Thai-Belgian musician Violette Wautier belongs to an exclusive club of pop stars that include Harry Styles and Camila Cabello who shot to fame from being in reality singing competitions despite not clinching the crown. For Wautier, her big break was the 2013 edition of The Voice Thailand. Her blind audition song? A soulful rendition of John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane, which has since racked up over 54 million views.
And just like Styles and Cabello, she too has forged a crossover career as an actress, landing supporting roles in films like Heart Attack (for which she won the Suphannahong Award for Best Supporting Actress) and a lead role in the drama Endless Love. Wautier’s latest acting foray sees her playing a lead role in the upcoming Thai thriller Faces of Anne that’s set to be released in mid-October.
Personable, approachable and down-to-earth in person – it’s no wonder that Violette Wautier is one of the sweethearts of the Thai alt-pop music scene.
The world of cinema is a natural fit for the convivial 28-year-old who studied film at Chulalongkorn University. “If I weren’t a singer, I would probably be working as a scriptwriter or film producer,” shared the Bangkok-based Wautier in an interview with FEMALE. She was in town recently to perform at Music Is Universal showcase at Capitol Theatre on Sep 27.
The second iteration of the invite-only event organised by Universal Music Singapore features other notable music stars of the TikTok generation such as the rocker Yungblud, Singapore-based singer-songwriter Lullaboy, Michigan-based singer Hayd and Filipino artist Zack Tabudlo.
Wautier draws on her time as a film student to produce songs with a more film-style storytelling approach in terms of lyrics and visuals. Her 2019 music video for ‘Smoke’ – about being with someone in spite of the pain they’ve inflicted and arguably one of her biggest hits to date – was replete with impactful imagery such as smoke representing the toxicity in a relationship.
And when she’s not busy writing and making music videos, Wautier is just like the rest of us folks; sharing with her 3.8 million Instagram followers snippets of her life and 1.8 million TikTok followers her impeccable lip-syncing skills.
What was the most fun music video to shoot?
“It’s got to be the video for my song ‘All That I Can Do’. It was shot when I was on tour and my friend came along with me and took so many shots of the tour. We piled it up together to make a music video. Looking back, this music video holds the best memories for me because it captured the moments that I was having on the tour; with my friends, my band and everyone that was there – it felt like a big diary for me.”
What’s a great song for an audition?
“When I auditioned for The Voice Thailand, I sang ‘Living On A Jet Plane’. But if I have to choose a song to audition with now, I would choose ‘Paralyzed’ by Kwaye.”
Where are three places everyone should check out when in Bangkok?
“I would say to go to a bar called One For the Road. It is owned by a director who was inspired to create a movie of the same name two years ago, of which I was a part of. The vibes and cocktails are great – there’s also a poster of me there (laughs). Another place is Chinatown for all the good food. I know some may say it’s similar to Singapore’s but it’s so fun to walk around and explore all it has to offer. Lastly, get a boat tour of the Chao Praya River for a look at the local community that lives along the river.”
Your family moved to France when you were growing up. Any favourite places there you’d recommend?
“Toulouse in southern France is super beautiful in the day and night. In that region is the town of Cordes-sur-Ciel which is very scenic, calming and almost cinematic. I also love Brassac, which I wrote a song about. I went to this southern French commune once for a festival called La fete de Brassac where people would come out to play brass instruments and have fun.”
Can you share three Thai designers we should know about?
“Landmee is a very girly brand and has pieces that are fluffy but also really cool. It sort of have a ’70s vibe and I feel like you can mix and match its pieces together easily. Next is Vickteerut which is known for geometric-inspired styles. Its pieces are mostly black and white, but there are occassional splashes of colours such as orange and pink. The last one is Poem – it has a very different style from the other two but the designs are cut to accentuate the shape of women beautifully.”
Any pre-performance rituals?
“Definitely stretching – it’s very important. Once, my drummer was playing and he had a cramp in his leg. He couldn’t hit on beat and I got pissed thinking ‘Why aren’t you on beat?’. So now it’s our band ritual to stretch before going on stage so we can avoid these kinds of situations. The leg is really important because we have to move around a lot on stage. And when stretching, I can also do vocal exercises.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity