclectic as it is cosmopolitan. Her introspective writing draws on her range of musical influences, from international artists such as Amy Winehouse, and Lianne La Havas, to the Afrojazz greats of Southern Africa, including the late Zimbabwean Andy Brown, Oliver Mutukudzi and South Africa’s Hugh Masekela, all the way through to the new generation of young Zimbabwean artists such as Ammara Brown, Jah Prayzah and Cynthia Mare. This diverse dynamic of guidance has set her apart as an artist before her time and beyond her years.
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“Gemma’s voice holds a kind of vulnerability, that is so uniquely, unapologetically raw.”
– Alexander Bar
"Before her time and beyond her years"
- Zifm Radio
In a country like Zimbabwe, with rhythm pouring through it’s vibrant veins, growing up with an undeterable connection to music was an inevitability for Gemma Griffiths.
After completing her high school education in Zimbabwe, Gemma travelled to Snow College in The USA to study towards a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music Composition. She studied trumpet, piano and voice, being invited back in 2017 to give a concert of her works, as well as speak on her musical journey after returning to Africa.
In 2016 Gemma moved to Cape Town, South Africa to begin recording – and has played shows with South African artists such as Jimmy Nevis, Majozi, Goodluck, Freshly Ground and Matthew Mole.
Gemma managed to continue working closely with Zimbabwean musicians whilst in Cape Town, sharing the stage at the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts with one of Zimbabwe’s top artists – Jah Prayzah, as well as with Zimbabwean legend Oliver Mutukudzi at Artscape Theater.
Whilst making regular trips back to Zimbabwe to perform at festivals such as HIFA, Miombo Magic and Shoko, Gemma’s faithful fan base grew with speed. Amongst the Zimbabweans and the diaspora, Gemma Griffiths quickly became a household name. With a large Zimbabwean following in the UK, Gemma travelled to London to headline Zimfest in 2015. From there her musical relationship with her London audience solidified, bringing her back numerous times to perform.
In 2016, Gemma returned to London to perform at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards where she first performed her soulful, Shona and English interpretation of Zimbabwean dancehall king, Winky D’s hit song ‘Musarova Bigman’. It was an overnight success, with over 100,000 YouTube views within months of its release, becoming something of an anthem for Zimbabweans across the globe.
In 2017 Gemma’s collaboration on ‘Headlights’ with Swiss DJ Askery was signed to Spinnin’ Records and reached over 400,000 views on YouTube in its first month of release. She performed at Sofar Sounds in London 2017, as well as performing for the Uk’s prestigious music channel ‘Mahogany Sessions’. Gemma opened for Grammy Award winning UK artist Joss Stone as part of Stone’s World Tour. As her career takes new strides in the international scene, Gemma’s passion for her country, and its’ melting pot of energy and rhythm, remains the driving force of her work. With an ever growing drive to open doors for Zimbabwe’s music industry – it’s safe to say that the 24 year old is on the brink of something big.