Meet Violette Wautier, the up-and-coming pop singer from Bangkok. If you found her a familiar face, you might have recognised her from her appearance on The Voice Thailand in 2013. She later went into acting before releasing her first single “Drive” in 2018. Two years later, she dropped her debut album, Glitter and Smoke, on June 26.
“[Glitter & Smoke shares] what I’ve been through in the past two years. Some of the stories are actually the same story, told in a different timeline and different angle. When you look at the stories, at first you would look at some story this way and as the time passed you would reflect on it and see it differently. I think the album is like that – it’s me growing throughout the album and it shows you the side, every side of the story and who I am.”
We spoke the 26-year-old over Zoom to find out more about her new album and “adulting” in the entertainment industry.
How do you feel about releasing your debut album?
I feel really proud of this album. I worked on it for so long and so hard and it’s been like ups and downs for me, to go through all of this. I almost gave up. I almost released them as an EP instead. But because I wanted to release already and it took me so much time and I’m like, “OK, like I can’t wait anymore,” but then I kept on [trying]. “Let’s try to make it happen”. And I finally did so I feel really proud and looking at the album, I could see how I grew through the album and I enjoy all of the songs like all of each song individually and when it stays together, I feel very emotional seeing it. It’s something that I’m very proud of myself that I finally can finish this album. And now I see how to work on an album.
Your foray into the entertainment industry was through The Voice. What made you decide to pursue acting instead after that? And why did you decide to make the switch from acting to singing?
Well, actually singing and acting for me came at the same time, because after The Voice show, I got a role for a movie, like they contacted me because they saw The Voice show and they were like, “Oh, I feel like you might be able to act.” They really liked how I expressed my emotions through singing and [how] my eyes expressed my feelings. And when I was in university, people always said to me, “Don’t say no to stuff before you try it.” So I was like, I’m just going to go and try it and then I got the role and so we shot the film. I was having so much fun learning and the director was like, “Oh, yeah you sing as well. Maybe you should sing the soundtrack as well.” So, my first work in the industry is actually acting and singing at the same time.
Do you have a favourite song on your debut album? Why is it your favourite?
Not really, but right now I would say “I’d Do It Again” because it’s just released and I’ve seen how people react to this song and I love the reaction right now. I would say it’s this one.
You’re based in Bangkok, and is Thai-Belgian. Why did you choose to produce music in English?
Normally when I write music, I would write in English. I think I express myself better in English even though it’s not my first language. My first language is Thai, but I feel when I write, I express better in English. So I kept writing in English. And I just want to tell my story the way I wrote it. I don’t want to translate it into Thai or anything like that. I just want people to hear the way it is the way that I first wrote it. I think this is the middle language for everyone to understand.
Do you have any artists that you look up to?
Well, I think every artist that I listened to actually inspired me, but the one that inspired me to write is Taylor Swift. The ones that inspired me for music are Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Honne, The 1975, a lot of artists that inspired me in music.
Since your song is titled “I’d Do It Again”, what are some instances in your career that you’d do again?
Oooooh! I would love to go through The Voice again. Like the very first experience coming into this whole career era. So, I think I would love to go back to being nobody and go through The Voice again because I think [it was] a very new and eye-opening experience for me.
“Glitter and Smoke” is an interesting choice for an album title! Why that name?
I think it represents myself and the mood and tone of the album. As a person I am a very bright, shiny [person] and you know like very “haa~”, but at the same time, I’m very dark and gloomy and and it’s like two different things but it goes together. The music also, there’s a part where it’s really dark and gloomy but there’s also a very bright and beautiful part. And the in-between, so I feel like it’s the mixture of these two combinations and every time that I make music, I would imagine hearing glitter falling down to the music like even with “Drive” or “Smoke”. I feel like I could hear glitter in the song. So I think this is why I called the album Glitter and Smoke.
You’re 27 this year. What do you want to do before you hit 30?
Having the second album. I wanted to have my first album when I was 25 and I’m kind of late. I’m like, I’m a year later [than expected]. I’m 26 right now. We’re not going to count it as 27! So, I have my first album at 26, so I thought if it’s possible, I want to have my second album way before [I’m] 30 like it could be 28 or 29, we’ll see.
You entered the industry at 20, and have spent 7 years in the industry. Do you have regrets spending your “adulting” years in the industry where you’re constantly under public scrutiny?
I don’t think I have those kinds of regrets. The regrets that I have is that I didn’t make more music! I could have made so much more. But I think it’s the perfect timing for me, I know myself quite well already when I entered the business. I feel like my essential person is still there, and like the me in me hasn’t changed. I don’t think I have any kind of regrets apart from making more music, [that] would be so much more cool.
What message would you want listeners to take away from your album?
I want people to just have fun with it. I have no idea what people are gonna take as the message, because I didn’t hint any message in there. I was just telling my story and if they feel something, or the song speaks to them, that would be really good!
Anything you’d like to say to your fans in Singapore?
See you very soon, when the pandemic is over! I’m very excited to meet everyone and I’d love to introduce myself to everybody. I’m from Bangkok, stay safe, and I hope you enjoy Glitter & Smoke as much as I do.
Glitter & Smoke is now available to listen on all streaming platforms.
Featured image: Universal Music Singapore