“I think I’m a normal person and I’m very similar to everyone else,” says Danish singer-songwriter Whigfield – best known for her 1993 single ‘Saturday Night’. However, talking to her about all things 90s pop ahead of her debut at Reminisce Festival on 7th September, it’s clear from the wisdom, positivity, and love for the music she shows that she’s no “normal person” within the industry.
Speaking on her expectations from UK’s favourite old school club classics festival, Whigfield says, “I know it’s going to be awesome because the crowds from 90s music festivals are life-loving and down to earth. It’s always family-oriented as well.” The festival in St Helens aims to bring 90s nostalgia to 19,000 music-lovers with some chart-topping tracks. So we discuss if 90s pop evolved, and Whigfield – aka Sannie – says “Music has evolved over time. But people still love a catchy tune they can sing along to. 90s music was known for being easyto listen to – and that’s actually what people want to come back to; they want that feeling of going back in time.”
On the topic of her own music, she says, “Recently I’ve been doing a bit of everything- house music, writing for others- but my live performances still remain the same as it was in the 90s.”
A good example of her current sound is nestled in what’s to come – her next single ‘Sugar’. Delving deeper into her latest production she says, “Set to release in fall, it’s a song about a girl, she’s in control and she decides what aguy should do. It’s a very feminist song. I hope it’ll blow everyone’s mind!”
Impressing everyone with her latest music is something on Whigfield’s bucket list. She explains, “I’d love to write a song that’s as successful as ‘Saturday Night’, that would be a dream come true. I feel like if I had that success again I’d enjoy it more this time around. Back then I was working a lot so now I’d take things much slower.” Her sentiment of enjoying success once again makes an appearance when asked what piece of advice she’d give newcomers in the industry, to which she answers “Work hard, things don’t come overnight. Take your time and enjoy it.” She also gives out another helpful tip to “save money”.
“Music has evolved over time. But people still love a catchy tune they can sing along to.“
While on the topic of the industry, we delve into the perils of being a female within it. Talking about the issues faced by women in- and outside- music, the hit-maker says, “The industry has always been quite sexist. Men can grow older and no one says anything. But at the age of 49, I now have to take care of myself because I’m not supposed to look my age. But that’s not just in the music industry – in most industries, women aren’t allowed to grow old.”
These issues, however, haven’t deterred Whigfield from loving what she does. Talking about the most exciting part of making new music, she says “It’s fun, you lose track of time. It doesn’t even feel like a job, I’m getting paid to do my hobby.” It might be because it’s a personal hobby that the pop star believes her best works comes from her own experiences. Discussing her approach to songwriting, she says, “I think if you write something from personal experience it just comes out better than if you write it just because it rhymes. For example, the last album I wrote was very personal. It was about different experiences I had in relationships – and all the pain I’d been through in life, people that I’ve lost.”
Even Whigfield’s inspirations are more personal than they musically inclined. Recalling the names of those who influenced her most, she says, “My grandmother was the one who inspired me all my life. She taught me so many things about life. Music-wise it was my producer who taught me a lot about songwriting.”
With every answer she gives, there is a warmth that radiates from her. So it’s not very surprising when she tells me that the one question she wished more people asked her is “Are you happy?”. The answer is yes, but she thinks people rarely ask other people if they are happy, and she’d like that to change. Following this, it’s also not surprising that the message she hopes to leave behind with her music is: “I want to leave people with the message of positivity. Life is so complicated, and my music isn’t complicated- it’s just about singing along, enjoying life and forgetting all your troubles.”
And at Reminisce, the positivity of Whigfield awaits! You can find out more about the festival.
You can see Whigfield at The SSE Arena, Wembley on December 18th for the We Love The 90s concert.