As her new single ‘DONT U WANT IT ALL’ is released, we catch up with the singer about creating her wild persona, reciting scenes from Mean Girls, and the craziest thing she’s ever done with a fan
On a swelteringly hot Wednesday in late May, BIG WETT is sitting in the middle of a blanket on Hackney Downs, her friend and manager Sarah beside her. “All right,” she says at the start of our conversation, “in character.” Though it’s just an aside, the quip shows the artist knows exactly what she’s doing, when to turn BIG WETT on, and who to turn her on for. The musical persona was forged in the depths of lockdown, a chaotic electropop-doll with Peaches-inspired vocals, thumping drum machine licks and lyrics like “can't ignore my pussy when I’m sitting on your face”. While the pandemic forced BIG WETT to remain indoors, she’s now free, and – if our conversation on Hackney Downs is anything to go by – ready to be unleashed on the world.
Though this was technically work, hanging out with BIG WETT in a park in the middle of the day somehow felt naughty, like bunking off school, or hanging out with that bad kid from down the road your mum told you not to. The conversation we have is punctuated by insane anecdotes (“I was really obsessed with watching this guy eat raw sticks of butter”), each one fighting to outdo the next. At one point, about halfway through our chat, something more insane than even BIG WETT can vocalise happens: a huge black crow circles our heads, chasing another much smaller bird, maybe a starling. After what seems like an age, but was really only a couple of seconds, the crow catches the smaller bird in its mouth, drags it to the ground, and starts feasting on its flesh.
Understandably, we were all in shock. Despite hailing from Melbourne, Australia (“the bush. Lots of spiders”) BIG WETT is terrified of birds, and confesses to having been attacked by an emu at the tender age of five, the story another product of that insane anecdotal ability. While chatting more, it’s pretty clear that the singer is warm, self-confident, and just wants the world to have a bit of fun – but will everybody understand the persona BIG WETT has created? “If people make the wrong assumptions about me, it means they don’t get it, and that’s okay”, she says, matter-of-factly. “My music isn’t for everyone, and I don’t want it to be for everyone – it makes it less of an inside joke for the people that get it. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. I’m not offended at all.”
In the conversation below we chat to BIG WETT about her theatre kid upbringing, the existence of chemtrails, and why she might be the modern day Jay Gatsby.
Hi BIG WETT – first of all, what’s the main inspiration behind your music?
BIG WETT: Boredom, I’d say. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex, parties. We were stuck in lockdown, and had nothing else to do.
What’s the reaction been to the music?
BIG WETT: People absolutely love it. I don’t know why [the music works] necessarily now – I think maybe two years ago, if I’d released it, it wouldn’t have worked. It seems like perfect timing. I think people are just ready to have a good time. Everyone’s had enough shit times and now want to have a bit of fun.
Is that what you’ve been doing post-lockdown?
BIG WETT: Yeah. I definitely feel like I’m in the modern day Great Gatsby. Just way less classy.
What’s your least classy post-lockdown party story?
BIG WETT: I don’t know if I can tell you that! There’s a few. I actually have a top five maybe. One includes getting my ass eaten by a fan on the floor of a bathroom. He was in a lace dress. That was in Melbourne, but he was from France.
How did that happen?
BIG WETT: He was like, “I’m a big fan. I like the song. Can I eat your ass?”. And I was like, “Yeah!” I kind of felt rude saying no. And I wasn’t about to turn it down, you know? I’ll try anything once. It was actually kind of fun!
You have a song called “Eat My Ass” – was it inspired by that situation?
BIG WETT: The song already existed, but then this guy was inspired by the song.
Life imitates art.
BIG WETT: Yeah, exactly! It was kind of a full-circle moment.
When people write about you online they’re like, “she came out of nowhere!” Is that true? Where did you come from?
BIG WETT: My career began in lockdown, literally about a year ago. So I guess it is kind of true. But there’s a lot of other people involved. The songs are awesome, and people are ready to be dumb and slutty and have a good time, but it also fell into the right hands, and that’s why it’s been such a quick journey.
Were you making music as a teenager?
BIG WETT: I was always in musicals, and in drama. I’m more of a drama kid honestly. I did Calamity Jane. I used to sit and recite whole scenes of Mean Girls to my mum. I always wanted to be an actress, which is why this is perfect, because I do play a bit of a character.
So BIG WETT is a performance as well?
BIG WETT: Yeah. I’m dialling myself up to a thousand, which anyone can do, and is fun to do. It’s like drag – just putting on a silly outfit and acting ridiculous. It’s very freeing.
“Someone came up to me after a show and was like, ‘I don’t know if I can say this, but that was really funny… is that offensive?’” – BIG WETT
The music you make is fun, but it’s also funny in a self-aware, we’re all laughing together kind of way. Are you trying to Make Pop Funny Again?
BIG WETT: There are definitely artists out there having fun, but a lot of the music industry is quite serious. I just don’t take it seriously. I love that people laugh at the lyrics. Someone came up to me after a show and was like, ‘I don’t know if I can say this, but that was really funny. I really laughed a lot. Is that offensive?’ I was like, ‘No! That’s great.’ I do love that it’s a good time. Everyone leaves feeling really happy. Everyone’s laughed, they’ve danced, they’ve been shocked – they’ve come around to it.
What’s the last text you sent?
BIG WETT: I sent it to my friend, Blake. ‘Hey, can I stay at your place Sunday to Tuesday, please?’ I’m actually looking for somewhere to stay right now.
What’s your ghost outfit?
BIG WETT: That’s a really tough one. I think I would get buried in my naked dress. I have this white dress – it’s like a wedding dress, but it’s mesh and see through. I reckon I’d choose that. And my sunnies, obviously.
The worst advice you’ve ever been given?
BIG WETT: Don’t do it.
Pettiest thing you’ve ever done?
BIG WETT: I refuse to remember my flaws.
What’s your star sign and are you a typical one of that star sign?
BIG WETT: I’m a Leo, and I’m a very typical Leo. Loud, needs to be the centre of attention, charming, loyal, fun, generous of spirit.
And the last meme you saved?
BIG WETT: This one that Sarah and I did on TikTok with the Kris Jenner sound.
@bigwett 5 shows down in 8 days and everything is ok @DJ Sarah #bigwett #hotgirls #tourlife #uk #foryou #foryoupage #womenoftiktok #altmusic #spring #kickons #afters #rave ♬ original sound - KARDASH KINGDOM 🍸
What’s your weirdest internet obsession?
BIG WETT: I was really obsessed with watching this guy eat raw sticks of butter. But then he started eating offal or something, and I had to stop because it was too weird. He went from eating butter wrapped in prosciutto to eating these raw, offal, bull testicles sandwiches. It kind of went a bit too extreme.
What conspiracy theory are you actually quite into?
BIG WETT: Yesterday we had a debate about whether chemtrails are real. It’s not that I don’t believe it, I just kind of can’t be bothered believing it. I don’t think the government is dropping chemicals over us, but even if they were, I don’t want to know about it, you know what I mean? I can't change it, so why the fuck do I need to care?
What’s on your For You Page right now?
BIG WETT: Hot girls, DJs and Summer Heights High. My drama teacher was Mr. G. He was literally like that.
If you could only listen to one musician for the rest of your life who would it be?
BIG WETT: Myself. It makes me feel so good! If I’m ever feeling shit, I just put on a song. Which is how I hope everyone feels when they listen to it. It’s not just me that should feel great, everyone that listens to it should take that energy into their day.
“DONT U WANT IT ALL” is out today on Play It Again Sam. PU$$Y EP is out September 22.