class of 2016: girli wants to make 'weird shit' with courtney love

Cybergoth meets riot grrrl power in Girli's wonderfully unique world.

by Lynette Nylander
23 November 2015, 6:40pm

With bright pink braids and magenta clothes to match, 17-year-old Girli's style hits hard. But with one play of her records, you'll realize Girli's also got a lot to say and has no problem saying it. This Northwest Londoner is one part gobby pop star and one part riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of cybergoth on top for good measure. 2016 will be a Girl(i)'s world. 

1. Girli's not really into high fashion.
"I kind of prefer really cheap shit. I like Moschino but I don't really like wearing designer stuff; I like wearing stuff from eBay. You know that joy of getting something for 99 cents on eBay. I don't really think the whole high fashion thing is for me. My room is like a shrine to cheap pink plastic."

2. She's obsessed with Buffalo shoes.
"I am obsessed with Buffalos. I think they're like moon boots; I feel short when I'm not wearing them. I'm 5'7 and everyone tells me that's really tall, but I feel like especially, if you're around boys, that they are always much taller than you. I think boys like to be taller as it empowers them, so if you put on a pair of Buffalos you can be as tall as them. I've been on dates and just fallen flat on my face in Buffalos. Once I fell in them when I was wearing like a pink ballroom gown on stage and everyone was like 'Oh my God, she fell over!'"

3. The proudest moment of her career so far was...
"Probably getting the Zane Lowe play of ASBOys on Beats1, because I love Zane Lowe, he's such a babe so that was quite cool. They had to censor it so they made it all weird."

4. She likes to hang out in bodegas.
"My favorite place to hang out is in corner shops and stuff, like late at night with the man and my friends just chilling."

5. She's longing to work with two fearless, female musicians...
"M.I.A is just such a legend so I think it would be pretty amazing to be in the studio with her, but I'd also love to do some weird shit with Courtney Love."

6. The most popular girl in school made things difficult for Girli.
"I'm not going to give out her name but she was just an asshole, really. I think the reason she was popular was because people were scared of her. I was a proper geek in high school. High school was the worst five years of my life, it was so bad. But I'm pretty sure she probably does nothing now!"

7. Her song So You Think You Can Fuck With Me Do Ya is a personal ode to her haters.
"It is about a bunch of people, really. Like the people who use to make fun of me at school and a guy who I was dating that turned out to be an asshole and my sister! It's just about really random stuff -- it was kind of less specific. I have got songs like ASBOys, which are about a very specific group of people whereas this was just general warning."

8. The name Girli came from...
"I was in an all-female band called Ask Martin (it was such a bad name) and we were just going around playing and they kind of left me. So I started doing stuff on my own and I wanted just a name that embodied a female pop star. I love Blondie and I loved that name. I just thought people would come by and be like 'Oi Girli, what's up?' so it kind of stuck."

9. She makes music because...
"I just love writing lyrics and that's what I ended up doing really. I tried acting and photography but I ended up making music because all my friends at the time made music and we all started making music together. I love performing so I always wanted to do something that put you on stage.

10. Her sound is all her own.
"I think I make music that's kind of about girls being funny -- that says to people say 'fuck the system' and fuck the people at the top. It's probably best described as aggressive pop. I love Japanese cults and and proper naughties pop, but then I also love grime music so it's kind of a weird mashup. My friend said recently 'you know some people are really going to hate what you do' and I said I'd rather people either love my music or hate it. I think the worst thing is indifference. My worst nightmare is someone listening to a song of mine and thinking 'I have no opinion on this.'"


Meet the rest of i-D's Musical Class of 2016.


Text Lynette Nylander
Photography Olivia Rose
Hair Jose Quijano at D+V Management using L'Oreal professional
Make-up Thom Walker using MAC
Photography assistance Rowan Hall
Styling assistance Bojana Kozarevic, Siobhan Wood, Issy Martin
Hair assistance Nicola Harrowell-Browne
Make-up assistance Famida Ayub, Ruth Coutinho
Girli wears all clothing model's own.

Class of 2016