Q&A with Winona Oak: Remembering Sollerön in “The Island of the Sun” | new university
Note: The following interview has been edited for clarity.
This summer, Winona Oak takes listeners to the prismatic landscape of Sollerön, Sweden, where her story began. His new album, “Island of the Sun”, explores Sollerön through 13 intertwined tracks. Humility, security and love reach every corner of the album like sunlight touching the hills of Sollerön after dawn. Inspired by the infectious sounds of today’s pop music, she reworks pop to better tell her story. Each track is a piece of her.
The music was never too far from her. Its sound comes from a lineage that spans many generations. Two of her grandparents were musicians but “didn’t have the money to pursue their dreams,” she says.
But Winona was determined to move forward with her dreams. Working day in and day out making music in Stockholm, she perfected her sound and won listeners through hard work. Now touring the United States and Europe, her efforts have paid off and continue to work for her. “Island of the Sun” takes listeners through four years of Winona’s creative growth as an artist.
The new university told him about his emotional return and his direction from here.
Q: What’s it like taking your tour to North America? Is it different to play for other continents?
A: I think one of the biggest differences – especially compared to Sweden – is that you can see so many different types of climates and landscapes while driving through the same country. I was able to see some truly magical places: snow-capped mountains, deserts and dozens of city lights on the horizon. I also think the audiences have been really amazing in all the different cities.
Q: You come from a line of musicians but you didn’t quite start as such, was there a specific event that brought you to Stockholm? Do you handle fame the same way you did back then?
A: Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who worked with music on a professional level. Two of my grandparents were talented musicians but they never had the money to fulfill their dreams. It was like a very distant parallel universe for me to work in music even though I was very attracted to it. Moving to a bigger city was never a question for me, I always knew I needed more space to thrive and wanted to explore the world. I don’t have to worry too much about being famous so far. I’m just very grateful that there are people who appreciate and love my music. The music industry can be very tough so I think it’s important to keep your feet on the ground and be kind and humble. As much as I share about myself and my experiences, I value my mental health and my privacy.
Q: What has the Chainsmokers feature meant to you as a musician? Are there any other artists you hope to work with in the future?
A: It definitely gave me a lot of confidence to go forward. I’m very happy that Alex and Drew took a leap of faith and introduced my voice and songwriting to the world when I hadn’t released a single song and was about to sign my contract. registration. They certainly played a big role in helping me reach many listeners and are still very important people in my life. There are definitely a lot of talented people I would love to work with in the future, I love collaborating with other musicians.
Q: What does “the island of the sun” mean to you?
A: “Island of the Sun” is where I grew up, a small island in the middle of the Nordic forests in Sweden. It’s the place where it all started, where I wrote my first song, where I felt my first heartache. It’s also a very safe place for me, a place where I’m allowed to be me and feel all my feelings — that’s what I want people to feel when they listen to this album, I want that be a safe place where they can escape. There are songs for sunny and rainy days.
Q: What are the origins of this album? Were there any musical influences in his production/writing?
A: These songs were created over a period of four years, so all the different soundscapes grew and developed with me.
Q: What are your feelings around the release of the album? Any favorite tracks of yours?
A: It’s so hard to describe all the emotions I feel around the release of this album. It’s so nerve-wracking and scary and exciting and amazing at the same time. I put my heart and soul into this album. I turned my experiences, all the beauty and pain into 13 songs that the world will now have its own piece of. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite because they are all so different…
Q: How would you describe your new album in three words?
A: Pieces of me.
Mason Stoutamire is an entertainment editor. He can be reached at [email protected]