This month I have the privilege to interview the amazing Winter, a performer I have held in huge regard since being introduced to him by Taila at his TAO Easter festival. Now as a musician and as a fundraiser my admiration for this guy know no bounds. I caught up with Winter as he was putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming TAO Summer festival.
Michael: Hi Winter - thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music.
Winter: Hi Michael! Thank you for this interview! You guys are doing a fantastic job covering Music in SL and everything that has to do with it! Congratulations to you and your team!
Michael: Soo - First off something I have always wanted to ask ...why the name Winter ?
Winter: Good question! :) " Winter " is for many a reason! let's start with the obvious! i HATE the Hot summer heat! Hahahahaha I live on an Island in Europe, the heat here gets INSANELY hot. Add 99% of Humidity.... that equals to "GET ME OUT OF HERE"!
Another reason, has to do with my RL band. Part of my band's name has to do with Winter.
Michael: Now something you must be asked a lot - You come over as a sane, balanced kind of individual - how on earth did you get involved in the crazy world of Second Life?
Winter: Another good question! I came on SL in 2010, for 6 months. Due to RL implications I had to close my account. Back then my name was River! During my absence there were moments that i thought about it! I missed my friends that I made and stuff. 7 Years later I decided to give it another shot! Fast Forward Two and half years later and here we are today! In SL you will Find EVERYTHING! Good, Bad, Crazy, Talent, Drama and ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in between! But above the all, the thing i LOVE the most, is the Amazing people you meet, from ALL over the world! The bond you share with people that you never would have met if you would not have been on SL.
Michael: So after a while you decided to have a go at singing live in Second Life - can you remember your first gig - the venue and how it went ?
Winter: Oh Off course I Remember! My 1st Gig in SL was a TWO hour show at a Club called Music's Fountain Club! It was on April 1st 2019 ( i have been April's Fooling you for 2 years LOL) from 1pm - 3pm SLT ! The Gig was setup by Arisha - DJ Flames and my Host was Swuran! I had about 30 People that day! Hahahahah Will never forget that! I was Panicking like crazy! Not for the singing part but for the Tech. stuff !
Michael: Following on from that is there a gig you remember above all ?
Winter: Aside from the 1st one , i had a lot of great gigs in SL ! So much fun! I remember a few , but the MOST important thing for me, was the incredibly precious moments DURING Gigs, that made the gigs something to remember! For example, if someone Im's me and tells me, i had tears in my eyes with that song, or this song touched me. Without the people, we would be singing alone. In the shower even for good acoustics! So to me, its the people and fans that make the moments special. I could tell you about crazy times, when there was a month, i was breaking a string on my guitar every other day, OR the day i broke THREE strings, my guitar was not even a Bass! One of the gigs that really stands out to me though, was the day my SL Brother Jay passed away, may he rest in Peace, and I got up on stage. Every time i was about to start a song, everything I sang made me think of him... i Couldn't hold it together.. THAT was the hardest Gig I ever had...
Michael: You know the Second Life live music industry inside out by now. Do you feel it is in a healthy state at this moment in time ? If you could do one thing to improve it - what would it be?
Winter: The Live Music scene in SL Fluctuates, up and down all the time! There are times a Lot of people go to shows, other times not so much. I TRULY don't know what could be done to improve it. The ONLY thing is that I wish more people would give it a chance! SO many people in SL have NO idea the Live music Scene exists! And others won't even go cause they don't believe its anything special. The talent that exists is CRAZY! so many different voices, so many genres! Its Truly amazing talent from ALL over the world!
Michael: Conversely what would you say irks you the most ? (aside from annoying interviewers)
Winter: Actually interviewers don't! The ONE thing that irks me the most is Jealousy! It truly makes me angry! Jealousy is a disastrous terrible thing that creates drama beyond any control, that can destroy even the greatest of friendships! Believe me i have witnessed it first hand. and suffered the consequences,
Michael: As well as singing, your name is now becoming synonymous with the wonderful charity events that you organize. Could you tell us how you got involved with that ?
Winter: Oh absolutely! I will sing for charity EVERY time! As long as I believe in what im singing for. Now, to me, Children hold key.. They are the future .. and its up to US to do what what we can to get them there. With my Charity event, Together As One (TAO) we will ALWAYS raise money for children's Charities. Every TAO event gets bigger and better. We all stand together, as ONE. to help the children. Everyone has either a child of their own, or someone close to them that has one. I cannot fathom the thought of a child suffering. These children have done NOTHING to deserve it and it is out of their control to do something about it. If there is something we can do to help, then it is our duty as human beings to DO something about it!
Michael: In my experience, planning and running those events are the most challenging and rewarding things you can do in Second Life. Does any one event stand out in your memory?
Winter: There is one thing that stands out the most to me. It gives a Rush of energy, adrenaline and a happiness I cannot explain! I guess this is how you feel when you win the lottery! This is the precise moment that you hit and or surpass your goal that you have set! At that moment, you feel that all the energy and time and hours of planning and working, and everything you put into it... THAT moment.. is worth it a billion times over!
Michael: How about a plug now for your forthcoming TAO Summer event ? (which Taila is looking forward to covering for TFM)
Winter: Shameless Plug Coming up! And let me say that we love your Taila! she is a fantastic person and does a lot for the SL Music scene! 10 thumbs up for TFM and the team! TAO SUMMER 2021 will be on July 16th 17th and 18th, Friday Saturday and Sunday and we will be supporting Feed a Smile! We have a LOT of new features coming up! Aside from 30 amazing performers, 10 per day starting from 5am finishing at 3pm slt. We now have the "Sponsor of the Day" Concept! One Venue or Organization per day, will take over TAO at 3pm SLT and will create the After Party! They can do ANYTHING they want! for example - more performers, auctions, Djs, competitions, etc etc! There are only 2 rules! 1) if there is money to be made, it MUST go to the charity at hand, in this case Feed a Smile, and 2) They MUST keep within the Maturity level of the land! other than that, they are Good to go!
Another new Feature we have added, is "The Market"! Stores and Creators will be renting out a space within the festival land, all their sales go towards the stores and creators. The rent money goes to the charity! We want people to WANT to be a part of TAO! so we can all come together and have fun for a Great cause! If there are stores or creators that want to be a part of TAO, please contact BB Woodford. BB is our team member that is handling "The Market". Finally! we are also introducing Gachas and Raffles! If anyone wants to donate Gachas that they dont need, or anything that we could Raffle, please contact HσƖƖყ GιƖҽʂ (hollygiless.heartsong), as Holly is our team member handling that aspect of the festival! Come on down my friends and lets do this TOGETHER AS ONE!
Michael: Cool - now just one last thing - advice really - at Toggle For Music we are now a few months into our crusade, using our website, to promote SL live music in any way we can. Could you give us any hints on ways we could improve and / or become more effective?
Winter: Oh man... you guys are on top of things 100% ! I truly could not do what you do, and i truly admire you guys! There is NOTHING i can think of! The exposure you offer to performers and Venues is absolutely Awesome! Keep it up! You guys ROCK!
Thank you for this opportunity Michael!
Michael: Thank you!