Home Written work Suki Waterhouse on Music, Her Album, Songwriting About Her Feelings – WWD

Suki Waterhouse on Music, Her Album, Songwriting About Her Feelings – WWD

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“I definitely started praying,” says Suki Waterhouse. The 30-year-old Briton is no stranger to the limelight, having built a career as a model and actress since she was a teenager – but performing her own songs on stage in front of a live audience is a whole different beast. The one where a prayer that “nothing bad will happen” certainly doesn’t hurt.

“But it’s funny, actually,” Waterhouse continues, “I kind of realized that you can’t really go wrong live. Even if things go wrong, it’s part of your show. It’s which makes it exciting.

Waterhouse is one of the most famous British models currently working, but she always hoped to take a more serious turn to music. With the release of her debut album “I Can’t Let Go” earlier this summer, she has arrived, and the songs have lent themselves to many summer playlists so far.

The album has been in the works for years, and a dream for even longer. “It’s kind of an amazing feeling [now that it’s out],” she says. “Throughout the time I was writing it, you spent many years navigating and finding the words for the moments in your life that you were trying to express. And it’s very cool to see them all tangible, not just in the songs, but in a whole album.

Waterhouse has been writing “intensely” since she was 15, counting artists like Cat Power, Lucinda Williams and Sharon Van Etten as influences. Ani DiFranco was also a formative first listener, shaping the way Waterhouse approached songwriting.

“Listening to songs of a woman talking about things we didn’t really talk about at home growing up,” she says. “And ways of talking about intimacy that I hadn’t really experienced in my own life.”

Now she approaches songwriting as a way to work on things that otherwise wouldn’t make sense in her life.

“I think songs usually come when I’m frustrated with myself…usually it’s when you can’t talk to your friends about something anymore because you talked about it. You know what I mean? It’s a feeling that hasn’t left you yet, and you’re frustrated with your inability to move on, I guess. The writing part comes when I’m trying to get some kind of perspective on something that I’m really in the middle of, that I’m having a hard time feeling at peace with.

Although she was working on music as a teenager, she’s grateful in hindsight that opportunities didn’t come to her then.

“I wouldn’t have been ready when I was younger,” she says. “All the time I had to myself, just by accident, to make a ton of mistakes and try to teach myself how to write, having that in private was great for me because it was the only something I had to do without it being a public thing for a long time.

She’s been releasing singles since 2016 and had to overcome her own anxieties about engaging in music more publicly in order to finally make a full album.

“Making music was always this pretty private thing that I did out of necessity to have to do it,” she says. “But I was definitely hesitant and had a lot of anxiety about releasing music. I finally released a song and released a few more songs and I think it was a combination of more guts for myself and also seeing a very small audience of people listening to it. I think I finally felt ready. I was pretty hard on myself in many ways. I had albums ready before, I wrote so, so many songs. And mostly all my friends have been living with the songs for a few years. And so I was really hard on myself, making sure that I really felt as ready as ever. I never feel quite ready.

Suki Water House

Jenna Greene/WWDW