I always have had such a strong belief that I was going to make it in the industry, but there were times when I felt really lost. Everything is going to work out would be a nice reminder sometimes. I also wish someone told me that I need to soak up every moment. I stay neutral about a lot of things so I’m not freaking out all the time. But then I look back at it and I’m like, wow, that was really cool. So, living in the moment is something I’m still working on. I also wished I knew how important it is to write down everything. Every thought is important. My notes app is filled with lines. It’s amazing how it eventually builds into a song.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ronnie Watts.
In her nostalgic, classic style, Ronnie Watts has spent most of her youth honing her song-writing ability, building a recording studio in her basement, and journaling her heartbreak through the lens of pop music. Along the way, she’s picked up a slew of dedicated followers on social media, collaborated with producers such as Lemarroy (Sony Music Mexico) on original music and become a regular on the live circuit in New York.
What makes Ronnie Watts connect is her ability to, after singing just a few lyrics, make the walls fall from around you and place you exactly in the time and place she’s singing about — which, much of the time, is somewhere between youthful bliss and teenage angst; a fine line relatable to many of Ronnie’s young followers. Simply put: Ronnie Watts is the modern hero for the suburban teen spending their nights listening to heartbreak tunes in their bedroom.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Of course! Thanks for having me. I grew up in a musical family. My dad has a studio in our basement, he practices with his band at our house. My mom is so creative. I’ve always loved music and performing, and no matter what I was doing with my life I always came back to that. I fell in love with songwriting in middle school and that’s when I knew there was nothing else I wanna be doing. My parents told me they’d support me as long as I worked hard, and that’s how the journey started! I feel so lucky to have the support I do.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have been singing and songwriting my whole life. But when I was about 12, I wrote a song called Daydream, which you can actually listen to on Apple Music/Spotify! I really fell in love with the song. The way that songwriting process flowed for me, the way I fell in love with the song, it made me realize this is something I could really do.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I’ve had so many incredible opportunities to do some amazing things, and I’m so grateful for every experience. One of the coolest things I did was hop on a plane and flew to London by myself. Being in a whole different continent by myself was really weird and fun and gave me a completely new perspective on things. I met so many amazing people who I still stay in touch with. I didn’t have money to get on a bus so the person behind me paid for me — we still talk!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My guitar playing was pretty comedic. My dad taught me how to play “You Belong With Me.” I was addicted to practicing but I was pretty bad. It was a lot of the same strumming patterns and chords for at least a year. I eventually got more comfortable with it after lots of work. But to be honest the funny mistakes never end for me.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just released my first ep entitled “I DONT TRUST U AT ALL.” It’s me at my most vulnerable and I am so excited to show this side of me that I don’t always let people see. Being an Aries, I never actually admit how I feel to people, so it’s funny how it all comes out in my songs — and then I share it with the whole world. I started working on the EP over a year ago so it’s crazy that it’s finally out.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I am so happy that you brought this up! Inclusion and diversity are so important to have not only representation in film and television, but also to have accurate portrayals. As a society, we tend to perpetuate stereotypes into the mainstream media. We need to break that. Stereotypes create such a confining box for the people being represented. People of different races and sexuality need to be represented so that consumers can see themselves and realize there’s not one specific way someone should look or be. It’s all about starting tough conversations that people are afraid of having and saying this is wrong, we need to change this. Art is about pushing limits and challenging the way people think — not confining to one social norm.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish someone told me how important it is to surround yourself with other artists. Being with people who are better than me, with different and fresh ideas, is the best teacher. I also wish someone told me the importance of independence with music. The more things you can do yourself (write, sing, produce), the better off you are. I always have had such a strong belief that I was going to make it in the industry, but there were times when I felt really lost. Everything is going to work out would be a nice reminder sometimes. I also wish someone told me that I need to soak up every moment. I stay neutral about a lot of things so I’m not freaking out all the time. But then I look back at it and I’m like, wow, that was really cool. So, living in the moment is something I’m still working on. I also wished I knew how important it is to write down everything. Every thought is important. My notes app is filled with lines. It’s amazing how it eventually builds into a song.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Enjoy what you’re doing! It’s easy to get caught up in everything and forget why you got started in the first place. It’s funny but the movie “Begin Again” always re-inspires me. So, in times of need I always go to that.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to start a movement where we start talking about mental health more openly. Mental illness and suicide are still being stigmatized and we need to move past that. So many people suffer in silence every day, and it would be incredible to change that. I think that all starts with conversations.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My entire family has played such a big role in my success. They’re there for every show, reading every article of me, and sharing my songs with all their friends. They encourage me so much and I know I can always count on them. I definitely would not be where I am without my fam.
Can you please give us your favorite ”Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Something that I remind myself every day is fake it till you make it. Embodying confidence, even if you don’t really have it, does wonders. Honestly, I’m surprising myself all the time. I don’t think I have the capability to do something, but I just go for it anyways. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I’d be happy to have a burger and fries with Lorde — on me. I look up to her so much. How just wanna know, like, how her brain works?
How can our readers follow you online?
Follow my insta @ronniesings 🙂
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!