IN CONVERSATION WITH: WHINNIE WILLIAMSDecember 7, 2015
Singer songwriter, Whinnie Williams fizzles with energy. Chatting animatedly about her poodle Brian, sharing stories about her past, her friends and her family we feel like we’ve known her forever. Looking as if she’s stepped straight out of the 60s, we can’t help but fall for her fun, whimsical style. Her music is bubblegum, feel-good pop, entirely romantic and very French. We caught up with Whinnie about her hoarding obsessions, poodle stories and of course, music.
UO: What kind of music did you listen to growing up, and has that inspired your sound now?
I grew up listening to a lot of RnB. I was obsessed with singers like Ashanti and Destiny’s Child. I got into a jazz band and a ska punk band when I was 17, so got my music education then really! From Billy Holiday to Sublime.
Shop: Title A Prairie Print Bow Tie Shirt and Retro Corduroy Shorts
UO: What’s your creative process when it comes to songwriting and creating music videos?
When I’m writing songs I like to be solitary. I get my producers to send me tracks and I sit in bed until about 3am singing into my laptop!
With videos, I like to have a theme or a mood board of stuff I’m into and what the song means to me, and then my boyfriend Tom Dream (who is also the director) will bring it all to life!
UO: What do you love the most about having an amazing poodle, and lots of rabbits, and chickens… Any funny pet stories to tell us?
I find them really calming, if I’m stressed out I’ll just sit in my rabbit run in the garden and hang out with them.
Brian my poodle is pretty smart and I think he knows what I’m thinking most of the time. A few years back I had to pitch to sing on a TV advert…the bosses were there and everyone was very nervous so Brian runs up to the boss, pulls the paper work with the words on it out of his hand and ripped it up everywhere! I think Brian knew I wasn’t that into it.
Shop: Striped Ribbed Turtleneck Jumper
UO: Is there anything you love to hoard?
EVERYTHING! I love furniture and nic nacks. I have a lot of shells and old corral at home…oh and a huge collection of poodle ornaments.
UO: What would your dream home look like?
My current house is completely 70s! I hire it out for lots of shoots, so that feels pretty dreamy. But my absolute dream house would be a big old farm full of pets.
UO: Your style is heavily inspired by the 60s/70s – what is it about this era you love the most?
It’s fun, feminine and romantic! I love eyelashes and big hair so it feels a very natural era for me!
Shop: Striped Ribbed Turtleneck Jumper and Suede Belted Pinafore Dress
UO: What’s your hero wardrobe piece?
I found this blue long leather 70s coat with blue fur collars and cuffs! It’s was £20 from a charity shop and everyone always thinks it’s miu miu!
UO: You cite Wes Anderson as an inspiration for your music videos. What’s your favourite Wes Anderson film?
Grand Budapest hotel! My first date with my boyfriend was watching it at secret cinema!
UO:If you could invite someone over for dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Shop: Staring At Stars Shaggy Faux Fur Gilet and Free People High Waisted Blue Flared Jeans
UO: Your new single, Too Strong, is about to be released on December 11th. How are you feeling about it?
I’m so excited! This feels like one of my most ‘from the heart’ songs. It’s completely me and feels like a new direction
UO: What’s been the highlight of 2015?
Having Radio 1 Xtra DJ, Mista Jam play my song 3 times in a row! And getting my live show together. My 8 piece band is so much fun to do.
Shop: Urban Renewal Vintage Remnants Collared Suede Bomber Jacket and Urban Renewal Vintage Remnants Sleeveless Blue Shirt Dress
UO: What are you looking forward to most in 2016?
Shooting my next video and putting my next song out!
I’m currently listening to… Snakehips -all my friends
My guilty pleasure is… X Factor
The first record I ever bought was… Destinys Child- Independent Women
My favourite city in the world is… Paris
Whinnie Williams’ new track, Too Strong is out 11th December.
Shoot location: Deerhurst Road