Graffiti My Soul

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"Graffiti My Soul"
Song by Girls Aloud
from the album What Will The Neighbours Say?
Released November 29, 2004
Recorded March 2004
Genre Pop, power pop
Length 3:14
Label Polydor Records
Songwriter(s) Miranda Cooper
Brian Higgins
Lisa Cowling
Tim Powell
Producer(s) Xenomania
What Will The Neighbours Say? track listing
"Hear Me Out"
"Graffiti My Soul"
"Real Life"

"Graffiti My Soul" is a song by British all-female pop group Girls Aloud, taken from their second studio album What Will the Neighbours Say? (2004). Written and produced by Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania, the track was originally written for Britney Spears. "Graffiti My Soul" includes a sample of Peplab's "It's Not the Drug."

Receiving comparisons to Madonna and The Prodigy, "Graffiti My Soul" was lauded by contemporary music critics who praised its innovation. It was expected to be the fifth and final single from What Will the Neighbours Say?, but was canceled so Girls Aloud could begin recording their third album Chemistry.

Background and composition[edit]

"Graffiti My Soul" was originally written for Britney Spears in sessions for her fourth studio album In the Zone (2003).[1] Brian Higgins told The Observer in 2004 that Spears' record company Jive Records loved "Graffiti My Soul," but Britney's people felt that the song needed more of a chorus. Higgins said that they wanted "essentially Sound of the Underground 2."[1] The song contains a sample of Dutch musician Peplab's 2001 track ""It's Not the Drug." According to a post on his website, Brian Higgins visited Amsterdam and asked permission to sample the main guitar riff of "It's Not the Drug" for Girls Aloud.[2]

The track begins with Nadine Coyle delivering the line "Spiked heels and skintight jeans, I've got a fist full of love that's coming your way, baby," before introducing the guitar riff sampled from Peplab.[3] "Graffiti My Soul" includes stuttered rapping and spoken verses.[4] The song avoids the typical AABA form and verse-chorus form present in most contemporary pop music.[3][5]


"Graffiti My Soul" was originally intended to be the fifth and final single from What Will the Neighbours Say?, coinciding with the tour What Will the Neighbours Say? Live, but it was canceled so that Girls Aloud could focus on recording their third studio album Chemistry (2005). Cheryl Cole said in January 2008 that if there was an album track she'd like to release, it would be "Graffiti My Soul". She described Britney's version as "strange,"[6] adding that it wasn't fully mixed.[2][7] Cole said that Spears sang it in "that really strange voice and it freaked me out."[2][7]

In 2012, Girls Aloud fans selected "Graffiti My Soul" to be one of ten songs included on the deluxe edition bonus disc of their greatest hits collection Ten. This version is a remixed version of the song.[8][9] The song has been performed on two of Girls Aloud's concert tours, 2005's What Will the Neighbours Say? Live and 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour.


The Observer described "Graffiti" as a standout track on Girls Aloud's album, describing it as "a full-scale collision between Madonna, Michael Jackson and the Prodigy".[1] The Guardian, the sister publication of The Observer, also said the song makes you question: "What if the Prodigy hadn't turned down the chance to write with Madonna?"[10] Yahoo! Music called the song "frighteningly sharp and sassy."[11]

Matt Helders, the drummer of indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, praised the song: "Their songs do really musical, clever things; the stutter-rapping in Graffiti My Soul… They're unbeatable."[4]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Guitar: Nick Coler, Shawn Lee
  • Keyboards and programming: Brian Higgins
  • Mastering: Dick Beetham for 360 Mastering
  • Production: Brian Higgins, Xenomania
  • Programming: Brian Higgins, Tim Powell, Nick Coler
  • Songwriting: Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Lisa Cowling, Peplab, Tim Powell
  • Vocals: Girls Aloud
  • Published by Warner/Chappell Music, Xenomania Music, Music AllStars and Last Dodo Music
  • Contains sample of "It's Not the Drug" by Peplab, licensed from Proudly Recording


  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Ben (18 July 2004). "Heart of the country, home of the hits". The Observer. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "Girls Aloud – Graffiti My Soul". Xenomania News. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Stern, Bradley (29 December 2010). "Spike heels and skin tight jeans: An ode to "Graffiti My Soul," a perfect Xenomania production". MuuMuse. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Davis, Johnny (27 October 2008). "Why it's OK to love Girls Aloud". The Times. London: News International. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "Girls Aloud song 'originally recorded by Britney Spears'". omg!. Yahoo! News. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Beverley Lyons and Laura Sutherland (16 January 2008). "Girls Aloud single was rubbish, admits singer". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "More of your questions answered!". 2008-01-08. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  8. ^ "Ten Disc 2 Tracklisting Revealed!". Polydor Records. 25 November 2012. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Mayer Nissim (23 October 2012). "Girls Aloud 'Ten' fan-voted CD Two tracklisting confirmed". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Petridis, Alexis (26 November 2004). "Girls Aloud, What Will the Neighbours Say?". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  11. ^ "Girls Aloud - What Will The Neighbours Say?". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 

External links[edit]