Spotlight – meets Twinnie (February 2024)

The British country music artist Twinnie will always be a special person to me. The very first time I saw her on stage – some people might know that from my website – has been when she was still working as a musical actress in my favorite musical Rock of Ages. Quite a bunch of years later, I ran into her again. This time, she was a rising artist with cheeky country songs with a very personal touch and I was just about introducing the genre to In the meantime, Twinnie moved to Nashville and is now back in Europe for shows at the Country to Country festival. Especially due to her appearances in Berlin in early March 2024, I had the chance to chat with her as part of my Spotlight interviews.


Spotlight – meets Twinnie

FLYC: Twinnie, welcome back to Germany. How does it feel to have shows in my country during the C2C in Berlin again?

Twinnie: It feels quite surreal to be back. I love Berlin, the last time I was here was 2020 on what turned out to be the last weekend of live music before the world shut down. I’ve got really fond memories of being here and being with the fans. It’s really nice to be back because for a long time we thought we wouldn’t be able to play live again.

FLYC: Quite a lot has happened since you had your last gigs here. I guess the most important step in your career has been that you moved to Nashville. How did you finally decide to go for it?

Twinnie: There were a lot of personal shifts in my life and I’d been travelling back and forth to Nashville from London for seven years and it just felt like the right time in order to take things to the next level.

FLYC: I guess moving to a city with such an amazing concentration of musical talent is somehow amazing, but also somehow frightening. What has the hardest experience for you about living in the US so far?

Twinnie: The hardest thing for me is living without my family and friends from back home. That has been the biggest sacrifice although I know I’m meant to be in Nashville and it fills my heart and soul. It is really hard knowing that I’m missing my niece and nephew growing up and not be able to just pop round for a cup of tea with my mum and sister.

FLYC: You did have quite a fan base in Europe, including the U.K., who loved your straight, cheeky songs. How much have you been afraid that you loose this backing from home – and how did the European fans react on the first Twinnie releases from overseas?

Twinnie: I never worry about losing fans. I come back to the UK at least twice a year to do shows and I love my UK and European fans and I want to play more. It’s just a scheduling thing at the moment but I would love to do another EU / UK tour

FLYC: After two rather negative questions, time to look into something positive: which part of living in Nashville has been easier or just more enjoyable for you than you did expect?

Twinnie: The community here has been really good to me. I’ve got really great friends and that part has been super easy. I don’t feel an outsider here, I feel like I’ve lived here for years which is really nice, and I’ve got my dog which is awesome. He keeps me company. I love where I live. I didn’t expect to be making my Opry debut so soon or the Next Women Of Country. The community has really embraced me which I wasn’t expecting.

FLYC: When people ask me to describe Nashville, I tend to say that most barkeepers, most cashiers over there have more musical talent than an average European charting artist. How did you manage to settle in Nashville, having your first gigs, building some fan base around Music City?

Twinnie: This town is all about the people you know and the community you surround yourself with. So I’ve been very lucky with the opportunities that I’ve had just through being friends with the right people or people on a similar level to me, coming up who’ve been super supportive of what I’m doing.

FLYC: Is there maybe a song of your U.K. creative period, which you feel you wouldn’t write like this any more in Nashville – or at least, would not put on stage, just because you don’t like it that much?

Twinnie: No, I like playing all my songs. I think we’re in a really cool time right now where other big artists are coming into country music, like Beyonce and it’s bringing in a wider audience and people that aren’t necessarily familiar with country music. For me, I’ve always straddled this country – pop lane so I feel like I don’t really keep within the lines, I like to be varied and yeah I think all my songs are my babies and I love playing them all. There are some I don’t like to play live as much because they’re really hard haha, but other than that I like playing them all.

FLYC: Is there something you have learned in Nashville, which you would nowadays love to tell the younger Twinnie to learn earlier?

Twinnie: Nashville has taught me to be brave, and to follow your dream. It was quite a bold move moving to a different country. I think I was quite delusional and out of my mind when I made that decision haha. I was just coming off the back of a break-up and I just wanted something different. But yeah, I would probably tell her, to keep being her and don’t give up. Fortune favors the brave and all that.

FLYC: Are there Twinnie songs – regardless whether they are “new” or “old” ones – which work in Europe, but people don’t like them in the US? Or vice versa?

Twinnie: I’ve never really had any negative comments or feedback about my songs. It’s always been super supportive. I think because my first album Hollywood Gypsy straddled country and pop. Some wouldn’t necessarily work on country radio but there’s a lot of country artists’ songs that wouldn’t fit on there either. I think every song that I create, you can tell that it’s a Twinnie song, or at least I feel that I try to do that because you’ve already got a Miranda Lambert, a Carrie Underwood so I try to do Twinnie really well and concentrate on making the best music that I can possible. To be honest I don’t define an audience by where they come from, if people appreciate music no matter what market they’re into, they’ll enjoy the music for what it is, rather than trying to label it.

FLYC: Looking forward, an amazing year 2024 is lying ahead of you. Not only due to the C2C in Berlin, of course. I read that the video to your new song Lonely Long debuted on a billboard on Times Square. What do things like that mean to you?

Twinnie: The Lonely Long video premiere in New York City meant a hell of a lot to me. Especially because I’m from the original York, so to go to New York and see my face on that big screen was awesome. I edited, shot and directed that video myself so it meant even more. CMT were amazing to me. Shout out to Leslie Fram, she’s incredible. All my friends came with and celebrated that moment which made it even more special. I think all these big moments are even more special when you get to share them with people you love.

FLYC: Maybe, just calling out the song anyway. What is Lonely Long about?

Twinnie: Lonely Long is an empowerment song basically to a guy. Make sure you’re done when you’re say you’re done cos there’s no way you’re coming back afterwards. It’s all about realising your value and your worth and basically I won’t be crying over you.

FLYC: On top of that, CMT will name you among their Next Women of Country for the 2024 class. That’s outstanding, congrats! How much will that impact your career?

These moments are amazing and it makes me feel seen and I feel like I’m in the right place and I’m doing something right. But it’s all about how you keep building and trying to lay really strong foundations and hopefully in a few years I might be the first British female to ever have an American Country Radio number 1.

FLYC: Before we look forward to 2024, I just have to go back to the time when we met the very first time – even though neither of us really remembers. You have been a cast member of the musical Rock of Ages, my favorite. How much do you nowadays profit from having a background as an actress? Or do you feel it is not important at all any more?

I think it’s massively important to my art. I think videos can often make the listener see the song in a different light and it can mean something completely different when pairing the visual with the lyrics. I’ve always loved that. Even in the writing room I love concepts. Blue Hour (After Dark) is a concept record and it’s about a break-up but I always feel like I know what videos are going to look like for each song as I’m literally seeing it in my head while I’m writing. So, I think being an actress and dancer has enriched my artistry. All those skills help to make the artist Twinnie.

FLYC: Apart from these two ones, what are your plans for 2024? Do you have any other kind of releases planned for this year?

I’m going to be releasing an album later in the year and hopefully touring more.

FLYC: Finally, what does “success” mean to you? What would you like Twinnie to be alike in 2027 or 2028?

I would love to have made history, like I did at the Opry. This time being the first British female to have an American country number 1 as an artist, not just a writer. Professionally, I would love to be recognized as a great writer and artist. Things like the Grammys would be cool, but I strive to be a live artist so I’d love to play places like Red Rocks, and Hollywood Bowl, and like Hammersmith Apollo in London. For me, that’s when I’d feel like I’m doing something right and like I could pay off my mum and dad’s mortgage, that’d be nice. Other than that, just keep surrounding myself with the right community and hopefully I won’t be single by that point lol.


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Pictures used have been taken from my coverage of the The British Country Music Festival 2019 about Twinnie

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Music in Berlin

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