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Interview: Sannie ‘Whigfield’ Carlson

Whigfield Press Shot

Back in the 90s before Lady Gaga, Kesha, and Calvin Harris had even reached puberty, Europop dominated the world and Danish pop-princess Whigfield climbed the charts with her insanely infectious, highly ubiquitous dance hits Sexy Eyes, Saturday Night and Gimmie Gimmie. Before she heads to our shores to support The Vengaboys at the end of October, we caught up with the songstress to find out what she’s been up to since her time in the spotlight and what we can expect from the highly-anticipated tour!

Are you looking forward to coming to Australia? 

I am! You know what? I did two tours there and every time it was for about a month and I felt so much at home there. I’ve been telling everyone ever since that if I had to move somewhere and live forever it would be Australia. This is not something I just say because I’ve never felt so much at home in a place apart from London, than in Australia.

Thrilled to hear it! Speaking of the tour, how long have you known the Vengaboys?  

Well ever since they started out basically. Because all the stuff from the 90s was so even shelves together, we’re still meeting up here and there and it’s the same old ghost. There’s a lot of 90s revival shows so it’s like a school reunion, so yeah, it’s been many, many years now.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to doing while you’re down here? 

I just look forward to coming! That’s the miracle for me – just to get the chance to come back. For me to be part of a tour far away is great!

What can fans expect from your shows? 

Well because I’m a supporting act there are only three songs, so basically I’ll do Saturday Night, and I have a cover from Jam & Spoon called Right In The Night which I’m doing, and then Sexy Eyes. I just really like to get up on stage and hang out with people; I really love just being there with them. It’s not really like I have to dance or anything, I’m just really a friendly person (laughs).

How did you get the name ‘Whigfield’? 

It was actually from a music teacher I had many many years ago when I was growing up. My producer just said, “You know the great thing about when you start up as an artist is you can choose whoever you want to be”. He said to me that I had a great name but it would be easier for me to keep the two worlds separate so he just told me to think of a stage name so that’s what I did.

What made you decide to take a break from the ‘Whigfield’ persona in the early 2000s?

There were so many factors! It was at the point after six-seven years and the record sales were going down. The label wanted to make the same kind of music but we wanted to change direction and it was just really hard to keep up doing the same thing. I just felt like it was time for me to just chill a little bit, you know?

I became a songwriter for many artists and we started working together. I don’t know if you know Benny Benassi, and I’ve written material for DJs and singers so that’s what I started doing and had great fun doing that but one day I was like, “Why do I write music for other people? Why not just for myself again?”.

Out of songwriting and performing, which one do you prefer? 

You know it’s like choosing you’re children. When you’re writing in the studio it’s very intimate and very personal but I feel a lot of pressure. When I’m out performing it’s kind of like Christmas – you get the presents for your work. You also feel the love from people and you get this really good energy. I think when most artists come on stage and they go back to their house, well I know I can’t sleep because I have such a big buzz.

Is it strange to know your 90s hits still play in bars and clubs all around the world?

Yes! Do you know what, it’s funny because I’ll enter somewhere or I’ll go to a restaurant – just anywhere around Europe, and then suddenly the music goes on and I find it hilarious!

Do you ever get sick of playing all your hits at shows?

No, do you know what? Because every show is different and every country’s different and some audiences are different it’s fresh everytime I go. Every soundcheck is different. I know what kind of show I think I’ll get when I do the soundcheck. I see the stage and the environment so it gives me quite a good idea of what’s going to happen that night. 

Do you think 90s dance music will make a comeback soon?

Well right now I’ve just been signed for another record and I’ve come out with my real name Sannie. I’ve just had a single out called How Long and I’m releasing a new single now and I’m doing House music. I think there’s a big revival in House music – for the more dance kind of House music, do you know what I mean? Like more melodic House music. That will be the next 20 years (laughs). 

Is a new album on the cards for the near future? 

Well right now I’m writing a lot of material so I’m still not sure. I’m still testing out the market. I think it’s not an album’s market anymore even with iTunes and downloading, so basically what I do now is I just come out with single by single and maybe do an EP or something like that, but to actually produce a whole album is really expensive for people to maybe just buy 2 singles. I prefer for now to just releasing singles.

What do you hope the next few years hold for you? 

Oh gosh, if I could just go on doing this until I drop! It means more than anything. When you’re out a lot you miss home but then again when you’re home you want to go out, so for me it’s great to be just out on the move constantly. I’m very very lucky to be able to still make music so until I die I think that’s what I’m going to do. Although I hope I’m not going to die, like tomorrow (laughs)!

Do you have a message for your Australian fans?

I hope they’re still proud of me and watch out I’m coming! I’m coming to get you! I really think this tour is going to be amazing and I know not only me but also the Vengaboys and the other guys at the gig can’t wait to get there so it’s gonna be a blast!

Check out the Vengaboys 2016 Australian tour dates below!

Vengaboys 2016 Australian Tour

170 Russell Street, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
170 Russell Street, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
Wrest Point, Hobart
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Big Top, Sydney (SOLD OUT)
Big Top, Sydney
170 Russell Street, Melbourne
170 Russell Street, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (SOLD OUT)
Metro City, Perth

Get Tickets HERE