Zaine Griff (born 4 October 1957, Auckland, New Zealand) is a singer-songwriter who formed part of the English new wave scene of the 1980s. Although being educated and beginning as musician in New Zealand, he moved to England in the 1970s, where he continued with his artistic and musical career, becoming a solo artist. He worked with Lindsay Kemp, in arts, and The Human Instinct, The Kinks, David Bowie and Hans Zimmer, in music.
Biography[edit source | edit]Edit
Being brought up in New Zealand and Tahiti by his Danish parents, he learned guitar in an early age.
In the early 1970s he joined rock band The Human Instinct at age of 16 as bassist, with the stage name of Glenn Mikkelson. During his time with the band he recorded two albums, The Hustler (1974) and Peg Leg (recorded in 1975 but not released until 2002).
By 1975, he quit The Human Instinct and moved to London, England to continue his musical career. There, he became vocalist and bassist of a band called Baby Face and began to study mime and movement, alongside Kate Bush, Adam Darius and Lindsay Kemp. At the time, he joined Kemp's production Flowers, but quit to stay in London to continue with music, when the company went to tour in Australia.
After leaving the Kemp company, Griff joined Screemer, with whom he released two singles, "Interplanetary Twist", in 1976, and "In The City", in 1977. Griff also played bass guitar with The Kinks on their album,Misfits.
In 1979 for his solo career, he used various musicians for his band, including future film-musician Hans Zimmer and Ultravox drummer Warren Cann. He released two albums, Ashes and Diamonds (recorded in 1979, released in 1980) and Figvres (1982). Ashes and Diamonds was produced by Tony Visconti. On both albums, Hans Zimmer played keyboards and computers. Due to the words of Zaine Griff himself - in an interview on New Zealand radio, april 2013, producer Tony Visconti had just returned from working with David Bowie in Berlin, when they started to record Zaine's album in autumn 1979. During the sessions David Bowie walked in and asked Zaine and his band to record three new versions of his songs. One of them the acoustic Space Oddity the other one a total different version of Panic in Detroit, later added to Bowie's albums Scary Monsters and again Heathen.
On the second album Figvres, Kate Bush sang backing vocals in the song "Flowers", which was dedicated to their mime and dance teacher Lindsay Kemp. Also Yukihiro Takahashi joined the other musicians. The single, "Tonight" peaked at #54 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1980, whilst "Ashes and Diamonds" reached #68 in the same listing in June that year.
In 1982, Griff had an art exhibition in Ebury Galley, London, to which also the London artist Mark Wardel contributed his art, inspired by Zaine Griff's music. In 1983 Zaine Griff was involved in the Helden Project ofHans Zimmer and Warren Cann. Griff sang on five of the songs on the recorded album "Spies". The album, however, was never released. Only the single Holding On - a duet of Zaine Griff and singer Linda Allan - was released.
In 1984, Griff returned to New Zealand, where he became the owner of a jazz club in Auckland. He has produced several artists and wrote new songs in more recent times. In January 2010, Griff started to record his third album "Child Who Wants The Moon", which is released in august 2011. Zaine's first two albums "Ashes and Diamonds" and Figvres" were re-released on CD and iTunes in june 2012. In november 2012 they were released in a special Japanese release with bonus songs.
Meanwhile Zaine Griff had returned to stage to perform his music live. Since 2011 he played several times in his home city Auckland and in october 2012 Zaine made his return to live stage in London. In the O2 Islington Zaine Griff played a short live show as guest in Toyah's Resurrection Tour.
Discography[edit source | edit]Edit
With The Human Instinct:
- The Hustler (Zodiac, 1974)
- Peg Leg (recorded 1975, released 2002)
- "Interplanetary Twist" (Bell, 1976)
- "In The City" (Arista, August 1977)
As solo artist:
- "Tonight" - single (Automatic, February 1980)
- "Ashes and Diamonds" - single (Automatic, May 1980)
- "Run" - single (Automatic, August 1980)
- Ashes and Diamonds - album (Automatic, October 1980)
- "Figvres" - single (Polydor, July 1982)
- "Flowers" - single (Polydor, September 1982)
- Figvres - album (Polydor, October 1982)
- "Swing" - single (Polydor, October 1983)
- "Child Who Wants the Moon" - album (ZG Music Ltd, August 2011)
- "Ashes and Diamonds" - album (rerelease ZG Music Ltd, june 2012)
- "Figvres" - album (rerelease ZG Music Ltd, june 2012)
- "The Visitor" - album (ZG Music Ltd, april 2013)
With Helden (as guest vocalist):
- "Holding On" - single (1983)
- 'Spies' - album (unreleased)
With Yukihiro Takahashi:
- "This Strange Obsession" on What? Me Worry? album
With Gary Numan:
- "The Secret" on the album, Berserker (1984)