Former The Saturdays singer of songs Vanessa White has already been hailed as the “new Queen of R&B” and with the release of her second solo EP Chapter Two (the first one’s called Chapter One obvs), it’s easy to see why.
Check out Chapter Two in full below and read our chat with Vanessa as she tells us about having dinner with David Hasslehoff and the craziness of social media.
What’s your worst habit?
Not knowing when to say no when someone asks me if I want one more drink and it’s like 5 in the morning.
Tell us about a recent dream you’ve had…
I haven’t had a dream in a long time, but when I do dream, I dream of freaky shit!
Do you believe in magic?
Yes, I do! I think it’s because my mum believes in magic and I’ve heard stories from her about some experiences she had when she was growing up. But I’d say it’s more spirituality than magic.
Who is the most famous person in your phonebook/dm’s?
I can’t really start naming, I’m not that sort of person. I mean, it’s nothing too exciting anyways. David Hasslehoff did end up on our table at dinner once in LA. He left without paying the bill [laughs],
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Well I’m very chilled in some ways and can be very irate in others. I’m not entirely sure if that would be surprising or what people wouldn’t know! I’m actually very mouthy and have always been. All of my friends know that about me but I guess a lot of other people wouldn’t know that.
What are you scared of?
I’m scared of quite a lot of things! I worry about a lot of things, which then makes me scared. I don’t ever want to jump out of a plane, I’d never put myself in that situation. I don’t like bugs. I can’t stand them.
Is punk dead?
I wouldn’t really say that punk is my vibe, but I definitely don’t think it’s dead. It’s all about rebelling and challenging the system and what’s socially correct, it’s not dead and I’m all here for being a rebel.
If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
I’d really like to party during Studio 54. Those parties looked so LIT.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I always feel like the best advice you’re given is the hardest to do. Like it’s easier to give someone else advice than to take it on yourself. So the best advice would be to try and listen and do those things, because I know I don’t.
What’s your greatest regret?
My greatest regret is always, and this happens all the time, is when I’ve taken it too far. This happens all the time and then I end up wondering, ‘Why the fuck did I do that?’.
What’s your biggest fail?
I feel like I have a fail a day! My fail today was when I left an open bottle of water in my bag and now it’s all over my orange Balenciaga and has stained my bag. Stuff like this happens to me all the time. Standard!
How was high school?
It was very up and down. Lots of good and then some not so great times. It was a theatre school. There were 150 people, we did school work for three days and then for two days we sang, danced, did ballet and all of that jazz. It was very unconventional and a bit crazy.
Is sex important to you?
Sex isn’t the most important thing in life. It’s important though and everyone is sexual to an extent. I’m a Scorpio so I’m definitely in tune with my sexuality!
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
I don’t know actually. I mean, it’s been bad but probably more on social media. People don’t really have the guts to say that kind of crazy shit to your face. I feel like I’ve seen and heard it all but you just have to have thicker skin!
What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Me not looking when I’m crossing the road! [laughs]
Have you ever broken the law?
Once a month [laughs], but I didn’t say that!
When and why did you last cry?
I feel like it wasn’t that long ago, but this week has been quite cute. I haven’t cried this week. I have cried quite a lot in the past few months, so it’s quite nice to not cry.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Oh I don’t know! Half full this week though. I’m feeling positive.
What’s the biggest problem facing humans as a species?
We as humans are our own biggest problem. Generally how fucked up we can be to each other for no reason. Intolerance and trying to bring other people down through violence or negativity.
Is celebrity culture going to destroy us all?
I don’t think it is celebrity culture, I think it’s social media in general. You don’t even have to be a celebrity to be spoken about. Social media is kind of a crazy thing. In the job I do, I kind of need it, but it can kind of consume your whole life and there are many aspects of it which can be awful. It’s kind of half an half so it’s about to trying to keep a balance rather than letting it completely take over.
Who or what is the biggest threat to the music industry?
Middle aged men sat in a boardroom making decisions about culture and what the younger generations might want to consume when they don’t have a clue.
What’s your writing process?
My writing process kind of really starts with who I’m in with in the studio. Who I’m really comfortable with, getting my points across and seeing what the vibe is. Normally I start off with an idea, I connect with something a producer has started working on and then just start putting down melodies, recording, changing, putting in a few lyric ideas and then building from there. Sometimes it’s a really quick thing and sometimes it takes forever. Especially for Chapter Two, everything is inspired by personal experiences, what my friends have been through and told me about and things that I’ve seen happen or have happened to me.
What do your family think of your music?
My sister really likes it. I don’t really feel like my brother would listen to my music, but he’s still coming to my show. Mum will say she likes it even if she hasn’t heard the song [laughs].
How would you describe your sound?
It’s very 90s R&B at the current moment. It’s influenced by a lot of 90s and 00s stuff that I used to listen to growing up. On the new EP there are some new influences in there like a bit of trap and some more hip-hop vibes.
What would your biography be called?
I don’t know… Lit. Even though I pretty much hate the word and it’s so cringe to use, but it can be such an accurate description.
What’s for dinner?
Tonight’s dinner is jerk fish and plantain, rice and peas and a nice cocktail! I’ve been shopping for my trip to Ibiza tomorrow so I’m taking a break now before I go home to do some last minute packing.