Country music isn’t only for Americans. With music festivals like C2C: Country to Country in England and CMC Rocks in Australia, the genre is truly making an impact worldwide.
And it’s not just festivals that are overseas; artists from across the pond are making names for themselves here in Music City, with one being powerhouse talent Twinnie. All the way from York, England, the UK based singer-songwriter is known for her honest, unfiltered lyrics and beautifully bold personality. Born to entertain, Twinnie is also an actress and a dancer, appearing in a film alongside Glenn Close and back-up dancing for various stars including Justin Timberlake.
We saw the budding star perform her powerful and full-of-truth EP Better When I’m Drunk at the Hutton Hotel at a special showcase in downtown Nashville this month alongside friends and industry personnel. Immediately drawing the room’s attention with her fun and eccentric entrance, Twinnie opened the show with her song “Type of Girl,” which tells the story of a free-spirited, independent woman and the never-boring challenges that come along with having a relationship with that “type of girl.”
Going on to perform her single “Better When I’m Drunk” and an exciting cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Twinnie spiced things up and showed off her dance abilities with an impressive high-kick that only a trained dancer could execute so wonderfully!
Celeb Secrets Country caught up with Twinnie after her showcase to chat all about the inspiration behind the single, her new video series, the importance of truthfulness in a world of Instagram filters, her take on strong women, and more! Keep scrolling to read the full interview and make sure to give her a follow on Instagram at @twinnieofficial.
Celeb Secrets Country: You just released a new EP Better When I’m Drunk. Do you have a favorite song off the EP?
Twinnie: “I should really say my single, shouldn’t I? I mean I love all of them for different reasons. I feel like they’re all different sides of my personalities as well, so it depends what mood. If I’m in a dancing mood, I’m not going to listen to ‘Superhero’.”
CSC: What inspired the title track ‘Better When I’m Drunk’ and how do you personally relate to it?
T: “I wanted to say something that we all go through. We never filter as human beings and we don’t filter our feelings so I kind of just wanted to write something that had no filter. It was actually one of my friends who inspired it because she’s a hot mess and she’s always making me laugh. She was dating this guy, and the guy wasn’t a bad guy, but it just wasn’t right and they kept arguing all the time. It was very frustrating. Anyway, she’d be like ‘I’m not texting him tonight, I’m not doing that. Take away my phone!’ and I’d be like ‘just delete his number!’ And she’d say ‘No!’. And then she’d have one glass of wine and I’d find her in the toilet saying to him ‘hey baby I love you.’. I’m like ‘you are ridiculous!’ It just made me laugh.
So with one of my co-writers I said, ‘so I have this idea, I like you better when I’m drunk.’ The irony of that song is that I don’t really drink so I’ll have like one glass of wine and I like feel a buzz. But there’s something to be said for why people do drink. They do it for a good time but they also do it for the feeling to get rid of you inhibitions and I thought it was interesting for a girl to say it. It’s true, we’ve all woken up in the morning going through our pictures and being like, ‘oh my god, I look awful in that one! Who did I text? Who did I call?’ And then you get anxiety. I just wanted it to be an anthem of how it’s not necessarily about the guy but it also can be metaphorical about yourself.”
CSC: The music video for the title track ‘Better When I’m Drunk’ is so entertaining and fun to watch! What was it like going in and filming it?
T: “I filmed it at No Vacancy in LA. It’s such a cool venue and the actual filming of it was amazing. Everyone was so helpful and we had a lot to get done. I wanted to do two different sides of my personality; the Hollywood version represents what I think is going on in my head and what I think I look like, and then the reality is the actual night because you have rose tinted glasses when you’re a bit buzzed. The music video to sum it up was just an incredible day; I had an incredible team. It was very structured and it was just fun to film because I played two characters. The Hollywood version was very fun.”
CS: Being all the way from the UK, what was it like first coming to Nashville to try to get into the music scene? Was it intimidating?
T: “I wasn’t really intimidated because I was so naive and very young. This was way before I had a management or a label. One of my first writing sessions was with Barry Dean, who’s a massive hit writer, which I’m so pleased I didn’t know at the time. I felt intoxicated with the town. I was like, ‘I need this in my life, I want to be here.’ It’s just great. I have the support of the song writing community because I feel like they’ve seen me work really hard. It’s tough as a new artist, especially before you have management and a label behind you. You’ll do anything and everything to support this dream. I was very lucky that I had a lot of champions in this town and back home and I felt very loved and cared for. There were times I wondered if I could do it with these seasoned writers because writing is a muscle at the end of the day. The more you do it the better you get at it and Nashville sessions are very different. It’ll be like 11-3pm and then there will be another one and you’ll have a double write. That’s kind of my work ethic anyway, and my background, so it suited me being here. I just felt inspired.”
CSC: After watching you perform at The Hutton, you are so full of energy with your dancing and those amazing high kicks. Did you professionally dance before music?
T: “Yes I did. I’ve been on stage since I was 4, so I’ve done literally anything and everything to support my music career. I’ve been an actress on TV and just did a film with Glenn Close. I’ve been a backup dancer for Elle, Justin Timberlake, and a lot of other things. Busy is one word, exhausted is another but it all kind of helps as an artist. I want people to come watch me and be like, ‘this is a show she is putting on.’ It’s my job as an artist to connect to the audience and portray the story, and I can do that physically as well. I don’t want to be one of those artists that stands there singing a song. I can do that all day long, but I want people to know who I am and what I’m about. I’m a little bit different but I’m celebrating that. I think my strength is trying to be me, which is intimidating to me to be honest. Coming into a new town, even though I’ve been here and I have a lot of support, it’s still a little bit new.”
CSC: You’re hosting a series called “Tea With Twinnie.” Can you talk a little bit about that and what inspired the idea?
T: “I wanted it to be a different platform for me to showcase my friends and showcase other artists. All the audience sees is a finished product; they don’t see how many times it’s gone into a mix or how many different people that had different conversations and emails back and forth. I wanted to explore more of what that artist side is like because there’s a lot of pressure, a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and a lot of people who make it work.
I just wanted to explore what it was like for different artists because my personal journey has been hard. I’ve wanted to give up at times. I’ve been depressed, but I wanted to get real behind the struggles and inspire up-and-coming artists. This is what it is and what it takes, but if you’re prepared to do hard work then you’ll get there. So it was just a different avenue and I wanted people to know a bit more about me and my journey. It’s actually funny because I think it’s been picked up so it’ll go on Spotify and Apple, which is amazing!”
CSC: You talk a lot about being a very independent and strong woman. Is this a really important message for you as far as being a role model for fans?
T: “Yes definitely. I feel like we’re living in a time now that’s very exciting for women, and a very exciting time in country music for women. You have to bear in mind that the radio back home is a very different format. My first thing I noticed coming to Nashville was that there weren’t a lot of women coming on the playlist. Why? In a work place it’s very equal with men and women. I know so many amazing female artists so why are they not on the radio? I know people like Cam, Cassadee [Pope], and Maren [Morris] who are amazing artists that are really digging in and being great role models for not only the genre but also the fans. I want to encourage younger generations because everything is so reactionary now on social media. I always write about the truth because I feel like it’s powerful and people need to hear it. If I’m going through it, I’m sure I won’t be the first one and I won’t be the last. It’s important for women to have a voice and to use my platform to do good. I aspire to be a living legend like Dolly Parton, who is very independent, and I think there’s a lot of women that are like that. I celebrate them. We’ve all got a voice whether it’s about politics or charity. You can use your voice to do good and I’m all for that.”
CSC: What else can we expect from you this year? Possibly a full length album?
T: “I’ll have full album come out probably next year. I’m just stretching that out because I need a hit before anybody will buy an album, let’s be honest. So there’s more music coming in. I’m going on tour with Cassadee Pope for CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour, festival season is getting busy, I’ll be doing The Long Road Festival, which is a big festival in the UK, and then I’ll probably be moving here (Nashville) shortly so I’ll be here a lot more.”
CSC: Since we’re Celeb Secrets, can you tell us a behind the scenes secret of the making of your music that fans wouldn’t know just by listening to the songs?
T: “The name of the album is called Hollywood Gypsy and it’s basically the story of my life. It’s dedicated to my town and the people that made me but also my hopes and dreams of where I want to go. When I wrote this with Lucie Silvas and Jeremy Steelman, I came out of the session and was like, ‘this is the album title! This just sums me up, especially with all the acting and the dancing and me living in two worlds.’ My friends think I live this glamorous life but I never forget my roots and where I come from. I went back and told my team, ‘I’ve got the album name. Hollywood Gypsy’ and I don’t think they got it at first. They were like, “huh? Let’s just see.” So I was like, ‘no, there’s no seeing about it. That is the album name.’
When I was filming ‘Better When I’m Drunk’ in LA, I’ve never had a tattoo ever in my life, so I went and got a tattoo on my married finger because I’m married to my music and it’s my first love. After I got it tattooed on my finger, I took a picture of it and sent them an email and was like, ‘this is definitely the album name, it’s too late.’ They messaged me back saying, ‘okay it’s the album name.’ I felt so strongly about it so I went to extreme cases. I went through pain!
Wrapping up the CMT “Next Women of Country Tour” with Cassidy Pope, fans can catch Twinnie on the road this summer for various shows in the UK and US, including the UK based Long Road Festival later in the year. Make sure to follow along with Twinnie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!