PHOTO CREDIT: Sara Herrlander
HER latest single boasts a sound and brilliance…
that lodges firmly in the brain and gets the blood racing. I was eager to speak with Ay Wing about Strange and its evocative video. She tells me what it is like to create and live in Berlin; what gigs she has booked in the diary; a few albums that mean a lot to her – the songwriter recommends a new artist we need to look out for.
I ask Ay Wing about her E.P., Ice Cream Dream, and what it was like recording it. She tells me about artists who inspired her to get into songwriting; how she spends time away from music; what advice she would give to new artists coming through – she ends the interview by selecting a pretty sweet song.
Hi, Ay Wing. How are you? How has your week been?
Quite overwhelming. It’s nice to get so much feedback for the music video to Strange.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a female producer and songwriter currently living in Berlin, writing tunes in the basement. So, my lack of vitamin D this year is pretty high…
Strange is your current track. What is the story behind that song?
Strange tries to find humour in an age where many of our own identities seem based on an InstaFilter and the 'right angle'.
The hook of Strange is actually a quote from an old man that asked us for directions. We were grocery shopping in our P.J.s, as you do in Berlin and, when we couldn’t help, he asked “Are you strange?" before he left.
We liked that a lot, so we kept it.
Talk to me about the cast of characters and vision in the video. What was it like seeing it all come to life?!
It was fun to get into the role of these iconic female characters. I guess I needed a reason to dress up. I had to watch all the movies again and learn their facial expressions and movements, which was quite a tricky thing for me (but a fun experience). I had an amazing team.
Yvonne Wrengler did a fantastic make-up job. Josué Cifuentes filmed it and Emily Josefine directed the video. Raphael Lepeu played The Thing and The Dragon and made me laugh during the shoot - and Martin Riesen did all the aftereffects magic.
Ice Cream Dream, your E.P., has been unleashed. Did you learn a lot about yourself whilst making the E.P.? What is your favourite cut of the pack?
I loved the process of creating. You learn a lot about yourself, about your patience; about working in a team and decision-making.
My favourite one is probably LA. It’s bouncy and has a deeper meaning.
It seems colour and vibrancy is integral to you. Do you want the listener to feel more alive when listening to your music?
That would be wonderful - if they feel more alive when they listen to it. When I create, I don’t try to think too much; I just do what I feel without thinking of any genres or outcome.
Are there particular musicians who have influenced you and made a big impression?
I love musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously, such as The Beatles, Damon Albarn and Eminem. I love the humour in their music - and they definitely have influenced me in some ways.
You are based in Berlin. Is it a great city to make music in? Would you recommend others to come over and investigate?
I think it’s a great city. There is room for every kind of quirky project and I feel like there is a good sense of community out there. I would definitely recommend it. People help each other out.
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
I play at Klunkerkranich on 2nd May in Berlin; Twin Lakes Festivals on 1st September; then, some gigs in Switzerland and, in October, I’m heading to the U.K. again for some shows.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
To get my next E.P. and more videos out...and play more shows.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
There are so many beautiful ones.
I recently played for Sofar Sounds Edinburgh at Usher Hall. The crew was incredibly nice and well-organised - and the audience was such an attentive one. It was certainly one of the nicest experience I encountered this year.
If you could select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Lauryn Hill); Nirvana’s Nevermind and Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy
These are all albums that I could listen to all day long – ones that inspired my songwriting.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Try to find your own style of music and don’t listen too much to other opinions: you’ll eventually find your niche and people will resonate with your music if you create music you truly love.
IMAGE CREDIT: Julie Moorhouse
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I recently played a London show with the band, BOKITO. I can highly recommend them; one of the best live acts I’ve seen in a while…
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
At the moment, I try hard to make space to unwind and go to nature. That helps.
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).
BOKITO - Love Gotten
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