Check out her new single ‘Winter Rain’ now.
By: Sam Taylor.
Winona Oak’s take on alt-pop is seductive. An addictive blend of beats and a masterfully restrained vocal that begs for repeat listens, it’s showcased to great effect on the Swedish singer-songwriter’s new single ‘Winter Rain’, taken from an expanded edition of latest EP ‘She’.
“‘Winter Rain’ describes how it feels when someone’s turning guarded and distant in a relationship,” Winona explains. “The numbing coldness when they’re slowly pushing you out of their life. The ice running through your blood when you can’t stop wondering if they don’t love you anymore. But maybe it’s just all in your head?”
Check it out below, and get to know Winona a little better, too.
How are you today? What have you been up to?
I’m good! It’s pretty cold and dark here in Sweden right now, but it’s okay. I just watched the Chanel Haute Couture show – it was magical and really nice, so I’ve had a pretty good day.
What first sparked your interest in music?
I’ve always been surrounded by music. My grandma was a singer – she wanted to be an opera singer and was accepted to the Royal Opera in Stockholm but didn’t have the money to go there, so she would always sing at church, at weddings, or just for people. I grew up in a home where I was always surrounded by music and started playing the violin when I was five. One of my sisters played piano, and my other sister would make me these mixtapes of my favourite songs, so I think I was just born with the spark! [Laughs] Well, that’s cheating, but let’s just say that I was born with the spark!
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Yes! I love to be creative in all kinds of ways – I take a lot of photos, and I’m involved in all the creative processes of my music videos together with my boyfriend Julian, who directs. I love to write – books, poetry, and I do a lot of ceramics… well, I did a couple of really nice little sculptures at my mom’s, at least. I love to be creative in all kinds of ways.
What’s been the highlight of your time as a musician so far?
Meeting all the magical people that are listening and connecting to my music. Playing live. I can’t choose a specific moment, but knowing that you’re able to actually connect with someone through your music is just so fucking beautiful.
What was the music scene like in the area you grew up in?
[Laughs] Well… it was a lot of folk music. I grew up playing violin, and I played a lot of folk music – it’s all these mythical songs and this way of singing that makes the cows run to you! I can’t remember the name, but folk music was really big where I grew up.
You’ve not long ago released your second EP. How did that go?
Really well! I’m really happy with the response so far. I released two EPs last year – so insane right in the middle of a pandemic! I’m really happy and really grateful that I’m able to do this. I feel so blessed.
What can you tell us about your new song ‘Winter Rain’? What is it about, and how did it come together?
I wrote ‘Winter Rain’ in Stockholm about three years ago with my friends Andrew Wells and Julia Karlsson, and it describes how it feels when someone’s becoming guarded and distant in a relationship. You feel like everything is just falling apart and they’re bringing on the end – they’re bringing the winter rain; it hurts, and you can’t stop wondering if they don’t love you anymore. It’s also a very poetic and honest song about how it feels to be insecure and feel hopeless, but there’s always hope!
What do you most enjoy writing about?
Most of my songs are very personal. I love to tell stories and write about subjects that are important to me. I’m not afraid to provoke people or anything – I love to write about feminism and equality and just be honest and personal.
What else have you got coming up? It must be difficult to plan at the moment.
Well, you’re right! [Laughs] It’s hard to plan at the moment, but my plan is to release a lot of music and to continue to be creative – a lot of art and music videos and hopefully reaching out to some new people this year which will be nice. My main goal is to just keep working.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
That’s a hard one! Of course, I want to sell out arenas and do super big tours and all of that, but for me, it’s so important to stay true to myself and to be happy and healthy. You know, to have a good relationship with myself and my mental health at the same time as I’m growing my brand. I have so many things that I want to do, so I can’t say one special thing. I just want to keep developing myself and my project.
What do you do for fun?
I love to eat! [Laughs] Cook food, go to new restaurants, spend time with my friends, go out dancing. I also love being out in nature – I love riding horses. There’s so much you can do for fun it’s hard to say just one thing. I love to do things that make me happy – it could be laying on the sofa for the whole day, and it could be totally opposite, like going on crazy adventures! It depends.
Tell us a secret about yourself.
I’m very, very, very, ridiculously scared of heights. Like, insanely scared. Whenever I go out on like, a second-floor balcony my legs turn to spaghetti, so I’m never ever ever going to do a bungee jump or anything like that!
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