Jill Winter, from New York, is a versatile musician, both instrument wise and stylistically. Thanks to Jill for this interview!
Q: How did you start out on your music journey?
I grew up in a musical family. My dad sang in Doo Wop groups when he was younger and my brother is a guitar player and singer.
Q: What kind of things inspire you to write?
I don't have one specific "formula" for writing. Sometimes I'll hear a cool phrase and think "that would work well in a song" so I'll put it into my phone and then when I have a chance, I'll grab a guitar and sit down and flesh out the idea. When working on collaborations, usually another producer will send me a pre written musical track and ask me to write and record vocals to it. In those scenarios, I will work off of what the track already is. If it "speaks to me" it happens very naturally and the lyrics and melodies pour right out. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. As for topics, sometimes I draw from personal experience and other times it's total fiction or I'll think about someone else's situation.
Q: How did you get into radio presenting? What do you like best about it?
Radio presenting, although it feels very natural now, came out of left field. Jamie Mcgee from the internet station, Radioactive Radio, had asked me to do some radio drops for his station after we were chatting about Charvel guitars on Twitter, and he started playing my music on air. After I did those radio drops he asked something like, "Have you ever thought about doing radio? You have the personality for it." I took the idea to my business partner, DJ Bingington, and he thought it was an excellent idea, so "Winter On The Radio" was born. It is now being aired on multiple stations worldwide and is also available on mixcloud.com. From me promoting that, a good friend of mine who is the Program Director of Rhythm 105.9FM (I don't mention that name or the person will get a million messages from artists asking for FM airplay, but they know how incredibly grateful I am for the opportunity) reached out to me and said they had a spot to fill on Rhythm 105.9 FM and now that I'm doing radio, asked if I would be interested? Of course I said yes and I'm having a great time being on both sides of the coin as an artist and a radio presenter on various platforms.
Q: Who are your influences and what’s on your playlist right now?
This is always such a difficult question for me because my influences are SO varied. I grew up listening to 80's rock bands. Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, is the reason I started playing drums. But I also listen to artists like Madonna, Matchbox 20, Alanis Morrisette, and a million others in between. There are days I'll walk around singing "Easy Like Sunday Morning" or "Proud Mary" there's no rhyme or reason. The common thread of everything I like and listen to, is that there always has to be a big catchy chorus or hook. I say over and over that I love the "earworm." The thing that gets stuck in your head whether you want it there or not. Sometimes the chorus of Katy Perry's "Roar" pops into my mind or Arizona Zervas' "Roxanne."
Q: What’s been your most memorable gig so far and what made it stand out for you?
I have been very fortunate to have played some amazing gigs. There isn't just one that stands out but it was a thrill of a lifetime to be able to play the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, which is the heart of NYC, opening for Twisted Sister with my last band. We opened for them a few times and it's ironic because I'm answering this question on the 5 year anniversary of TS drummer, AJ Pero's passing. They were all very kind to us and I am incredibly grateful for those opportunities. AJ Pero was most definitely a rockstar and a gentleman. The world lost him way too soon.
Q: What’s coming up for you next?
I am very happily doing the Rhythm 105.9 FM Radio Morning Show 5 Days per week, 11am-3pm PST as well as creating new episodes of "Winter On The Radio" with DJ Bingington. Musically, I have some solo songs in the works, as well as more collaborations with EDM artist/producer bYNUM. bYNUM and I have already released two collaborations available on major streaming platforms, called "In The Air" and "Take Me Higher." I also have a Retro House Song almost finished with artist/producer Ples Jones as well as another track we're currently working on together.
Q: Is there anything else you want everyone to know about you and your music?
People always ask "what genre do you play?" For myself personally, and this doesn't apply to every artist, but for me, I don't like to be pigeonholed into one particular genre because then I can't write/record and collaborate with so many amazingly talented people. When I write my own solo tracks, I tend to lean more towards the Pop/Rock style but I also LOVE getting tracks from other people, that I would have NEVER even known how to go about putting together without their other genre influences. I like creating hybrid sounds and bringing my vocal style to songs that people wouldn't expect to hear me on. It's more interesting to me that way. I never want to release a string of songs that all sound the same and people get bored of listening to me. That's not to say I'd release a death metal track, there are definitely lanes that I stick within, but it is definitely fun to blur the lines a bit. All of my songs are released on major streaming platforms and my social media sites are all @jillwintermusic if anyone would like to see what's in the works.