THIS year has already been a big one for Winter…
and looks set to keep the pace hard and fast. I have been speaking with their singer, Samira, about the single, Zoey, and how her album, Ethereality, came together. She talks about writing right out of college; how she makes her music sound is natural and stunning – she talks about her influences and favourite albums.
I ask the U.S. artist what Echo Park is like as a base and muse; if the band is coming to the U.K. to play this year; if there is a favourite musical memory that sticks in her mind; some new artists that she would single out – Samira finishes the interview by choosing a rather awesome song.
Hi, Samira. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been great! We had our record release show - and now are in Florida starting our East Coast tour with Surfer Blood.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Samira Winter from the L.A. based Dream-Pop band, Winter. We just released our second full-length, Ethereality.
Tell us more about Zoey. What is the inspiration behind the song?
Zoey is about my cat Zoey. In the lyrics, I talk about how dear she is to me and tell her to now worry when I’m gone.
It is the second track from the album, Ethereality. What are the main themes you explore throughout?
In a way, the album goes from daytime to nighttime songs. The songs range from themes of friendship, boyfriends; my cat and inspiration from the color blue. Most of the songs are very personal and were written as a way to process what was going on at that time.
I believe you started writing the album right after you left college. Was there a reason you wrote the album at that time?
Not really. I’m always writing songs and then collect them and record them. I had written the first album during college, so I kept writing and it blossomed into the second record.
The songs feel very natural and intuitive. How did the songs come together? Did you record them at home?
My songwriting process is pretty intuitive and I do like to make choices that feel the most natural. I wrote them and recorded some of them as demos at home. But, then, I worked on the arrangements with my band and recorded them at a studio called Comp-ny.
Echo Park is your base. Is the area quite promising regards great music? How much do you take from the people and scenery?
Echo Park is a big part of my life still today...
It’s where I live, work; go to shows and it was where I wrote and worked on the arrangements for the album. I am very inspired by my surroundings, the people and the music scene in Echo Park.
When did you get into music? What sort of artists did you grow up around?
I’ve loved music my whole life and started playing and writing when I was twelve. I grew up in Brazil, so I was around a lot of Brazilian music and musicians. On my own, I would look up artists from the U.K. and the U.S. In my teens; I listened to a lot of Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Rilo Kiley.
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
We are on tour up the East Coast this April and then coming back and playing some Californian dates in May!
Will you guys come and play the U.K.? Have you ever been over here?
I would love to. We are working on a European tour at some point these coming months. I’ve never been!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I hope to record another record, tour Europe, Brazil and Argentina.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Hmmm; that’s a really hard question because I have a lot of great music memories. I love stage-diving - it’s a very exhilarating feeling. So, I guess those are fond memories of being in the air in a crowd.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don’t be self-conscious: create in a way that feels natural to you; not trying to sound like someone else.
IN THIS PHOTO: Vinyl Williams/PHOTO CREDIT: Bokeh Monster
If you had to choose the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Gal Costa – Gal Costa; MBV - Isn’t Anything and Alvvays – Alvvays
I love them and know them so well. They’ve been with me in a lot of different times in my life and I feel like they will always be with me no matter how much things may change.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Music, itself, doesn’t ever tire me out, it fuels me. It’s really just all the other more logistical stuff and emails that can be exhausting. I unwind by dancing PONY SWEAT, practising the DeRose Method and hanging out with my sister Emilie.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I’ve been really into the U.K. band, Happyness. If you could play their song, Falling Down.