Today marks the release of a brand new EP titled ‘Welcome to the Club’ from UK Country artist Twinnie. We had chat about life on the road, mental health and how important it is that individuals from all backgrounds are represented in the industry.
It is lovely to have your energy here! You’re probably exhausted as you have been a little bit busy?
Just a little bit, yeah!
You have been on tour recently, all over the place. You have played some pretty big gigs including the Tottenham hotspurs ground. That is huge! What an opportunity and honour.
Yeah, it was very very high! I was kind of frozen with fear.
Your EP launch is Today! I know the journey has been fraught with difficulties. How does it feel to be releasing an EP back into the wide world as ‘normal’?
Firstly, it feels amazing. I almost kind of dread releases now as there always seems to be something happening around the release. When we first settled on this date I was like “Oh yeah!” I didn’t think about that it is the Queen’s jubilee and that it was a two-day weekend bank holiday. It is so great to be doing live shows and having the capability of spreading the word of this EP. During the release of Hollywood Gypsy, it was a difficult time. I am doing Sunday Brunch this weekend, a Nashville trip coming up… it is so different this time. Being able to connect with fans is amazing.
Talking of connecting with fans – during the pandemic your videos were epic, they were hilarious and fun. Either that or you would release a track like ‘Lie to Me’ and have us all in pieces.
That is exactly what I am trying to do! I am either trying to break your heart, make you dance or both at the same time.
That is exactly what this EP does – ‘Welcome to the Club’. ‘Dying inside’ is a heartbreaker. There is no doubt about it. The video is beautiful! Where are you going with this EP? There are two different sides to you as you have said.
It was written during the pandemic. I had seen so much division, sad and angry people. I always try to make sure people to feel a connection with my music. I want people to relate to it. I am a firm believer in connecting with people, I guess that is why I write. I wanted to highlight this human experience and ‘Welcome to the club’ is almost like a metaphor for ‘Welcome to the world’. I really feel like it is such a privilege that we all have to be here that we take for granted, that we get to be here, to be alive and only have a certain amount of time. We get to be here and then we are gone. Never to exist again. That blows my mind!
When you get down to it, we are all the same. We all have the same needs. Our struggles may be different, but we have all experienced heartbreak, or have been the heartbreaker. Or we need to quit something or can’t, which is a process. Down inside that highlights that everyone on social media is displaying a bullshit version of themselves. Myself included!
I do try to be as real as possible, but society often makes you feel like “Oh it will be cringe if you say that” or you cannot ask for help. ‘Welcome to the club’ is a celebration of we are all the same when you get down to it. We need to be accepting of each other and celebrate each other’s differences. I really wanted to highlight that. In the ‘Welcome to the Club’ video it has all these weird, wonderful dynamic characters (shot in Nashville and London) and I wanted that to kind of tell my own personal story as well. I feel like it is an extension of ‘Hollywood Gypsy’. ‘Hollywood Gypsy’ was an insight into who I am, ‘Welcome to the Club’ is a statement of what I am about.
I come from two worlds where my mum is a gorger (non-traveller), and my dad is a traveller. Growing up in those two communities, it was very hard to pick which version of myself I wanted to be. As a result, I often hid parts of myself. As you grow older, you often embrace that as it more of a blessing to experience that. It is the backbone of my music and makes me richer in my art and as a person. I have been aware of many different types of people. ‘Welcome to the Club’ specifically stands for my journey of where I have come from and that fact that the songwriter community in general have never made me feel like an outsider when I have often felt like one in society. I would say that I am an extroverted introvert. I do not enjoy small talk, I hate it. I want real connection – as we are only here for a short time, and I do not want to waste time. I am very goal orientated and strive for a real connection. ‘Welcome to the Club’ really sums up this human experience and I strive for my music to be for everyone.
Your background is imperative to you and your music. The honesty and truth. I love that you champion small artists and help those from similar backgrounds.
I am all about giving back. You will never forget the people who did that for you. The music industry is hard. The film coming out alongside the EP highlights mental health and therapy. For me that is like “We have to look after each other”. If everyone is supportive and share each other’s stuff, we cross pollenate fans and we all win. The industry is focused on just being ‘your world’. There is a comparison culture and I have struggled with that too. That is where mental health issues start to show up.
I know a woman is a collective you have founded, and you are also working with young voices. You are using your gifts and notoriety to help others.
I am a very big purpose person. I feel like I have been given a gift to put out into the world and I want to help people. I think music is the biggest healer and it is a language we all understand. It is a genuine healer. For me I Know A Woman, was all about highlighting females, we support all music makers and have men involved. I was trying to standardise mental health therapy after seeing so many artists struggling during the pandemic. This music industry is not transparent, and it is political. I am sick of the bullshit.
I have been in the entertainment industry since I was 4 but so I have seen every different side of it. Yes, I was an actress, but the many differences are that actors have a union, an equity and standards whereas the music business is a bit of a free for all. I manage an amazing act called Sabyna and I am helping these young artists as I don’t want these people to be taken advantage of. It does not need to be that way! They are still trying to figure themselves out and what better way for them to do that than to be surrounding by a community who have lived it and do not have an agenda or motive.
Helping people is a passion of mine and it is how I am built. I know what it is like to not have help. I have done this EP without a manager. It has been just me and my label. That has been amazing! I have a different perspective; we are a part of a team. Just like the music industry for everybody it is hard. It is all about how we can work together.
You have a musical theatre background. You love to be on stage! What are your next plans and where do we go from here?
I have no idea! I am working on album two and may release a bit more music. I love creating worlds and I like to spend a lot of time considering a concept. I do not like putting out any old single. Maybe a tour next year – I like being a support act though as there is no pressure. I love doing my own thing and then going home with my dog.
There is a lot of pressure on artists, and it is taxing on physical and mental health. How do you maintain it? Is it home comforts?
I am very close to my family who keep me well grounded and give me a dose of reality. I love my job, but it is a job. I have to be disciplined in when I can take a break – It is not about working hard but about working smarter and I have learnt that over time. You have to decide what you define as success early on. I want to be the first British country female to get a number one (in the US). I love America and I love being over there. I want to smash some boundaries about what it means to be in the traveller community. I am an activist for mental health, and I hope that as I grow, I can help people and make a positive difference to their lives in some way. Just to have a positive effect.
Thank you so much!
Thank you – I appreciate it.
Interview conducted by Jess T