Whinnie Williams is fast-becoming a household name. At just 26, she has been a supporting DJ for Mark Ronson, and performed all over the world. Her besties are Zara Martin and Millie Mackintosh, and she has hung out with the likes of Rihanna and Jay Z.
Describing herself as “Brigitte Bardot and Del Boy’s Love child”, Williams is a fun mix of style, personality and creativity. She even used to pretend she was a tree to calm her pre-performance nerves! Here, the successful DJ chats to us about how she got started in the music industry, what she wears to work and provides her advice for those wanting to enter the music industry.
1. How did you get into performing?
I had always loved singing but was really shy, so after lots of awkwardness I got into a ska punk band at secondary school. Then I went into jazz and eventually started writing my own music.
2. What are you doing at the moment?
I am releasing my new single on the 25th of Septemeber called Too Strong. It’s about being a Daddy’s girl and how dads are always a bit afraid to show their vulnerable side. I have my first headline show on the 29th September too at Birthdays in Dalston! In between music I have a 70s house that I hire out for shoots called “Poodle and Blonde” – that is loads of fun to do and be a Mum to loads of animals.
3. What has been the most amazing, ‘pinch me’ moment of your career so far?
I feel like that all the time! I’ve been really lucky. Singing at the Hammersmith Apollo, meeting Rhianna and Jay Z, going into Coco Chanel’s apartment, touring Australia, being a support DJ for Mark Ronson! All pretty nuts!
4. How do you prepare before going on stage?
I get really nervous going on stage and I used to do all types of weird and wonderful things beforehand. I used to like listening to tapes. I used to imagine that I was a tree LOL, but now i just think “what do I choose?” “How would i like to be on stage tonight?” Theres something powerful in saying what you choose rather than letting your insecurities dictate how things will play out. Most of all though, I remember to have fun.
5. How do you go about writing music?
Most of my songs start with me humming or saying words into the voice recorder on my phone while I’m driving. All my ideas come to me in the car for some reason! Then i’ll get a track from my producers and sit at home recording loads and loads of melodies and harmonies on garage band and then fit the lyrics in. I love to work on my own where I have days to think over each part and then i’ll go into the studio and record all the vocals properly. My producers will then help refine the chaos!
6. What do you like to wear to work?
I like to dress really glam for the studio to get me into character. Then I dress like a scruffy emo when I’m home alone writing.
7. What is the greatest piece of style advice you have ever been given?
I dont think I’ve ever been given any directly! I like to look at old movie stars and icons and see what they wear. They educate me really. Bridgitte Bardot, Jane firkin and Coco Chanel really influence me.
8. Do you think that women in the music industry have a tougher time of it than men?
I dont like to engage with it, instead I like to be a bull in a china shop! You should really just go for what you want and be focussed. Then all that stuff doesnt even matter. You’ll get there in the end regardless!
9. What inspires you?
Films massively inspire me. I recently watched Beasts of the Southern Wild and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I also get inspired by conversations I hear or phrases people say.
10. Any final advice?
Always listen to your gut!