Friday, June 14, 2024

Interview: Ginger Winn

Straight back from filming 'Averna' music videos in Italy, Ginger Winn joins us to chat about her debut album, 'STOP-MOTION', which was released last friday, and shares insights into the creative process behind her music.

What was the main inspiration behind your latest album?

When writing, I like to write about what is really going on in my life. I guess you could call it therapeutic. About two years ago I was living in South Africa and I met my co-writer, Matthew Baione. He is a 9/11 lawyer who happens to be a poet. He’ll send me a stream of consciousness, or a poem, concepts, thoughts and sometimes voice notes he’ll never let anyone besides me and his wife Tina hear lol and I will sculpt it into a finished song.

Can you describe your creative process for this album?

I feel like a sculptor sometimes. It’s as if Matthew will send me a piece of clay that’s roughly and quickly shaped into something. I then look at it, see what it wants to be, get out of the way and let the clay become something. My favorite part of making this album was sitting in my room in South Africa at 3am and producing the demos. The whole album was sketched out before we went into the studio. David Baron did a fantastic job of going through what we came up with, going over my tracks, using them for inspiration, throwing out some of what I did (thankfully) and creating something that still sounds like our original rough draft, but better.

How would you describe the musical style of this album compared to your previous work?

Back in 2022 when I met Matthew on Upwork, I had many clients. I was producing, songwriting, and singing for anyone from a web3 digital security company to a new songwriter in Australia. Matthew was snuggled between this slew of randomness. And amongst my maybe hundred clients, he was always my favorite. Even from the beginning before there was talks about an album or moving to NYC for this music, I was just making the most genuine music that I could make. We happened to have the same musical taste (although he’s expanded mine greatly) and I was just making music that we both loved.

What is your favorite season and why?

My favorite time of the year used to be fall and winter and that was when I was more insecure and didn’t have many friends. As I’ve grown up and started to enjoy life and people more, I love the beginning of summer. I think everyone is happiest that time of year.

Do you have a favorite track on the album? If so, why does that particular song stand out to you?

'Pitta Patta' is my favorite song on the album. Even before David souped it up, I loved the energy and message of the song: turn off your phone, go outside, and get dirty. I grew up on various farms and I enjoy taking a walk outside, playing with dogs and horses, and getting disgustingly dirty.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while creating this album? How did you overcome them?

When making this album, the biggest challenge should’ve been the fact that Matthew and Tina (his wife and my manager/stylist/mom #2) were in New Jersey and I was halfway around the world in South Africa. But that didn’t matter at all thanks to the email. I never actually saw their faces or heard their voices until about a year into the project when we video called for the first time. And to be clear, there would be no album without Tina. She was the one who initially started working with me and took a chance on this girl in South Africa who was supposed to turn her husband’s poetry into a song as his anniversary gift. Throughout the two years of working together, she has been the third leg in the stool. And without her there would be no project. Not only was she the one who started working with me, she has continued to give this project everything she has as the creative director and my personal stylist (which I’m so thankful for because I have no fashion sense). She’s the gasoline in the vehicle. I’m grateful she initiated everything two years ago and it’s been an amazingly smooth process working together. The biggest challenge might’ve been getting me to the US to record it.

How do you feel you’ve evolved as an artist with this album? In what ways does it reflect your growth?

Over the course of two years, I grew a lot as a person. The people and experiences in my life taught me that it’s selfish to not be yourself. The only way to make genuine friends and relationships is by being who you really are. 50% of people will dislike you no matter what. And it’s selfish to be too nice because you’re not telling people what you are thinking and feeling, or what they need to hear. I’m grateful that I learned this lesson sooner rather than later because it’s the first time in my life that I feel like I’m making genuine friendships. Saying all of this, I think it comes through in the music. And when I perform, I try to be the most honest version of myself, even if that means some people will dislike me. It’s okay.

What kind of feedback have you received from fans and critics so far? Has any of it surprised you?

When people listen to my voice and music, they cry a lot. So I usually feel bad and apologize. But I think people are moved when listening. I’m not sure why, but it’s a beautiful experience. So if you want to cry, listen to the new album.

Are there any lyrics on this album that are particularly meaningful to you?

The line “I find myself while I’m finding you” means a lot to you. As with everyone’s first love, you become a different person as you grow and evolve with someone else.

Your track 'SUPER 8' has been getting a lot of attention. Can you tell us the story behind this song and what inspired its lyrics?

The song 'SUPER 8' expresses the feelings of wishing and wanting to love someone, dreaming about it, and then what it feels like when your dreams come true. Tuscany is the perfect setting for a love story. We were just in Florence filming a video for one of the songs on the album. Getting to experience the beauty of the country after writing the song had me speechless the entire week that we were there. My co-writer Matthew was inspired by his honeymoon with Tina, his wife, in Italy, hence the references to cypress trees and poppy fields. When I was working on the song, I was going through the journey of a first love so I put all the emotions I was feeling with Matthew’s poetry. The chords and melody are angelic and deep and I chose the chorus “Life of cypress trees and poppy fields, herds of goats and handmade meals” because I simply thought it was beautiful.

Have you made any promises to yourself through your songs?

Recently I have started to value my own words more. So I take promises very seriously. I haven’t put it in a song (yet) and I wouldn’t call it a promise, but I’ve made it a personal mission to be the most honest and genuine version of Ginger Winn that I can be.

 Looking ahead, do you have any plans or ideas for future projects or albums? What can your fans look forward to next?

Long story short, we already have enough songs for album #2. And they're really good so keep following me on social media to hear about it. 

Emily Music


Image: Brooklyn Zeh

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