Stepping off the plane in Los Angeles two years ago, Gin Wigmore thought she could be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Guitar in hand, she was determined to make it in LA and turn her life around. She admits it’s a cliche.
Wigmore was “shit scared” but her fear of a predictable life was greater.
Speaking to Mountain Scene from her home in Hollywood, the Kiwi artist says her life was planned out. Who she was with, where they lived, how they would spend Christmas, the number of kids they would have and where they would go to school.
“I felt it was all locked down. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do that’ and ‘I’m not sure if that’s what I want my future to look like’. It was scary.”
She rented a one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood, ditched her one friend – who turned out to be “completely mental” – found new ones and involved herself in the music scene.
It was empowering. More people should ditch humdrum lives, she says.
The move also acted as the inspiration for her hit single – New Rush. It was like an adventure, she was experiencing new things, meeting genuine artists and getting a strong view of what she wanted LA to be.
Being a Kiwi is an advantage, she says – people don’t have a preconceived negative view of New Zealanders.
That doesn’t make her complacent.
“There are so many talented people doing the same as you, or doing more than you. This is motivating and makes you be the best you can be. You can’t afford to have an off-day.”
When it comes to writing, her songs start as a vision. She’ll recall a scenario or maybe a feeling from a relationship. Once she can see it in her head it goes on paper.
She doesn’t claim to be an excellent actress but says music videos give her an extra avenue for her music.
One of the perks of being a musician is she doesn’t have a boss – she’s got the freedom to write and perform when she wants to.
“It’s a job that doesn’t feel like a job. It is passion-driven, it’s one based largely around what I am feeling. It isn’t predictable or monotonous. It’s something that is kindred to who I am and how I live my life.”
She can decide where she wants to play.
“I’ve been trying to get a way to get down to Queenstown and I figured playing a show there would be a good excuse,” Wigmore laughs.
The gig will include music from her back catalogue, as well as tracks from new album Blood to Bone.
Gin Wigmore plays Queenstown Memorial Centre, Tuesday November 24.