She came to prominence after winning the International Songwriting Competition at the tender age of seventeen – and now, eight years on, Kiwi songbird Gin Wigmore is an accomplished artist with two incredible albums and a slew of hit singles to her name.

Featuring in this month’s ‘Local Produce’ special tonight at 7pm on MTV, we caught up with Gin to talk about how she got her start, her plans for the year ahead and her album inspirations…

MTV: Hi Gin! So tell us, what do you think of the MTV Local Produce initiative?

Gin:
I think initiatives like Local Produce are huge, they’re really important. They can give a platform for these new and emerging artists and for people that need a leg up, and I think that’s fantastic. I wish we had more of them!

MTV: How did you first get involved with music?

Gin:
I guess I’ve always been listening to music and stealing my parents’ record collection and listening to that. I was probably about 13 or so…I found this guitar and Dad was using it to try and relax with, a guitar that mum had bought. He couldn’t make sense of it so I managed to make sense of it and started learning guitar and started writing these ditties to deal with my angsty teenager things going on!

MTV: And now here you are, releasing your second album ‘Gravel & Wine,’ the follow-up to your hugely successful debut ‘Holy Smoke.’ How do the two albums differ?

Gin:
‘Gravel & Wine’ is quite a different record from ‘Holy Smoke,’ it’s a lot more heavy, it’s got a confidence to it, it’s got a swagger. I really knew what I wanted for ‘Gravel & Wine’ whereas ‘Holy Smoke,’ the first album, you’re finding your way through it and you don’t really know, you haven’t heard enough music by that stage and everything is new. The second album, you’ve recorded before, you know the process and relax into it and know what instruments you want and what musicians. I felt like I really knew what I wanted which is cool.

MTV: To write and record ‘Gravel & Wine’ you travelled a bit around the States, what was that experience like?

Gin:
At the end of ‘Holy Smoke’ I sat there and I didn’t know what I was going to make for my second record. I was out of ideas, I was exhausted – mentally, physically, emotionally. And then for someone to say ‘You’ve gotta do another album’ I was like ‘Noooo!’ So I went on a trip by my management’s advice.

I decided I wanted to make a blues record. My management said ‘Gin, you don’t know nothing about the blues – what are you, just some little white girl going to make this blues album? Go and learn about it!’ So I went on this trip by myself for about a month and cruised around the Mississippi, Alabama, Nashville, Memphis. I learned about Elvis, went to the Stax Museum learned about all those artists and wrote with various people along the way. And from that I just built my stories and had an adventure and was by myself with my own thoughts for a month and writing with incredible people.

MTV: So what’s the album about? How would you sum it up?

Gin:
I’d say ‘Gravel & Wine’ is a confident record and it knows what it wants. It’s got a sexiness to it, it lures you in. It’s got all of these kind of ingredients which make it dark and spooky and mysterious.

MTV: Finally, what’s coming up in the future for you?

Gin:
In the next year I plan on playing shows in Europe, I hope. Playing back in the States, and back in Australia and New Zealand. But I’m really beginning in Europe, so I hope to make some kind of heat wave in there.

Don’t miss ‘Local Produce: Gin Wigmore’ tonight @ 7pm on MTV!

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