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Artists

Winnie Reader

"Musically astute while lyrically daring, Winnie's incredible voice is dexterous while forceful, pushing each emotional point to its outermost limit." Clash

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From the moment Winnie Raeder began exploring her father’s record collection, she knew music was central to her life. Soaking up blues, soul, gospel, funk, and more, her father taught her how to listen, and how to appreciate, the nuances and intricacies that make songwriting special. “That was my entry into music,” she recalls. “It opened me up for other worlds.” At the core of Winnie’s being exists an appreciation for the true craft of songwriting. Each song she writes is urgently personal, hewn from key events in her life. As a result, she became accustomed to being incredibly guarded over her music. “It was too sensitive,” she admits. “Music has always been where I went to express myself, and where I went to talk about things that I just couldn’t talk about. I started writing music as a form of healing. That’s why I learned to write." Previously, being an artist wasn’t something Winnie had considered, until a fortuitous coming together of events resulted in her meeting the right people. For the first time, voices outside of her own heard Winnie’s songwriting, and suggested that perhaps she could be the person to sing these special songs. This was a significant proposition for Winnie to digest, especially given that her songs are so personal. For her it was like opening up her diary and inviting the world in to read it. “They got it. Without me having to say anything,” she says.“I’ve always known that my biggest love has been music, it's incredibly valuable to me. I think that's why it was really difficult to let go of it and give to somebody else”. Winnie Raeder’s feelings go deeper than most. She’s able to channel something, something honest, with no dividing line between her and the audience. “A song is capturing an honest moment, trying to figure out what you feel as you write it” she says. “All I really care about is the music, and the creativity.” She found a kindred spirit in producer James Earp. The two would work long days and longer nights at his London studio, often dimming the switches and working by candlelight to let Winnie Raeder fully tap into her emotions. “We would turn everything off, so there was no light whatsoever,” she recalls. “And I would try to remember why I wrote it”. “It was moments in my life that were a bit extreme,” she says softly. “All of them were extremely painful experiences... when you go through something painful there’s this moment of when everything stops. And that’s something I wanted to use in the production, and that’s why space was so important to me.” Simple but enormously profound meditations, Winnie Raeder’s work has the emotional impact of Jeff Buckley, the rawness of Joni Mitchell and the emotional connection of Thom Yorke. The root of Winnie’s music is honesty, that ability to channel some deeper feeling. “I’ve always been really, really bad at talking about my feelings,” she admits. “Songwriting works a little bit like therapy for me. The beauty of music is when you feel something that resonates with you.” It’s already resonating. ‘Don’t You Dare’ and ‘Now I Understand’ are already online, smouldering works of pure art, that will soon be followed by her bold debut EP. “It’s how I talk,” she says. “It’s my language when life hurts. It’s where I go to be honest.” Winnie Raeder takes care of every aspect of her music. From the songwriting to the arrangement and the final artwork, she’s a fastidious perfectionist, a creative polymath. “It all comes from my hands – it’s like, I was there. This is how I want it.” The cover of her debut single features a blurred photograph she found on her phone and adapted. Reflecting on this, Winnie Raeder could almost be describing her music when says: “It’s not flashy in any way, it’s just dark and simple.” After such a long journey Winnie Raeder is finally able to be honest with herself, and to accept her destiny – it’s time to let the world listen in to her stark, simple truth.

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