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June 14, 2022

Interview with Winona Oak (Winona Returns!)

We had the pleasure of interviewing Winona Oak over Zoom video.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Winona Oak has announced today’s release of her long-awaited debut album, Island of the Sun, available everywhere now via Neon Gold/Atlantic Records....


We had the pleasure of interviewing Winona Oak over Zoom video.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Winona Oak has announced today’s release of her long-awaited debut album, Island of the Sun, available everywhere now via Neon Gold/Atlantic Records.

Island of the Sun further includes such critically acclaimed highlights as “Jojo,” “Baby Blue,” “Break My Broken Heart,” “Piano In The Sky,” and the album’s stunning title track, “Island of the Sun,”.
Winona – who just wrapped her first-ever North American concert tour supporting British alt-pop duo Oh Wonder – will continue to celebrate Island of the Sun with an eagerly anticipated EU/UK tour alongside Alec Benjamin. For updates, please visit www.winonaoak.com

Born and raised in the Nordic forests of Sweden on a small crop of land called Sollerön – known as the Island of the Sun and the inspiration for her extraordinary debut album – Winona Oak is every bit as enchanting as her origin story. With a childhood spent encountering more animals than people, she grew up a trained horse acrobat and pursued creative expression however she could, writing poetry and songs and playing violin and piano from a young age. After moving to Stockholm to pursue her passion for music, Winona honed her craft and landed a deal with Atlantic/Neon Gold Records. Soon after, the budding songstress met Australian electronic maestro What So Not and the two co-wrote his singles “Better,” “Stuck In Orbit“ and “Beautiful,” which highlighted Winona as the track’s featured artist. She then went on to collaborate with The Chainsmokers on their RIAA gold-certified hit single, “Hope” and soon followed with her runaway success debut solo single, ”He Don’t Love Me.” In 2020, Winona released her first EP, Closure, followed quickly by her critically acclaimed sophomore EP, SHE, earning praise from the likes of PAPER, which declared, “Winona Oak is a name you should know.” Winona celebrated SHE with a stirring live performance of the title track as part of CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s #PLAYATHOME series, streaming HERE. 2021 saw Winona collaborate with breakout bedroom pop star ELIO on “Nobody Loves Me.” Now, with the long-anticipated arrival of Island of the Sun, Winona Oak fully affirms her remarkable promise as one of today’s most original and compelling new artists.

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Transcript

Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bring it backwards, say podcasts where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to catch up with when no-no Oak over zoom video a little over a year ago was the first time we had a chance to hang out with Winona. So she filled us in on what she has had going on over the course of last year, which is a lot. She did do a little quick recap of where she was born and raised how she got into music. The trip to Nicaragua, that she had taken the major success she's had with the artists. What so not. And of course the song hope with Chainsmokers. She was finally able to reschedule that, oh, wonder tour, which is canceled right before COVID or, you know, right when COVID was happening, finally rescheduled. 0 (4m 2s): And she's also doing a tour right after that with Alec Benjamin, which is huge. We talk about her new record island of the sun. Last time we spoke with her, she had put out the song, nobody loves me for international woman's day. It's 2021. So she talks about the origin of island of the sun, which is about her hometown in Sweden. And she also talks about the recent single off of her new record island of the sun called Jojo, which is a song that she wrote to herself. You can watch her interview with Wynnona Oak on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. 0 (4m 48s): And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it would be awesome if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review, 1 (4m 58s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 0 (5m 4s): We're bringing it backwards with one no-no Oak. Thank you so much for doing this. We spoke a little over a year ago. I don't know if you remember. 4 (5m 14s): I remember, but 0 (5m 16s): It's great to see you and I can't wait to catch up with what you've had, what you've done over the last year. I guess nobody loves me. It was what you had or coming out last time we talked. So 4 (5m 27s): Yeah, that was awhile ago. 0 (5m 31s): So you got a lot to, lots of talk about, so I'm super excited, but if you don't mind, we can touch on a little bit of what you talked about before. Cause I've got some follow-up questions and kind of catch people up there. Yeah. Anyway, so born and raised in, on a little island, right in the middle of Sweden. 4 (5m 49s): Yeah, exactly. Island off the sun. That's called. It's like in the middle of Sweden. It's like a little bit up north, but I would say, yeah, like in the middle of the forest, 0 (6m 2s): It's in like isn't a lake. Is that what I remember? You said? Yeah. 4 (6m 5s): And then like, you can still drive to the islands. So it's not like completely isolated. It's not like you have to take a boat, 0 (6m 13s): Like a bridge that goes out to it or something. Yeah. 4 (6m 15s): There's actually two of them. So sometimes people are like, so like how was it like going on a boat? You know? I'm like, I did not go on a boat, my entire childhood. 0 (6m 31s): Okay. So you aren't like, I I've actually interviewed somebody from there or like on an island off the coast of Canada and theirs, they had to take a boat, like a ferry boat to get to school and everything was yours. I didn't ask you this last time. Was your school like on the island? Because you said there was what like 900 people that live there. 4 (6m 53s): There was like one school from, I think I went there from when I was, yeah. You know, I cared until I was 12 or something. And then I had to take a school bus everyday to get to like the bigger city. 0 (7m 8s): Okay. So it would take you across to the bigger city then I could cross the water. 4 (7m 16s): Yeah, exactly. Like when, from when I was like 12, so, 0 (7m 21s): Okay. Okay. I remember saying the violin was the first instrument you had learned. And how old were you when you did that? Five years. When you learned violin? 4 (7m 35s): Yeah, my mom was, she just loved violin, you know, as an instrument. So she really pushed me into like trying and then she would join me every week. She 0 (7m 47s): Tried to play as well or she didn't play. 4 (7m 50s): Yeah. She, she, she wasn't that good, but she 0 (7m 58s): Wasn't 4 (7m 58s): Doing it with me. Yeah. She was doing it together with me. So, but I guess I, you know, it's easier to learn when you're in kid. I played violin from, I was like five until I was 15. 0 (8m 14s): Okay. Wow. See, you feel about 10 years. Did she continue lessons for that long as well? Or when, when did mom go? You know what I'm I'm done. 4 (8m 22s): I think she stopped when I was like 10 or something. I think she went on for like five years. 0 (8m 27s): Wow. 4 (8m 29s): She was like, okay. Yeah. She was like, you know, all the kids got some much better than the adults. So 0 (8m 40s): Yeah. It's like when you 4 (8m 42s): Shine them, 0 (8m 43s): I mean the brain, the child's brain just picks stuff up a lot. A lot quicker. You said you hadn't picked up, you hadn't picked up a violin since last time I talked to you, did you have you done it or like over the past year, have you had a chance to get your hands on a violin at all? 4 (8m 59s): No. 0 (9m 0s): Okay. You told me that you wouldn't do it unless you were like in the middle of the forest. 4 (9m 7s): Yeah. I need, I need, I need to try. I need to try it cause it's such a cool instrument and I'm so impressed by people who can play violin. I just, I just haven't had the opportunity, I guess, or just, 0 (9m 23s): Yeah. You were saying that last time, just that you would, you're very, you don't want to mess up. You don't want to be bad at something. So you said you'd have to go to like the middle of the forest to try to learn how to play it again. 4 (9m 36s): Yeah. I think I need to learn to be bad at things as well. Cause it's such a fun challenge. It's like them saying like, I, I really want to learn how to dance more, but I just, I think I'm almost, it's like the same thing I'm like, oh, but I don't want to embarrass myself. Yeah. So that's why 0 (10m 1s): You got gotta start somewhere. 4 (10m 3s): Exactly. So yeah. I'm going to challenge myself and to just do more things that I'm not good at. It's good. It's it's, it's a good like challenge and it's, it's fun, you know? 0 (10m 16s): Well, you played piano. What at nine is when you started playing piano. 4 (10m 19s): Exactly. Yeah. I was nine when I started playing. 0 (10m 22s): So you were playing piano and violin for six years or so? Five, six years. 4 (10m 30s): Yeah. I played, I still play piano. Right, 0 (10m 34s): Right. But like in between there, you were juggling both instruments. Did you play at the, in the school, like orchestra instruments or just the vital? 4 (10m 47s): Just I think mostly the violin. And then I would play a piano and sing at like, just like every event possible that I could say like, you know, and the school year was ending or at someone's wedding or birthday or just small events. They would hire me to sing and play. 0 (11m 14s): When did you realize that you could sing really well? Like how old are you when you began singing? 4 (11m 20s): I think I, I started singing pretty early on. I would sing like in acquire and that 0 (11m 25s): Oh really? Okay. 4 (11m 28s): But I don't know if I, I think I like maybe when I was like 14 or something and people would tell me like, oh, you know, this is nice. They're like, be appreciated it. Even though I Frank it wasn't that good, honestly, like listening back, but just like the appreciation of like, I just love the expression. I, I would sing. I remember one time I, I sang from the entire school I was singing. I will always love you. 0 (12m 5s): Wow. That's a challenging one too. 4 (12m 8s): It's such a challenging zoning. Like it was probably too challenging for me at the time as well, but I just, you know, I took it on and I did like a cover of it. 0 (12m 20s): Was that for like a talent show or? 4 (12m 22s): No? Just for the school. 0 (12m 24s): Well, yeah, but for this just, you just said, you know, I'm going to do a performance for the school, like how, oh my gosh. Wow. Was that the first time you really sing? You do that a lot. Okay. Nevermind. 4 (12m 38s): Yeah, I know I did it a lot. Like, I, I was always like a pretty shy kid, but then I would always be the one, like performing forever. And then people would be like, oh my God, who is she? 0 (12m 53s): Yeah. Was anyone else pursuing music in like on, on the island grew up on or in your town? 4 (13m 2s): There's like one guy who was pretty famous in Sweden. He's like on the island, I went to his recording studio and now I'm 16. You wouldn't know who it is. Cause it's like very Swedish. But 0 (13m 17s): You went to the, his studio at 16. 4 (13m 20s): Yeah. To just hang out and like, you know, I was really mesmerized by all the instruments and old sense and you know, case stories. And then I would, but like other than that, you know, I, I never even thought of, of it as like an opportunity to like actually pursue a career in music. I didn't think I was ever going to have, you know, that type of career because I could not really see myself doing it because I didn't have anybody else around me. 4 (14m 0s): It felt so far away. Just like something you see on TV or read about in books and my parents, because my parents really wanted me to like educate myself and to become like a doctor or something like, and their field. So, and both of my sisters, you know, they were very well educated and pursuing like where different carriers. And Beatstars (14m 29s): Would you agree? Lil NAS X is one of the biggest artists on the planet with old town road. What have I told you? They bought the beat for old town road for 30 bucks on beat stars. And the song currently holds the record for the most time ever spent at number one on the billboard hot 100 chart, beat stars is the world's number one digital music marketplace to and sell beats, bringing it backwards. Listeners can go to beat stars.com forward slash bib to get started on beat stars. Beat stars is free to use for beginners and bring it backwards. Listeners can also get a free one month premium subscription to open their own virtual music store with code bib. 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American Corn Farmers (17m 17s): American corn farmers, a proud and chosen profession, inspired through generations, tested resilient, and committed to giving back as much as they're growing, pushing the boundaries of what's possible with every bushel while replenishing every increasingly precious resource, like the reduction of soil loss by 40% with every acre grown in a world where sustainability matters more than ever, we need to all the help we can get. And there's no greater resource than the capable hands of American corn farmers. 4 (17m 48s): They always like pushed me to like, you need to get good grades and you need to get yourself like a real job 0 (17m 55s): Or important in your house. 4 (17m 58s): Yeah. 0 (17m 58s): What did your parents do if you don't mind me asking? 4 (18m 1s): My dad's a doctor and my mom sent my mom's sent like a medical school teacher. 0 (18m 7s): Wow. Okay. So that's that, that makes sense. Then I want you to kind of pursue something like that, but wow. Then it's like, Hey mom, I'm going to come down. I'm going to be a musician. 4 (18m 20s): Yeah. Like it took them. I think it took them like here. So actually, you know, be like, okay, this is something that you can actually do. Like, cause it's also like such a weird world to enter and to like also to explain it to someone who is not in this business and it's even weirder being there. Like, so like, are you able to like live on your music? You know, 0 (18m 45s): Right there. Like, let me get this straight. You just like write songs and that's it. Well, yeah, that's bad. Is that's it amongst other things, but obviously like, yeah, exactly what you're saying. It's interesting. Especially coming from a family of, of doctors, it's they you're in the most kind of UN you know, there's just definitely a different experience. I would imagine. 4 (19m 14s): Yeah. Just, I mean, I always had music in my house and my parents always like appreciated music and they love music. They would always like play bunch of records in the house and my sister would sing and my grandma would sing. And like grandpa was like playing a lot of instruments. So I had music in the family, but it was more, it wasn't like a job, you know, it was just something that more as a hobby or something. Yeah, 0 (19m 47s): Sure. You said you went to this, this recording city at 16 years old. Was that before or after you had started working on, I remember you telling me last time you had garage band on a computer and you would, you know, write songs in your room. Was that before or after you had a went and had that experience at the studio? 4 (20m 8s): I think it was like before. 0 (20m 11s): Okay. So you kind of had a familiarity with recording to some extent before you went there? 4 (20m 17s): Not really. Like, just not, I don't even remember what I like what I was recording in his studio. I think it was something like really silly, like cover or something that I did maybe probably like a cold plate cover. 0 (20m 35s): Oh, wow. Okay. But why did you meet him? Like how did that even happen? You said he was a pretty 4 (20m 39s): Famous guy. 0 (20m 41s): Oh, he's amazing. 4 (20m 42s): Yeah. Like not that famous, but like in some 0 (20m 47s): He was known and he was, he actually did stuff. Right. I mean, 4 (20m 51s): Yeah. Yeah. But like, yeah, he, he had been touring with some Swedish musicians on his life. I mean, yeah. So that was like my first experience of like a real music studio. 0 (21m 10s): Was that something that like lit the fire under you to want to continue to pursue music? Or like how did that affect? 4 (21m 18s): Yeah, definitely. Yeah. 0 (21m 20s): You eventually moved to Stockholm, but a couple of years later after that, 4 (21m 25s): What, 0 (21m 27s): What, what took you to Stockholm on just the music? 4 (21m 30s): Yeah. I mean, I always wanted to move us in this. I just finished school, so I just wanted to finish school and then, you know, so I, yeah, I'm a, when I was 19 and that's also like when I got into Jews to like real more like real music studios and other people who were working in music, like, and I was so fun. Like I remember it just sitting there, like in the background is looking at other artists recording and being like, wow. You know, I was really mesmerized by that entire unit. 4 (22m 11s): Whereas if just like being able to write me as they can and, and by like use my stories and create art, I was very drawn to it, but I still had like, you know, a lot of jobs just doing completely different things because I needed the money. Like, I, I didn't really have like any money to 0 (22m 35s): Just sit around. 4 (22m 37s): Exactly. 0 (22m 38s): Right, right, right. Wow. So once you get to Stockholm, like I actually real quick, I'm curious, cause you talked about this a little bit last time, but we didn't touch too much on it was that you wrote stories and poetry growing up and you said they were pretty dramatic, like to the point where even one of your teachers had to like talk to your mom or something about it. 4 (22m 60s): Yeah. That was very dramatic. 0 (23m 4s): When did you start writing? Like, like what do you remember writing, like as an early child? Like when, when you started really writing, 4 (23m 14s): As soon as I could start, right? Like as soon as I could start writing, I wrote stories basically in the beginning, they were very short. They could be like, Emma has a friend, she it's her course, blah, blah, blah. You know, like really short stories. But they would always be like stories about something. I remember my mom gave me for my art. They should gave me a story about a girl and, and people were apparently very mean to her. So she would hide and disable and she made best friends with one of the horses. 4 (23m 53s): So yeah. Well I was always writing about something. I would like give my teacher like a book because I wrote so much. But I think it was also because I was reading so many books. I was a bookworm, like from day one, I was always like, you know, the kid in the corner with a book, I was always like, so in the world of books, I just loved reading. So, and I still love readings. 0 (24m 21s): I was going to ask, do you still do that now? 4 (24m 24s): Yeah. I don't have as much time, but I tried to like always at least like I read books or I listened to a lot of podcasts and I listened to books, books, like in my head phones. 0 (24m 39s): Yeah. Like audio books. I'm a fan of that. Yeah. 4 (24m 43s): So I, but I just always loved books and I was really, I was like a huge Harry Potter fan and fantasy. I love, I love like someone, many different types of books. I guess it came pretty naturally for me to write my own stories. 0 (25m 3s): And do you, are you still, is that what you still like to read? There's like more fantasy novels. 4 (25m 9s): No, I mean, I love fantasy now still like Harry Potter, like I still have probably Potter and like, you know, those sorts of stories, but now I, I like one of my favorite books is just kids by Patti Smith. 0 (25m 26s): Oh, okay. Yeah. That's her autobiography. Isn't it? 4 (25m 32s): Yeah. And then I, I love there's the book by it. I think it's German author. It's called the art of hearing heartbeats. 0 (25m 42s): Oh, I haven't heard of that. 4 (25m 43s): Really beautiful. It's really beautiful. And I love done the tart and the golden thing. The Goldfinch. 0 (25m 50s): Oh sure. 4 (25m 53s): Yeah. 0 (25m 54s): Just kids. I have that on as an audio book. It's great. I want to say she reads it. Doesn't she? 4 (26m 4s): I I've only read the book, like the physical 0 (26m 6s): We're at it. Okay. I'm just like, oh, there's too many words. I'm just going to listen to it. But yeah, that's cool. Very cool. I'm I'm huge into the autobiography type stuff. Biographies. I love listening. Especially when it's written or read by the author. I'm like, oh, this is so rad. Like so-and-so reading their life to me is incredible. That's kind of why I wanted to do this podcast. 4 (26m 29s): Yeah. It's so cool. Cause you never really like, like you see someone that you never really get to know a lot, like what the story is and what's their skin, you know? So that's pretty cool. 0 (26m 47s): Yeah. I love it. Especially with musicians, I feel like, or artists that you're like, oh, that person just came out of nowhere and it's like, Hmm. They've probably been working at this for, you know, 20 years or so many years before that one thing landed for them that you know them for just that one thing. But yeah. I always find it super fascinating. 4 (27m 8s): That's cool. That's nice. 0 (27m 11s): Yeah. So you get to stock on 19. When do you, I know you met Derek of neon gold. You go to what? This writing camp in Nicaragua or something like that. Like how late, how much later down. And you're like, how old, around where you then were like, how long had, had you been in Stockholm at that point? 4 (27m 30s): Like they invited me like in January, 2017. 0 (27m 37s): Oh, wow. So you had been working for a while. There are lot. 4 (27m 41s): Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like doing things in London and I was trying to meet the right people and just, you know, like you do, like you meet the right on the wrong people. Like it takes a lot of frogs, like kissing a lot of frogs before you meet the right people. 0 (28m 0s): Well, you don't know the path. Right. I mean, you're just trying to meet people and see how yeah. 4 (28m 6s): Yeah. And especially like, as a woman in this industry, it's so easy and the hands of people think it's so easy. So I definitely had my share of meeting the wrong people. And then I was, you know, I decided to go on that trip when they Corolla, just like illegal, take a leap of faith. And I didn't know anyone. I was just a stranger in the middle of the jungle. I lost my, I lost my suitcase. I arrived at their port and my suitcase was like somewhere in between Sweden and they gripe. I just got, I dunno, like it arrived like four days later, but I didn't have any clothes. 4 (28m 51s): I didn't have anything. So I was pretty like vulnerable, you know, being at this place with my hoodie and my 10 layers of clothes from Sweden. Cause it was in the middle of winter in Sweden. So it was pretty special. And when I left Sweden, like I was, I was like, not in a really good place in Sweden. I was just, everything was kind of black and right. And then I arrived to this place and I was just blown away and I was just like, I could see colors and everyone was just so nice. 4 (29m 32s): We were just like a big family. And I was just amazed by the life that I was like able live, just writing music and just focusing on that and eating amazing food and having great conversations with like, you know, like minded people. So it was just a life-changing experience for me. 0 (30m 1s): Yeah. I mean, going out there with, you know, no knowledge of anything, not knowing really anyone there. Right. I like tell me, like you just tell your family, like, Hey, you know, I got this offer to go to Nicaragua, to this musicians writing thing. Like that's where I'm going to be. Like, see you later. 4 (30m 21s): It was weird for them. They were pretty worried, you know? 0 (30m 24s): Oh sure. Get there. And yours suitcases in there. And are you like a, is this like a joke? 4 (30m 32s): I did. I, I didn't get too nervous about it in the end. It's just like material things, you know? And it's not what really matters. 0 (30m 41s): Right. But I mean, you're there now. Right? You're in a whole nother country with, 4 (30m 45s): I had my password. I have that's important. Yeah. 0 (30m 50s): Okay. Okay. Oh, I thought you were just there with nothing. And you're like, ah, 4 (30m 55s): It was just like that check in luggage would all my clothes and my makeup, my skincare, you know, all of that. That is also very what happened to me now. Probably be a lot more freak out, but this was before I turned 25, I didn't have the same, like my brain wasn't developed enough, honestly, you know, the, we don't develop, like, I don't know how to say like consequence, like the thinking of the consequences until they're like 25. So 0 (31m 32s): I don't remember hearing something like that. That's crazy. Yeah. 4 (31m 35s): And so I think I was just more naive also, but it was a good thing for me cause I, I just took this big 0 (31m 46s): Journey 4 (31m 47s): Hugely. Yeah, exactly. So I I'm just grateful for that journey and like just meeting Derek and Sarah and Lacey and everyone. And I was like, oh my God, this is so nice. Like people are so nice 0 (32m 5s): Out there too. Correct. 4 (32m 6s): Exactly. And we, we record that single beautiful in the middle of the jungle 0 (32m 14s): That was actually recorded there too. I didn't know that. 4 (32m 17s): And it was recorded on a day when the power was out and the entire country. So we just recorded the entire song on the USB mic 0 (32m 26s): Really? Oh my gosh. 4 (32m 29s): And by the time that was also like in a huge fight with my ex and Sweden. So it was like a horrible day, but the song turned out 0 (32m 38s): Good as though, then you put out this beautiful song really? Oh my gosh. Wow. When, when you're at this, this songwriting thing in Nicaragua, are you, is it like, like what's the scenario look like? Are you in the middle of the jungle? And there's like, what cabins that your guys are staying in and kind of just meeting minimally in the middle or like 4 (33m 1s): Beautiful, like amazingly beautiful little cabins or I don't even know where go. I would say it's not really cabins. It's just like, it's hard to describe because it's like, oh, cute tree houses almost there. And then there's like music studios in the middle of it. Like it's, I don't know how to describe it. It was just like that feeling that I got from being there. And just also like the stars, I've never seen the stars like that they were, would just like covered them tire sky from like, from, from when we went down to the ocean and was like, from my feet, like all across, like, it was just crazy beautiful. 4 (33m 53s): Like, and I don't even know how to describe that. Like it was something else it's like the feeling that you're getting in your stomach. Like when you think about a certain place and it, it just gives you that feeling like, I don't know how to describe it. It's just like, yeah. A very happy feeling 0 (34m 17s): Or like coming back and then having that song beautiful. Like, I mean, that song did amazing things. Right. Did that it really opened the door for a lot of opportunity for you? 4 (34m 28s): I think so. And I also just got a taste of a different life and I, I went back home and I was, I was just like, I'm going to give this everything. And I worked my ass off to, you know, to just leave the life that I had and to start something new because I was not in that happy place and I needed to, I needed two things to change. So that was kind of like that journey changed a lot of things for me, not only like, and like the musical aspect of it, but also like the personal aspect of deciding to like leave a relationship and just take the step into any life and prioritize myself and my own needs. 0 (35m 24s): That's great. I mean, so you get back, it sounds like, yeah. You changed your, your, your whole life there. I mean, broke up with the boyfriend. I'm guessing. <inaudible> hear like, okay. And then do you stay in? I know I was just kidding my boyfriend and then I go home and I just changed everything. 4 (35m 52s): Oh my God. It sounds, it sounds like I'm a horrible person. I didn't know. I was, it was not how free. Yeah, well, yeah. And she just cut all that up. I then I went to LA for the first time that summer. 0 (36m 12s): Oh really? Okay. 4 (36m 14s): Yeah. I, I decided to go to LA for the first time and I continued working, but at people that I met in Nicaragua and then I went to Nicaragua and once again in August. 0 (36m 27s): Oh, you did. Okay. Did you go back on some of the same people? 4 (36m 32s): Yeah. Sometimes the same people. And that was also like such a fun trip. I met like Matt Mason on that trip and yeah. A bunch of great artists and 0 (36m 50s): Songs there the second time around. 4 (36m 53s): Yeah, I did, but I don't remember if we used any of those. I don't think we did. I think we just 0 (37m 2s): Beautiful for sure. 4 (37m 5s): And then, yeah. And then I 0 (37m 11s): Were, you signed with neon gold that when you had got back to LA or when you went to LA, like, 4 (37m 17s): No, I didn't. No, they actually like on that second trip, they were like, they were asking me like, still we want to sign it. And then I I've already started the conversation with Atlantic as well. So it was like a perfect timing and yeah, I'm like, I decided to sign with both. They've been the best group of people ever, like, so yeah. And I decided to move to LA and I went back to LA and yeah. 0 (37m 53s): And then you worked with the Chainsmokers at some point in there and you're even in the video for hope. Like was that soon after you got back the second time, 4 (38m 2s): It was like a year after. 0 (38m 4s): Okay. So when you get back, so when you signed, where you just working on your own project? 4 (38m 11s): Yeah. Okay. I was working on my first AP to finish it up. 0 (38m 16s): Okay. And you put that record out and then you also put out she right. She was the next CP. Okay. 4 (38m 24s): Yeah, exactly. 0 (38m 26s): So I think last time we spoke it was, nobody loves me and you put it on for international women's day. And that was a little bit after that. Right after the sh after the sophomore. 4 (38m 37s): Yeah. Okay. So that says that. Yeah. I put out my second AP and then it's so weird. Thinking back is COVID is it's like we're looking back at COVID right, right. I was supposed to go on tour like two years ago. It's the tour that I'm doing now 0 (38m 60s): With a wonderful right. 4 (39m 2s): Yeah, exactly. No, 0 (39m 3s): That's crazy. Right. I mean, you, that's, what you're telling me last time was that you were about to do this tour. You got all this stuff, you know, lined up, ready to go, and then it all shuts down. And then now here we are 20, 22. And what in a couple of weeks or not even what next week or so you're going out on that tour finally. 4 (39m 23s): Yeah. That's crazy. Like so many things have happened and I'm like, wait, it's still hard to like process. 0 (39m 34s): Wow. Wow. And this is your first tour, first big tour. 4 (39m 38s): Yeah. 0 (39m 39s): Excited or nervous or 4 (39m 41s): So excited and nervous. Like I can't hear him describe it's so fun being back at it again, like just, you know, finally like doing all these things that I was gonna do like two years ago. And, and I'm like, I'm going on the European tour with Alec Benjamin right after 0 (40m 4s): This tour. 4 (40m 7s): And I'm releasing my first album. And so yeah. It's like nerve wracking and so much fun and excitement at the same time. So, 0 (40m 20s): Yeah. Have you had a chance to play a live show yet? Beatstars (40m 23s): Would you agree? Lil NAS X is one of the biggest artists on the planet with old town road. What have I told you? They bought the beat for old town road for 30 bucks on beat stars. And the song currently holds the record for the most time ever spent at number one on the billboard hot 100 chart, beat stars is the world's number one digital music marketplace to buy and sell beats, bringing it backwards. Listeners can go to beat stars.com forward slash bib to get started on beat stars. 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As they paint the sidewalk murals in front of our store, plus get storewide savings during our buy more save more event. See you there Bank of Clarke County (43m 13s): Searching for the loan that's right for your life or your business. The bank of Clark county offers personal auto financing, personal loans and business lines of credit mortgages and business real estate loans, home equity loans, personal and business construction loans, and more whether you're looking to upgrade your life or your business, the bank of Clark county has the loan that fits visit your local bank of Clark county branch, or go to bank of clark.bank, equal housing lender member, FDI C 4 (43m 46s): I've been playing. Yeah, like I've been playing some like some, a few shows in Sweden. So I play one for the Royal family in Sweden, played a couple of songs for them at a skiing. And then in my hometown and I played at, at a music gala. Yeah. I've been playing a little bit, so I've been keeping it up, but it's mostly been just me and my pianist. So now it's going to be like totally different. This is going to be like bar. Yeah. This is more like a show, you know? 0 (44m 23s): Oh, wow. So have you, so this is all new. Have you been practicing with the band? Like, are you, is that I'm sure that's gotta be a whole different level. 4 (44m 31s): It's going to be so much fun. Like I am so excited. I flew in here from Sweden a couple of days ago and I went straight into rehearsals and I was like, this is insane. Like just like, what is this? My life set? Is this my songs? Like, you know, it's just wild. 0 (44m 56s): So cool. 4 (44m 57s): I'm very excited. Like, I don't know if you heard that one. 0 (45m 1s): Yeah, I did. And I want to talk to you about it if that's cool. Awesome. Well, I was going to say real quick on the last note, on the live stuff you told me, cause you played on Stephen Colbert during the stay at home thing. When the one of the television shows all the late night shows where, you know, streamed online and you played she the first time he ever did that song like live right. Wasn't it on television. That's so wild to think. So when you get into that, so you obviously have enough confidence to just know exactly what you're doing. So are you like when you, when you go out to these first shows with, you know, with a wonderful, is that going to be a similar, like, are you going to be just as nervous as you are for Stephen Colbert or not at all? 0 (45m 52s): Because you're ready. 4 (45m 56s): I think it's good to be nervous. I'm always nervous going on stage, but then after a while it just disappearance or it does, it's not even like disappearing, it just transforms into like energy. Like I'm always nervous. Like I can be nervous just going on an event. It's like meeting people. Cause I have like little bit of social anxiety and I have like, like I kind of, especially after COVID honestly I get nervous like all the time about stuff and, but I think it's in a way it's, it's also helpful. 4 (46m 39s): Cause it's making me like, you know, trying my best. If I wasn't nervous, you know, then I would be like, like Indiana, it's like, what's the worst thing that could happen? You know? Like forgetting a few words. It's like, yeah, it's my songs and better. 0 (47m 6s): Exactly, exactly. 4 (47m 10s): So, and I also think it's good to be like a little bit on the edge sometimes and like pushing myself and because then I know I'm going to do my best and I'm gonna have fun. And like, as soon as that just I get less nervous. It's so nice to just transform that and such as like adrenaline and like the energy of the crowd and people, as long as the crowd is nice, I'm happy, you know, 0 (47m 42s): That's awesome. So the record is called island of the sun, which is the name of the island you grew up on essentially. Right. And it's translation in English. So is this record kind of like in a autobiography about your life or like, tell me like, why'd you go with that title and like, how did it correlate into the record? 4 (48m 7s): I just feel like a title is so unique represents me and the way that, you know, then I have enough to send the first track of the record is the first song that I ever wrote about my own time. And it's not like the album as like an auto biography about me, but it's like, all the songs are absolutely like chapters of my life. So yeah, like in a way I just felt like going back to that place and like getting to know that plays out the core kind of sucks the vibe for an entire album. 4 (48m 53s): So that's why I wanted it. Like I wanted to name something after the island, it's a small island and I think it's so like beautiful. And it shaped me in so many ways as a human being. And I wanted to give something back, you know, 0 (49m 11s): Was there any of the record or was it a lot of it written while you were there? Or was any of it recorded there at all? 4 (49m 19s): Unfortunately, no. I want some like some, at some point on one of the live music studio, like at my parents' garden or something that would be really nice 0 (49m 31s): Or knock on your neighbor's door and be like, yeah, let me see, let me get in here. I don't know if that guy's still a loser. 4 (49m 40s): Yeah. Or just like some, you know, close to the island. Like some of LinkedIn there, various that could be so nice, just like buy a water. And I would love that or just because I love like just the entire like, and neighborhood and like the areas like around, I don't even, how do you say county? So then it's like super beautiful and it's one of my favorite places to visit in Sweden. It's so peaceful in the summer and that's, you know, a lot of nature, a lot of like good food and locally produced. 4 (50m 36s): So it's really nice to be there. 0 (50m 39s): That's awesome. And was, I think last time I talked to you, you were talking about working on this record. So you've been working on it for a little bit now or were those songs, so those are some of the songs still being worked on from the, what is coming out. 4 (50m 54s): Yeah. I mean there some songs that I'm gonna put on my album that that was on my first and second AP, then there's a bunch of new songs. Like you heard like NDA and my brain is creasing right now. Like yeah, 0 (51m 18s): Joe, 4 (51m 19s): Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. It's a song that I wrote to myself, basically my, my real name as Johanna and my nickname is Jojo. So I wanted to write a song about that feeling that you get when you just feel completely lost and inside of walls of society and inside the walls of just being an internet and seeing no perfect people, living perfect lives online and just, you know, being a part of that, but still feeling like you're not and, and just feeling small and those world and dealing with all the emotions, just about how, like how segregated it is and how some people can have everything. 4 (52m 22s): And some people just have nothing and how we're destroying the planet. And we have private skies for vape portrayals and some people live on the streets, they have nothing. And like what kind of part do I play in that? And how can I change that? There's only so much you can do, you know, if you don't have the money and if you don't have the power. Yeah. It's just basically talking about it. A lot of, kind of the subjects. And for me, it also like made me realize what I value in my life. 4 (53m 4s): And then I think also COVID make me take a step back and just reflect on what I actually value in my life and how important that is for me to have people close to me that appreciates me for being me and like who I am, like all the good and the bad and you know, having my family close to me and all my nephews and being close to the name. Like, I appreciate a lot of beauty, you know, 0 (53m 42s): Because you spent the corn, you spent the time in inspect, you were in Sweden, right. With your family when COVID was happening. Oh, you were okay. 4 (53m 54s): Yeah. And half, little bit I was on the island with my parents. 0 (53m 60s): Is that what kind of sparked some of this? The themes for the record was just being home with them 4 (54m 7s): Actually B I, I don't even remember exactly when we started writing Joe, do I think it was before COVID or during Colby? Maybe. Actually, I don't remember exactly. I need to do it like a fact check on myself. I think I've always had this feeling like, especially like being part of the internet based universe, you know, it's, it's really weird to navigate. Sometimes it's hard to know what's real. And you know that when you see people online that they don't even look like themselves, like there's so much filters and shit going on. 0 (54m 55s): Well, yeah. It's like the old man is like looking in a magazine years ago. It's like these, these aren't, these are still airbrushed up and you know, and like now it's like, no, one's going to post their real life on their Instagram feed. It's going to be the best pictures of them. The best, the only, the coolest things they're doing are sharing. They're sharing with other everyone. It's not, oh man, I had a horrible day today. Let me just post a picture of how terrible I was doing. Like it's always. 4 (55m 20s): Yeah. And also just like would take Coq and everything. And everyone's just trying to get famous. Everyone's trying to get viral. It's pretty sad looking at younger people and like bloody want it to, it's a creators. Everyone wants to be like influencer nowadays. Nobody wants to be a doctor anymore. 0 (55m 42s): Yeah. Right. And know, it's weird. I have a 14 year old son and that's, it's all their friends. It's just all about Tik TOK and this and followers and likes and creating, like jumping on these trends. And it's like, oh my goodness. Like, I'm so happy. I didn't grow up in the age of even having a cell phone and a camera like that accessible 4 (56m 5s): Like 0 (56m 5s): Crazy. 4 (56m 7s): I remember when I was like, I got, I got my first phone pretty late and it didn't have a camera. So I would pretend that it had a camera. I was like, I would play, I took the view. Yeah. It didn't have, 0 (56m 24s): I'm trying to think. Like, I don't think I had a fund that a Carolyn until I was much older. Obviously I got, yeah. Yeah. Anyway, I'm not going to disclose my age by like when the phones came out that I had, it was, there was definitely no camera or internet accessibility or anything like that. But wow. I know it's wild. I was interviewing somebody earlier today and just the perception of like, or just like this whole metaverse and everything, there is so crazy to think. Right? Like you can be going to a show of some influencer with a million people of their following that you're basically sitting in your I'm sitting in this room wearing goggles and like paying to be on some concert. 0 (57m 7s): Like it's so crazy. 4 (57m 9s): And it's pretty well. That's like weird. Yeah. I just, I just, yeah. And it's hard to like, cause we're only so small, like ranches particles, the, in the words, so what can we do? 0 (57m 30s): Yeah. So, well, at least you could get to be around real people, real humans. You're doing two amazing tours. If your record coming out, like a lot of big things have happened in the past. You know, since I talked to you last a year ago. 4 (57m 43s): Yeah. Crazy things. Right. I'm lost. I'm not just sitting in my house anymore. 0 (57m 53s): Well, you were saying last time you weren't a fan of the zoom zoom, a songwriting session. So I'd imagine that this record was all done in person. 4 (58m 5s): Oh yeah. Not a single song was created over some. I can ensure that. 0 (58m 13s): And working with you, you also said that there's only 2% of producers are female. 4 (58m 24s): That's crazy. 0 (58m 25s): Isn't that crazy to think. And then it's just like, I was thinking about that and I'm bringing that up quite a bit in other interviews. Cause I didn't know that fact that you told me and it's like so interesting to me that I have a Mac and I have garage band on it and I can tell anyone that I'm a producer, just because I can throw some pre-made loop into my thing. Right. I enter the timeline and be like, oh yeah, I'm a producer. I can download a thing off of YouTube. And no one would people don't question it as they would with, I feel like females have such a harder time cutting through in that regard. 4 (58m 56s): I think honestly we have a hard time with like everything. Like we have so much more pressure on us just looking at the pressure that we have to perform on stage versus in that he can just stand up with like his baggy clothes and the guitar. And everyone's gonna know where to ship from 0 (59m 19s): Either. 4 (59m 20s): And then a woman to be sexy. She needs to know how to move. She needs to have the perfect makeup she needs. Like she's going to be judged anyway, but there's so much more pressure on us and just the body image, just like society in general. So I just hope that it will change. That's like why I love artists like this though so much. Like I think she's changed getting him artists. 0 (59m 50s): Yeah. And here the lyrics are just so good. Like, 4 (59m 53s): Yeah. 0 (59m 54s): Oh my gosh. 4 (59m 56s): And she knows that like how to move, but just pressure just like depression and like the way that, you know, there's always, they will always talk about us differently. And I just, I just want it to change. I don't want to see any magazines of like assumed in the photos of like learn and, and perfections, you know, I'm just tired of it. I just, I don't want my kids throw up in that type of forum whenever I have one, you know? 0 (1h 0m 29s): Sure. No, I completely agree with you. D was that important when it came to putting this record together? Like, did you hire female more females to work on the album? Cause I know, I think you said that with the song that came out, obviously on international women's day that you had it produced by a female. 4 (1h 0m 46s): Yeah. It was all all done by females. That record. Unfortunately, no, the album is not like, it's probably also like a lot of percents. Like I think it's like only male producer. 0 (1h 1m 3s): I didn't know if that was like a theme you're going for, but that's amazing. 4 (1h 1m 8s): Yeah. I just worked with people that I love and appreciate. And I have a lot of female writers on this record. Like, but unfortunately no, all female crews, there is one song. Ah, there's one song that I did for the female producer, yours tomorrow. That's all female. 0 (1h 1m 37s): Yeah. That's awesome. 4 (1h 1m 38s): And that's like one of my favorite songs, so 0 (1h 1m 43s): Incredible, incredible. Well again, congratulations on all the amazing things that you've done over the, like since the last time we spoke, I can't imagine where you'll be next year. And that tour finally getting rescheduled and then doing the Alec Benjamin tour coming up as well. Like I wish you all the luck and I love the songs I've heard off the record so far and I really appreciate your time hanging out with me again. Thank you so much. 4 (1h 2m 9s): Thank you. Thank you so much. 0 (1h 2m 12s): I have one more quick question for you. Ask the same question to you last time before we left, but I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists, 4 (1h 2m 26s): Be careful. Would people who promise too much and make sure that you don't sign anything that's like, don't give a Ray or so that's like one of the most important things, I think just to be careful that you work with like really good people and that people actually want what's best for you because you really got to make sure that you don't put yourself in the position. They are gonna regret it. Like if you guys later, you know, and that, you know, I think that's something that we don't say enough to new artists, the end, the, they just sign away their entire soul. 4 (1h 3m 15s): And then of course be yourself and all that. But they already know that 0 (1h 3m 19s): Don't quit and work hard. 4 (1h 3m 23s): Everybody works hard.